NBC gets a gold star for bringing in 11.5 million viewers with The Wiz Live. According to Variety, it didn’t beat The Sound of Music, but its impressive number of views set a Twitter record as the most social live special program in the more than four years of tracking such numbers — generating more reactions than NBC’s two prior musicals combined.
Despite facing a highly rated NFL game on CBS, last night’s live musical, whose all-star cast included Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and David Alan Grier, averaged a 3.4 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and about 11.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10:45 p.m., according to preliminary Nielsen estimates. The only NBC entertainment series to fare better this fall is “The Voice,” whose season premiere averaged a 3.5/11 in 18-49 and 12.37 million.
The 3.4 demo rating is 42% above that earned by last year’s live musical presentation of “Peter Pan” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.21 million viewers overall). It wasn’t quite up to the level of “Sound of Music,” which averaged a 4.6/13 in the demo and 18.32 million viewers.
For the night, NBC nearly tripled its season 18-49 average on Thursday with regular programming (3.4 vs. 1.2). And it finished ahead of football for the night in key female demos as well as kids 2-11 (3.1/13).
As expected, “The Wiz Live!” fared especially well in markets with large African-American populations. While the overall household average in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets was 7.9, the top scores came in Richmond (16.1), Norfolk (15.0), Baltimore (14.8), Washington, D.C. (13.2) and Atlanta (13.2). Joining D.C. and Atlanta as top-10 markets soaring above the national average were Philadelphia (10.3), New York (10.2) and Chicago (10.0). ~Variety
The live musical starred many of our favorites such as David Alan Grier, Mary J Blige & Ne-yo, but it’s newcomer Shanice Williams who has won the hearts of millions as “Dorothy”. It was a pleasure to see Stephanie Willams as “Auntie Em”. Mills is the original Dorothy in the 70s stage production. Everyone did an amazing job, including the costume designer. His name is Paul Tazewell, and I have a feeling he’ll be getting referrals for award ceremonies and proms in his near future! Get to know more about Paul here. Everything from the costumes to the stage setting was colorful, bold, and unique!
Did you miss the special? You can watch right now, courtesy of NBC!