Taraji P. Henson will play the villainous Miss Hannigan in NBC's upcoming musical special Annie Live!

The Empire actress is the first star to be announced for the show, which will air on 2 December, and she will portray the evil orphanage proprietor, who was famously played by Carol Burnett in the 1982 Annie film adaptation.

"Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember," said Taraji in a statement, reported Deadline. "So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped. Carol, I hope to do you proud."

Susan Rovner, Chairman of Entertainment Content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, added: "When we decided to bring back NBC's holiday musical tradition, we were looking for something that was critically acclaimed and universally beloved - and while that's definitely the case with Annie, it absolutely applies to Taraji as well.

"Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television."

NBC officials are reportedly still looking for a young star to play Annie, who was portrayed by Quvenzhané Wallis in the 2014 movie opposite Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan.

The original Broadway production of Annie opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, winning seven Tony Awards. It has been adapted for the screen several times, including movies in 1982, 1999 and 2014.