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Taraji P. Henson to Play Mean Miss Hannigan in NBC’s ‘Annie Live!’

Henson’s Hannigan will make life miserable for a ”soon-to-be-discovered“ Annie of ”any ethnicity“

Taraji P. Henson will portray Miss Hannigan in NBC’s holiday production of the Tony Award-winning musical “Annie Live!” NBC announced on Tuesday. Henson will play the “queen of mean” opposite what NBC calls “a soon-to-be-discovered” young performer to portray Annie.

NBC said in a statement that the search is on for a “young future star of any ethnicity to bring optimism, spunk, honesty and wisdom” to the role.

“Annie Live!” is slated to air on Dec. 2 on NBC.

“Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I’ve idolized as far back as I can remember,” Henson said in a statement. “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 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, in the statement. “Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television.”

Henson, an actor, producer, activist and author, has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world. She won a Golden Globe, SAG Awards, and the Critics Choice Award for her role a the Cookie Lyons on the series “Empire.” She was acclaimed for her work in the film “Hustle & Flow” and received an Oscar nomination for her role in the David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” with Brad Pitt.

“Annie Live!” will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron, and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski as co directors. Choreography will be led by Sergio Trujillo. Paul Tazewell will design costumes. Jason Sherwood will oversee production design. Stephen Oremus will oversee the music direction. The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions.

Henson is represented by M88, Ziffren Law and the Lede Company.