UPDATE: The image mentioned in this article has been removed from the “RENT on FOX” twitter account, likely because it made no sense. The tweet that appears below was posted on January 24 and read something to the effect of, “525,600 minutes until RENT on FOX! January 27, 2019.”
It was the prescient writer of “Rent,” Jonathan Larson, who wrote (and I paraphrase), “The heart may freeze! Or it can burn! The pain will ease if I can learn WHY THE HELL FOX ANNOUNCED THAT THEIR LIVE TELEVISED PRODUCTION OF THE MUSICAL “RENT” WILL PREMIERE IN 525,600 MINUTES IF IT’S PREMIERING IN A YEAR AND THREE DAYS.”
It’s time now to ?sing? out. The LIVE production of #Rent premieres on @FOXTV in… pic.twitter.com/bq7RYSYm1C— RENT on FOX (@RENTonFOX) January 24, 2018
Let me backtrack.
To varying success, FOX followed NBC’s live musical theater broadcasts of “The Sound Of Music” and “Peter Pan” with its own live broadcasts of the musicals “A Christmas Story” and “Grease.” FOX’s “Rent”, produced by Marc Platt (producer of the likes of “Wicked” and “La La Land” and parent of Ben Platt) had been expected to follow, with a 2018 premiere date. Instead, it was announced today on Twitter that the network will air the musical live in “525,600 minutes,” a reference to the musical’s seminal tune “Seasons Of Love,” which measures the exact length of a year in minutes.
The only problem is that the production will actually air on January 27, 2019, which common sense and gratuitous use of online date calculators has confirmed for me is significantly more than 525,600 minutes away. FOX, apparently, is taking Larson’s toast to “going against the grain, going insane, going mad” with extreme seriousness.
No creative team or cast members have been announced yet for this production, but stay tuned for our cast predictions as well as our predictions about whether the Rupert Murdoch-owned FOX will excise “Rent” plots about AIDS, heroin addiction, gay and trans sex, protest, justice, revolution and Judaism, leaving the musical about 525 seconds long.
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny