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Allison Williams to star in NBC's live 'Peter Pan' musical

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Allison Williams, who stars in the HBO comedy "Girls," will play Peter Pan opposite Christopher Walken as Captain Hook in the TV musical special "Peter Pan Live! on NBC," the television network said on Wednesday.

The live television production of J.M. Barrie's tale about a boy who can fly and never grows up will be broadcast on Dec. 4. It follows the success of last year's live special of "The Sound of Music Live," which starred country singer Carrie Underwood and drew an audience of 19 million.

"We think she will bring the perfect blend of boyish vulnerability and bravado to save the day against Christopher Walken's powerful Captain Hook," Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, said in a statement.

Williams, 26, is the daughter of "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams.

The live musical is part of the Comcast Corp-owned network's strategy to woo viewers to watch programs live, which is more valuable to advertisers than viewing later on digital video recorders.

Williams, who appeared in Fox comedy series "The Mindy Project," before joining "Girls," said she has wanted to play Peter Pan since she was a child.

Walken, 71, who won a best supporting actor Oscar in 1979 for "The Deer Hunter," would bring a new spin to Captain Hook, Greenblatt said.

It will be the third live "Peter Pan" broadcast by NBC, but the first in nearly 60 years.

The network aired the original Broadway production, starring Mary Martin in the title role, in 1955. It was so popular the network did a second live broadcast in 1956 and later aired a taped production.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney, editing by G Crosse)

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