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Alec Baldwin has been a big name in showbiz for many years, and he made a name for himself on the comedy circuit thanks to his gig as Jack Donaghy for seven seasons on Tina Fey's 30 Rock. Despite his success with 30 Rock, however, Baldwin may be best known on the small screen for all of his appearances on Saturday Night Live. He holds the record for hosting SNL the most times, and he's a proven talent when it comes to live TV. Now, he has signed on for a brand new live project. Baldwin will star as Colonel Nathan Jessup in a live TV adaptation of A Few Good Men on NBC.
The new version of A Few Good Men will be an adaptation of the stage play by Aaron Sorkin that debuted on Broadway in 1989. It was enough of a hit on Broadway that it was turned into a movie in 1992 that scored an Oscar nomination, introduced the world to a young Noah Wyle, and turned "You can't handle the truth!" into a catchphrase. Aaron Sorkin will pen the teleplay for the NBC version of A Few Good Men, just as he did for the movie adaptation.
It should be interesting to see how Alec Baldwin stands up against Jack Nicholson in the role of Col. Jessup. Comparisons will be inevitable, as Nicholson's delivery of "You can't handle the truth!" is arguably the most famous element of the movie. Baldwin is great at performing live, and he can handle both comedy and drama, but it could be tricky for him to deliver a solid performance that stands on its own. Nicholson was great as Jessup in the movie; Baldwin will need to be great and different enough that he doesn't come across as impersonating Nicholson.
A lot of the success of A Few Good Men live on NBC may depend on the rest of the ensemble. While Col. Jessup is probably the best-known character from the play and movie, he doesn't carry the entire story. Whoever lands the roles of Daniel Kaffee, JoAnne Galloway, and Captain Ross will inevitably be compared to Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Kevin Bacon. A live version of A Few Good Men is a bold undertaking by NBC, and only time will tell if it works.
The live A Few Good Men is a departure from the live performances we've gotten from NBC and the other major networks in recent years. The focus has been on big Broadway musicals on TV. In fact, NBC kicked off the trend back in 2013 with Carrie Underwood's version of The Sound of Music. If A Few Good Men is a hit, we may see the other networks trying live dramas of their own. Only time will tell.
NBC has not yet set a release date for the A Few Good Men live special, but we do know that it will debut at some point in the second quarter of 2018. In the meantime, we'll probably see plenty of Alec Baldwin live on NBC as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. He scored an Emmy nomination for his performances as Trump, so he probably won't be quitting the role any time soon. Swing by our summer TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch while we wait for fall TV season to begin.