The actress/singer will tackle the role of Velma Von Tussle, a role played on the big screen by Michelle Pfeiffer and Debbie Harry, in the upcoming NBC production, which will air live in December (16).

The Tony Award-winning actress will be joining a cast that includes newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad, Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, Jennifer Hudson, and Derek Hough.

"We are so excited and fortunate that Kristin - one of the best musical performers in the world - wants to come and play with us on Hairspray," NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt told The Hollywood Reporter. "Everything she does is incredible, going back to the iconic Glinda in Wicked, and there’s no one better to play Velma Von Tussle."

A thrilled Kristin confirmed the news via Twitter on Tuesday (21Jun16), writing: "I clinched Miss Baltimore Crabs! SO excited to play Velma Von Tussle in @HairsprayLive this December!"

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who took charge of the 2007 movie version of Hairspray, are returning as producers of the TV project, following their success with NBC's other live specials The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz.

Hairspray, which first hit the big screen in 1988, centres on an overweight teen who dreams of landing a spot on her favourite TV dance show. It was subsequently developed into a Broadway show in 2002. Tony winner Kenny Leon will direct the special.

Chenoweth's character is the pushy mum of the lead character's rival.