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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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This image released by NBC shows Carrie Underwood, foreground, as Maria, during preparations for "The Sound of Music Live!, in Bethpage, N.Y. The live production airs on Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)
Thursday on TV: 'Sound of Music Live' seems like a terrible idea

I haven't seen The Sound of Music Live (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5) - obviously - but this really seems like a terrible idea.

Not that I have anything against Carrie Underwood, who's stepping into the role of Maria. But a televised stage production can't possibly live up to the classic 1965 film with which most viewers are familiar.

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Theater is great, but theater is a different medium than TV. Stage productions on TV rarely work because they look, well, stagey.

And theater on TV tends to look, well, cheap.

Frankly, the whole "live" element to this feels like a gimmick. It's like going to a NASCAR event just waiting for the terrible accident.

This is self-indulgence that's all about the people producing the show, not about the people watching it.

And, of course, it won't be live in this time zone. It will air on a one-hour tape-delay.

Frankly, if NBC had huge confidence in "Sound of Music Live," this wouldn't be happening on a Thursday night in December, a week after the end of November sweeps. This feels an awful lot like someone at the network realized this was not going to be a big blockbuster, but it was too late to cancel the event.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe "Sound of Music Live" will be great and a smash-hit in the ratings.

But probably not.

Elsewhere on TV ...

The Big Bang Theory (7 p.m.,CBS/Ch. 2): Raj moves in with Howard and Bernadette for a week.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Alice learns her father is in Wonderland.

The X Factor (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Contestants are eliminated.

The Vampire Diaries (7 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Elena goes to Aaron for help.

Project Runway All Stars (7 and 11:02 p.m., Lifetime): Contestants have to design a dress for Marge Simpson.

The Millers (7:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Nathan exposes Debbie's childhood secrets.

The Crazy Ones (8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Lauren gets stuck in a $1 million bra.

Grey's Anatomy (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Matthew and Jackson witness an accident.

Glee (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Rachel, Kurt and Santana gets jobs as mall elves..

Reign (8 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Bash's mother reveals her plan.

Two and a Half Men (8:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Walden goes on a date with an accident-prone model.

Elementary (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): An investigation goes horribly wrong.

Scandal (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Cyrus realizes he may have gone too far.

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