!!The musical
* ActingForTwo: A 2006 multi-ethnic La Jolla Playhouse staging used the same actress for both Aunt Em and Glinda, Valarie Pettiford.
* AllStarCast: The movie and TV versions feature several of their respective decades' most-renowned African-American entertainers, although the latter also has a then-newcomer, Shanice Williams, as Dorothy.
* CutSong: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Can%27t_Win_(song) "You Can't Win"]] was dropped from the stage version, but appeared in the movie and TV versions as a replacement for "I Was Born on the Day Before Yesterday".
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHAm4Fe3Evw "Wonder, Wonder Why"]] is a song where Dorothy contemplates the task to kill Evilene given to her by the Wiz. It would've taken place after Dorothy is captured by the monkeys and put to work, but it was cut from the original stage version because it slowed the story down. However, it was reinstated for the 1984 Broadway revival.
* DawsonCasting: Some actresses in their twenties or thirties have played Dorothy either on stage, or in the movie.
* RoleReprisal:
** Broadway's original Dorothy, Stephanie Mills, played Dorothy again in a 1984 Broadway revival and a 1993 tour. The latter also brought back Andre De Shields as The Wiz.
** A 2009 Off-Broadway production at New York City Center starred Music/{{Ashanti}} as Dorothy Gale, a role she played a different interpretation of in ''Film/TheMuppetsWizardOfOz''.
* StarMakingRole: Stephanie Mills struggled to sell any of her music until she became Dorothy and earned praise from audiences and critics alike. By the end of TheEighties, Mills also turned "Home" into a hit R&B single.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Both screen adaptations, as a side effect of reflecting two different eras of African-American culture.

!!The movie
* BoxOfficeBomb: Cost $24,000,000 to make, brought back only $13,600,000 upon release.
* CreatorBacklash: Ray Bolger compared the movie negatively to the 1939 film, in which he himself portrayed the Scarecrow.
* CutSong: Four songs and four dance numbers were either dropped or replaced for the film, some due to plot changes: "Tornado Ballet", "I Was Born On The Day Before Yesterday", "Kalidah Battle", "Lion's Dream", "Emerald City Ballet (Psst)", "Who Do You Think You Are?", "Y'all Got It!", and "A Rested Body Is a Rested Mind". "So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard?" became trimmed to just the intro and the first line. Among the new songs written for the movie, "Is This What Feeling Gets?" was dropped (it's on the soundtrack album), though it's the underscore's big instrumental motif.
* DawsonCasting: Diana Ross played a 24-year old Dorothy at age 34.
* GenreKiller: According to the Medved Brothers' ''Hollywood Hall of Shame'' book, the movie's box-office performance directly led to the cancellation of several major-studio projects that would have had predominantly black casts. Well into the 1980s, Creator/RichardPryor and Creator/EddieMurphy would be the only black leads that were reliable box-office performers, and that was largely via UncleTomfoolery and SaltAndPepper pairings.
* PlayingAgainstType: Directing variant. Creator/SidneyLumet is the last person you'd expect to direct a musical....and it shows.
* [[TheShelfOfMovieLanguishment The Shelf of Album Languishment]]: To tie-in with the movie, Diana Ross recorded an album titled, ''Diana Ross Sings Songs From The Wiz''. Motown originally intended to release it about a year after the movie's premiere, but decided against it after the film flopped. It finally saw a digital release in November 2015, exactly one week before the NBC debut of ''The Wiz Live!''
* RoleReprisal: Tony winner Ted Ross & Mabel King [[note]] Perhaps best known as Raj's mom on Series/WhatsHappening [[/note]] reprised their roles from the original run of the musical as the Lion & Evilene respectively.
* StarDerailingRole: Diana Ross landed the starring role despite several early refusals from the film's crew due to her age at the time of production, forcing several changes to the script to accommodate Ross' older version of Dorothy. All of this, combined with the negative critical reaction of her overall performance ultimately prompted Ross to stick to singing instead of acting.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: On top of being a product of a time when Blaxploitation films were popular in the U.S., the film has an unmistakable 1970s feel throughout, from its tone, to the fashions, to the disco and funk-heavy soundtrack, among other things.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Stephanie Mills, who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production would've reprised the role for the movie, had Diana Ross not appealed directly to the head of Universal to get the part. The movie also had John Badham, the director of ''Film/SaturdayNightFever'', signed on to direct, until he quit out of disappointment with having to direct such an old Dorothy.

!!The TV special
* AbilityOverAppearance: Kenny Leon [[http://www.today.com/popculture/behind-scenes-wiz-live-cast-jitters-rehearsal-rituals-t57556 explained]] that he cast Music/QueenLatifah as the usually-male Wiz because he believed anyone could play the Wiz, and Queen Latifah happened to become the first Wiz that came to his mind.
* ActingForTwo: Some of the ensemble members played more than one role. This special also follows the lead of MGM's ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' by having the actors of the Scarecrow (Elijah Kelley), the Tin Man (Music/NeYo) and the Cowardly Lion (David Alan Grier) also portray Aunt Em's farmhands.
* {{Blooper}}: A live televised performance seems bound to include a few slip-ups, although the DVD and some of the digital copies correct some of them.
** At one point during the number "The Feeling We Once Had", the camera accidentally shows another camera pointing itself at Dorothy. The DVD cuts back to Aunt Em before this camera appears.
** The smoke and sparks that were supposed to cause Addapearle to disappear didn't shoot up in time. She stood there awkwardly for a few seconds, before the camera switched to show the Munchkins and Dorothy. The DVD hides Addaperle by covering the screen in smoke until this switch occurs.
** David Alan Grier apparently botched a line about wanting to see a movie in the Emerald City, instead asking his friends if they want to "catch a ''({{beat}})'' split before [they] split". This also made the Cowardly Lion's next lines ("I hope they don't put butter on their popcorn. I'm watchin' my cholesterol.") sound like a NonSequitur. The DVD didn't correct this, but the digital captions try to cover up Grier's botching by saying that he asks his friends if they want to "catch a flick".
** In "So You Wanted To Meet the Wizard", the Wiz enters the scene after a blast of smoke. NBC accidentally showed Queen Latifah onstage before this blast goes off, but the DVD uses a slightly longer shot of Dorothy and her friends to delay the Wiz's reveal.
** When Dorothy says goodbye to the Good Witches, a magical whirling sound emits, implying they magically disappear during Dorothy's close-up. However, a viewer of the original broadcast ''or'' the DVD might notice Amber Riley walking normally off the set.
** After Dorothy finished singing "Home", the camera didn't cut to the Silver Shoes until after Shanice Williams already started clicking her heels, resulting in the viewers seeing her click them two times instead of three. The DVD manages to show all three clicks.
** The original broadcast had some instances where someone delivered a line from offscreen, some of which the DVD re-edited to actually show that person talking.
* CutSong: NBC's version had four songs from the play either skipped or replaced: "I Was Born On The Day Before Yesterday", "Who Do You Think You Are?", "Believe in Yourself" (though Glinda still sings the reprise), and "A Rested Body Is a Rested Mind" (reduced to some score accompanying Glinda's BigEntrance). Two songs added especially for the movie, "Can I Go On?" and "Emerald City Sequence", also didn't make it into this version, with the latter replaced by a re-written edition of the play's "Emerald City Ballet (Psst)".
* MilestoneCelebration: The TV version aired during the 40th Anniversary of the musical's Broadway premiere.
* ProductionPosse:
** Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of the NBC version, also produced Kenny Leon-directed TV adaptations of ''Theatre/ARaisinInTheSun'' and ''Film/SteelMagnolias''. The latter also featured Queen Latifah in the leading role.
** Eight years before the NBC production of ''The Wiz'', Craig Zadan and Neil Meron collaborated with both Queen Latifah and Elijah Kelley for the movie version of the ''Film/{{Hairspray}}'' musical. Queen Latifah also worked with Zadan and Meron on ''Film/{{Chicago}}''.
** Queen Latifah and David Allen Grier (who play The Wiz and The Cowardly Lion in the NBC production) both portrayed Aunt Em and Uncle Henry in ''Film/TheMuppetsWizardOfOz''.
* PromotedFanboy: Several cast members, including Music/QueenLatifah and Music/MaryJBlige, already loved watching ''The Wiz'' on stage and/or as the movie before landing their roles.
* SavedFromDevelopmentHell: Storyline Entertainment planned a TV version of ''The Wiz'' as far back as [[http://deadline.com/2015/11/craig-zadan-neil-meron-the-wiz-live-nbc-1201646727/ 1998]], after producing a remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's ''Film/{{Cinderella}}'' for ''[[Series/WaltDisneyPresents The Wonderful World of Disney]]''. However, rights issues with Universal prevented Storyline from progressing very far with the project.
* ShoutOut:
** Several lines sound like updated versions of dialogue from MGM's ''The Wizard of Oz''.
** Evillene's minions are very similar to the "fireys" from ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'' (lots of jumping around and flame-colored fur).
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: One might wonder if the NBC version has some elements that could date badly after the 2010s, such as Dorothy's outfit, the slang, and Addapearle's [=iPad=]. A lot of contemporary dances within the African American community were added into the NBC production as well (The Dab, The Nae-Nae, The Quan, etc) and can be seen throughout. As with most dances, they probably won't last past the year. So in the future when new audiences see them, they won't recognize them as anything but choreography.[[note]]''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' mocked all this only two days after ''The Wiz Live!'' premiered, as part of their crossover between ''The Wiz Live!'' and MGM's ''The Wizard of Oz''.[[/note]]
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** NBC offered Music/{{Beyonce}} the chance to play Glinda, but she turned it down.
** Promo pictures and videos show that Glinda originally had blonde curly hair. When the special actually aired, she sported brunette braids instead. [[http://thegrio.com/2015/12/18/shanice-williams-dorothy-natural-hair/ According]] to Shanice Williams, the crew decided that letting Uzo Aduba show off her natural hair color would provide a stronger expression of African-American beauty.
* WrittenByCastMember: Two of the lead males of the TV version, Elijah Kelley and Ne-Yo, helped write a new song, "We Got It".
* In addition to Stephanie Mills, cast members confirmed to have previously appeared in stage versions of ''The Wiz'' include David Alan Grier (The Wiz in a 2006 La Jolla Playhouse production), Queen Latifah (Dorothy in a high school production), and Shanice Williams (Addaperle in a junior high production).