While musical fans geared up to watch Fox’s Rent Live Sunday night, it turned out the live televised musical wouldn’t be live after all. Following a dress rehearsal, star Brennin Hunt (Roger) broke his foot during a practice run the night before. To accommodate his injury, the network broadcasted earlier footage from the dress rehearsal rather than have a truly live performance.

As the broadcast began, a “Previously Recorded” lower third was added to the screen. Additionally, as the show went to its first commercial break, the cast gathered live as Vanessa Hudgens (Maureen) addressed the not-so-live performance, “Last night during our performance in front of a live audience, one of our cast members sustained an injury. A visit to the hospital confirmed that Brennin Hunt, our Roger, had broken his foot and will be unable to perform tonight,” she said. Then, Jordan Fisher (Mark) revealed they reworked the final act to accommodate Hunt’s injury to perform live, alongside the entire original Broadway cast.

While actors such as Fisher, Hudgens, and Brandon Victor Dixon (Collins) soared to carry the performance, as a taped rehearsal, much of the show left lackluster impressions on viewers.

While TV viewers were stuck watching the broadcast of the dress rehearsal, Sunday night’s live audience were treated to special live concert of the performance, including Hunt sitting in a wheelchair onstage, as the entire crew gave their all for the live studio audience. If only fans could see that version on TV…

For the production’s final scenes, the network aired the live performance, reworked to accommodate Hunt’s injury. including the moving rendition of the OBC and their FOX counterparts singing “Seasons of Love.”

Original cast members Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jesse L. Martin, Wilson Jermain Heredia, Fredi Walker, Taye Diggs, Gilles Chiasson, Rodney Hicks, and Timothy Britten Parker brought all of the feels for the final number.

While the final performance had a number of technical difficulties, considering this was FOX’s first live televised musical, hopefully the next musical event will go much smoother.

Photo: FOX