The country-singing fourth season American Idol winner, 29, will play Maria von Trapp in next year's live TV broadcast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, it was announced Friday.
"Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn't be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp," said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, which plans to air the three-hour show (based on the original Broadway version) sometime around the holiday season a year from now.
"She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist," Greenblatt said in a statement, referring to von Trapp – who was first immortalized on Broadway in 1960 by Mary Martin, then in the Oscar-winning 1965 Best Picture of the Year by Julie Andrews.
Underwood's previous acting credits were roles on TV's How I Met Your Mother, as the love interest of Ted (Josh Radnor), and, in her film debut last year, as a church leader in Soul Surfer, a coolly-received feature about real-life shark victim Bethany Hamilton.
No word yet on who'll play the dashing captain with the whistle.