The event, which was originally announced in May and scheduled to air October 3, has been postponed due to budget constraints, according to USA Today.
ABC issued a statement saying, "We are postponing the 'Little Mermaid' Live special. We love the idea of doing a live musical and want to make it wonderful. The project is so unique that we are making best efforts to do it next year and want to give it all the attention it deserves," according to Variety.
But USA Today predicts the huge cost of these kind of productions -- usually at least $20 million -- means it will never happen. These kind of productions aren't moneymakers, because there isn't much demand for a rewatch on DVD or streaming. And, let's face it, most of these live TV musical events have been terrible and gotten terrible ratings.
NBC recently canceled plans for its own live musical, "Bye Bye Birdie," starring Jennifer Lopez. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said he hopes it can happen in 2018, "if we can get back into J-Lo's scheduling vortex." (J-Lo is busy with her Las Vegas show and NBC's "Shades of Blue," not to mention "World of Dance.")
"It's never been easy to make money" on these projects, Greenblatt told USA Today. "They're expensive to produce, and they really aren't great business prospects. We just [do] them because they're events."