A Christmas Story Live! is one step closer to making your holiday dreams come true. Fox has announced that child actor Andy Walken will star as Ralphie Parker, the bespeckled, BB-gun loving main character in the network’s live musical adaption of humorist Jean Shepherd’s 1983 Christmas classic. Walken is an 11-year-old actor who has several acting credits under his belt. including NCIS and Heartbeat. The young actor won the role after a nationwide search that netted a whopping 350 auditions, according to TV Line.
And this kid is no ordinary Ralphie. Walken is a self-described Christmas Story fanatic who even told casting agents that if he got the role “it would be the greatest, most awesome Christmas present I’ve ever gotten in my life.” Who could turn him down after that?
AS part of the casting announcement, Fox also released a behind-the-scenes video, “Finding Ralphie,” which detailed the casting process for the coveted role, including the life-changing moment when Andy Walken learned that he won the lead part. Andy joins A Christmas Story cast that includes Saturday Night Live alum Maya Rudolph as Ralphie’s mom and Matthew Broderick, who will play an older version of Ralphie and also serves as the narrator on the live TV musical.
While the original movie version of A Christmas Story has become a holiday staple worthy of a 24-hour TV marathon, Fox’s Live! version of the tale will be based on the Broadway musical with new songs written by Oscar-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
A Christmas Story Live! comes on the heels of Fox’s first live TV musical foray, Grease: Live!, last year and is part of broadcast TV’s live musical trend which started several years ago when NBC kicked off the craze with The Sound Of Music Live starring Carrie Underwood. Since then, viewers have been treated to live musical productions spanning multiple major networks major networks, including Peter Pan Live, The Wiz Live, and Hairspray Live. According to Variety, Fox will adapt the Broadway hit Rent for a 2019 live musical and NBC is planning a live adaption of Jesus Christ Superstar set for Easter Sunday 2018.
Check out Fox’s Finding Ralphie video below.
A Christmas Story Live! airs Sunday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. ET on Fox.
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