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Taraji P. Henson joins NBC's 'Annie Live!'

NBC has begun a nationwide casting search for the role of Annie.

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — NBC announced Tuesday its holiday production of “Annie Live!” has landed Academy Award-nominated Taraji P. Henson to play its queen of mean, Miss Hannigan.

The live production of the Tony Award-winning hit musical will air Thursday, Dec. 2 on NBC.

"Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember," said Henson. "So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped! Carol, I hope to do you proud!"

"When we decided to bring back NBC’s holiday musical tradition, we were looking for something that was critically acclaimed and universally beloved – and while that’s definitely the case with ‘Annie,’ it absolutely applies to Taraji as well," said Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. "Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television."

Henson will play opposite a soon-to-be-discovered young star as NBC begins a nationwide casting search for the role of Annie.

Auditions will happen virtually, so Annie hopefuls from all over should get ready and visit castittalent.com/annie_live for more information and a link to upload their audition. Rehearsals will be in October and November 2021 in New York.

RELATED: NBC plans 'Annie Live!' this holiday season

NBC said Robert Greenblatt will serve as executive producer of the musical telecast along with Neil Meron, who has served as executive producer on all of NBC’s live musicals since 2013’s "The Sound of Music Live!"

One of the biggest hits in Broadway history, "Annie" is known for its many stage, television and movie adaptations and the songs "Tomorrow," "It’s A Hard-Knock Life," "Maybe," "Little Girls," "Easy Street," and "NYC."

The Grammy Award-winning score has delighted audiences for over 40 years.

"As we look to drive big live audiences for NBC, we could think of no better way than to bring back the network’s holiday musical tradition," said NBCUniversal Television's Susan Rovner.

"And there are no better partners to do this with than the incredible Neil Meron and Bob Greenblatt, who oversaw every live musical during the years he ran NBC. Under their leadership, 'Annie Live' will bring a fresh perspective to this timeless classic, coupling a dynamic first-class creative team with casting choices that will ensure this is a must-watch event for the whole family."

"Annie Live!" will be directed by the award-winning Lear deBessonet.

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Credit: Elijah Nouvelage/Invision/AP
Taraji P. Henson poses for a photo on the red carpet at the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Atlanta. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Invision/AP)