London, July 20 (ANI): BBC officials have been forced to scrap their plans to turn 'The Wizard Of Oz' into a musical reality show, following the ouster of English musician Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Lloyd feared that he would be accused of drumming up publicity for his Phantom of the Opera sequel 'Love Never Dies'.
Love Never Dies will launch in March next year - just as the composer's hunt for a new Dorothy would have been finishing.
Though 'The Wizard of Oz' will still be turned into a West End musical, it will be done through normal auditions. he news is a massive blow to the BBC. The previous hunts for lead stars to sing in West End musicals pulled in five to six million viewers at time.
In an interview to TV Biz, Lloyd Webber's business partner Andre Ptaszynski said that they decided to dump the BBC's show in case it turned into a scandal.
The series have attracted criticism in the past for being "free publicity" for Lord Lloyd Webber, but the BBC has always said they fall within its strict rules.
"We will not be finding Dorothy through a BBC reality show - we've pulled it," the Sun quoted Ptaszynski as saying.
"It's just too risky. It's only been in the last two or three weeks that we've realised how much of a field day people would have with it.
"Andrew would be accused of doing the BBC show just to get publicity for Love Never Dies. The BBC would then be made to look like it was giving him undue prominence.
"We spoke with BBC director general Mark Thompson and we agreed to pull it.
"It is no reflection on our relationship with the BBC - Andrew loves making shows with producers there," he added.
He said Andrew did hope to do another musical reality show but it "won't be until at least later on in 2011". (ANI)