The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again
For many years, threats of a remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show circulated, much to the chagrin of long-time devotees. After the successful airing of The Rocky Horror Glee Show, Kenny Ortega (best known for directing High School Musical) made good on his intentions to take on the project, in conjunction with 20th Century Fox and Lou Adler. Adler wisely decided to make it a television project, calling it a re-imagining of the original, hoping to bring it to a new audience without being in direct competition with the original film, which remains a weekly staple in theaters as a midnight movie.
The lead role of Frank N Furter was given to transgender actress Laverne Cox, who received accolades for her role in the popular Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Long-time Rocky Horror fans were pleased with the news that the film's original star, Tim Curry, had been cast in the role of the Criminologist. This news was especially well-received in light of the fact that Curry is wheel-chair bound following two life-altering strokes. Other cast members of note are veteran actor Ben Vereen (as Dr. Scott) and American Idol runner-up, Adam Lambert, as Eddie. Hunky Game of Thrones alumnus Staz Nair took on the titular role of Rocky Horror.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again Premiere took place at Roxy Theatre on October 13, 2016. The event was hosted by Lou Adler and was attended by several stars of the new film including Tim Curry, Ben Vereen and Laverne Cox. A group of invited fans and Shadowcasts were treated to a screening (introduced by Adler and Sal Piro) followed by a live band led by Cisco Adler and sing-along of "The Time Warp" and with Ryan McCartan, Reeve Carney and Staz Nair. Attendees were welcomed on stage, and Troy Martin fronted a rousing sing-along of "Sweet Transvestite".
After several months of promotional teasers via social media and On-Demand services, the remake debuted on Fox network on October 20, 2016 and featured lavish sets, colorful costumes and its own built-in Audience Participation in the form of an on-screen cheering-squad, reminiscent of the TV studio in the somewhat-sequel Shock Treatment, this time using props and making call backs.
The broadcast drew a 1.7 in the demo and 4.95 million total viewers on Thursday night. On the plus side for Fox, that was a massive 89% improvement from their faltering line up of “Pitch” and “Rosewood” though it lost out to the ratings winner (Thursday Night Football with 14.4 million viewers) and by comparison, finished behind ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” at 2.1 demo rating and 8.06 million viewers. Fox's hit broadcast of Grease, Live (which aired the previous year and received rave reviews) scored close to triple the audience at 12.2 million.
In anticipation of the night's broadcast, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Original Soundtrack Album hit #4 in downloads on the iTunes charts, and was #29 on Amazon's soundtrack sales chart. The updated soundtrack CD was released the following day, on October 21, 2016. On its first day of release, it was #2 in download sales and #25 in CD purchases on Amazon.com. On iTunes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again was #12 the day after broadcast, while the original soundtrack was ranked at #32 (a remarkable feat for a 41 year old album.)
The weekend after the Thursday air-date saw surges of audiences to the original film as well, with many locations reporting sell-outs or at least higher than usual attendance.
Laverne Cox - Dr. Frank-N-Furter - A Scientist
Tim Curry - The Criminologist - An Expert
Victoria Justice - Janet Weiss - A Heroine
Ryan McCartan - Brad Majors - A Hero
Reeve Carney - Riff Raff - A Handyman
Christina Milian - Magenta - A Domestic
Annaleigh Ashford - Columbia - A Groupie
Staz Nair - Rocky Horror - A Creation
Adam Lambert - Eddie - Ex-Delivery Boy
Ben Vereen - Dr. Everett V. Scott - A Rival Scientist
Ivy Levan - Usherette
Jayne Eastwood - The Butler
Sal Piro - Wedding Photographer
Kelly Van der Burg - Betty
Louise Hradsky - Transylvanian
Jeff Mortensen - Transylvanian
Zachary Burke - Transylvanian
Jasmine Renée Thomas - Backup Singer
Teya Wild - Skeleton Crew Dancer
Justin Lopes - Transylvanian: Theatre Patron (uncredited)
"Science Fiction, Double Feature"
"Over At The Frankenstein Place"
"The Time Warp"
"The Sword Of Damocles"
"I Can Make You A Man"
"Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul"
"I Can Make You A Man (Reprise)"
"Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me"
"Once In A While"
"Planet, Schmanet, Janet"
"Planet Hot Dog"
"Rose Tint My World"
"Fanfare: Don't Dream It"
"Wild And Untamed Thing"
"I'm Going Home"
"Science Fiction, Double Feature (Reprise)"