Carrie Underwood To Play Maria In "The Sound Of Music" NBC Broadcast

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Carrie Underwood is going to play Maria von Trapp in NBC's live broadcast of "The Sound of Music" late next year.

The network announced Friday that the former "American Idol" champion and Grammy-winning country star will take on the role in a live performance based on the musical, set to air around the holidays in 2013.

"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," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement, according to Playbill. "She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist."

The role is Underwood's most significant work as an actress yet. She played a small part in the 2011 film "Soul Surfer" and has served as co-host of the Country Music Association Awards for five years.

In von Trapp, she's tackling a beloved character. The Rodgers & Hammerstein musical debuted on Broadway in 1959, and the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews won the best picture Academy Award.