The Commercial Appeal

Documentar­y follows stage revival of ‘Annie’

- By Kevin Mcdonough

As viewers of the recently canceled “Smash” know, taking a new musical to Broadway can be as dramatic as the show itself. “Annie: It’s the HardKnock Life, From Script to Stage” (8 p.m., WKNO2; WMAV-TV Channel 18) chronicles the difficulty of mounting a revival of a beloved musical.

Documentar­y f ilmmaker Joshua Seftel (“This American Life”) directs “Hard-Knock Life,” which captures Broadway veterans, including choreograp­her Andy Blankenbue­hler (“In the Heights”), costume designer Susan Hilferty (“Wicked”) and set designer David Korins (“Godspell”), as they work with a young cast recruited from all over America.

The original “Annie” opened on Broadway on 1977 and ran for more than five years. It was adapted for the screen in 1982. Adults who grew up with the musical (or performed in it) can watch this with children of their own.

Have prime- ti me newscasts become consolatio­n prizes? Some weeks back, “ABC’s The Lookout,” a consumerne­ws hour created by the “Nightline” team, began airing. It was reported to have been compensati­on for the network’s decision to bump “Nightline” to 11:35 p.m., when viewers become rather scarce.

On Friday night, NBC airs “Ann Curry Reports: A Face in the Crowd” (9 p.m., WMC-TV Channel 5), a follow-up report on the recipient of a face transplant.

As those who follow morning television know, Curry was the co-anchor of NBC’s “Today” from June 2011 to June 2012, before leaving the show in an emotional broadcast. Some media outlets said her time at “Today” was a failure, while others said she was never allowed to succeed. Meanwhile, the network’s handling of her transition and its affect on the popularity of “Today” has been the subject of much media speculatio­n.

Despite the tears and controvers­y, Curry still has ties with NBC and receives a multimilli­ondollar salary to produce programs like “A Face in the Crowd.”

For reasons unclear, the special airs one year to the day after Curry’s departure from “Today.”

Catch two episodes of “Cult” (7 p.m. and 8 p.m., WLMT-TV Channel 30). A show within a show about a creepy cult based around a CW series called “Cult,” this may be the most complex and self-referentia­l new series that nobody watched this year.

The world’s most famous octogenari­an rodent returns as the Disney Channel sneaks Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts into its schedule throughout the weekend. Look for “No Service” (7:30 p.m.) tonight.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Pelant returns with evil intentions on “Bones” (7 p.m., WHBQ-TV Channel 13).

Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway star in the brooding 2012 comic book adaptation “The Dark Knight Rises” (7 p.m., HBO).

A telephone t ip scrambles the team on “The Following” (8 p.m., WHBQ-TV Channel 13).

A prehistori­c creature grabs Waddles the pig on the animated kids series “Gravity Falls” (8 p.m., Disney).

Ike sneaks into Cuba on family business on “Magic City” (8 p.m., Starz).

Death on campus on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS, WREG-TV Channel 3).

Stephen King fans who can’t wait for “Under the Dome” to return on Monday can catch Kathy Bates and James Caan in the 1990 shocker “Misery” (9 p.m., Sundance).

Standup comedy on “Owen Benjamin: High Five Til it Hurts” (11 p.m., Comedy Central).

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