TV Ratings: ‘Peter Pan Live!’ falls hard from ‘Sound of Music Live!’ on Thursday

Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 4, 2014.

NBC's “Peter Pan Live!” was no match for last December's “Sound of Music Live!” with ratings falling so hard and dramatically that the network started the morning with a defensive press release and statement from Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt.

These morning ratings stories never include network quotes/blurbs, but this is the first time in my memory that a network has tried to smooth over ratings before 8 a.m. on the West Coast.

“We're very pleased with the 'Peter Pan' ratings and it was a great night for NBC.  We won every hour, which hasn't happened on Thursday with entertainment programming since a year ago.  I'm proud to be part of a company that takes chances and creates big events, and that's exactly what we're going to continue to do,” Greenblatt states. 
He continues, “We didn”t expect to reach the same rating as 'The Sound of Music' since that was the first live movie event of its kind in over 50 years.  But the high wire act of Peter Pan was a joy for everyone involved and I take my hat off to Allison Williams, Christopher Walken, the entire company, and our incredible directors and producers for three months of the hardest work I've ever seen.  I love these live events and we're already working on putting the next one together.”

Quotes and justifications aside, “Sound of Music Live!” averaged 18.5 million viewers and a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast Nationals last December. “Peter Pan Live!” averaged 9.13 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating in Fast Nationals last night, winning primetime among young viewers, but losing to football-inflated CBS overall.

The most disconcerting thing for NBC is that “Peter Pan Live!” drew an OK audience to start with and then plummeted by the last hour. Some viewers were curious, but they left. Heck, you might say the audience petered out. I wouldn't. But you might.

The quick football-related caveat would be that last year's Thursday Night Football game pitted the Jaguars against the Texans, a fairly weak matchup. Last night's game featured the Bears and the Cowboys and, almost certainly, drew a bigger audience. [CBS had the preemptions in both Chicago and Dallas.] That's not why “Peter Pan Live!”  did half the “Sound of Music Live!” numbers.

On to Thursday ratings…

Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 2.3 rating for Thursday night, edging out CBS' preemption bloated 2.2 rating in the key demographic. FOX was a distant third with a 1.2 key demo rating, followed by ABC's 0.8 key demo rating. The CW averaged a 0.6 key demo rating for the night.

Overall, CBS' averaged a sure-to-drop 9.53 million viewers and a 6.0 rating/10 share for Thursday, edging out NBC's 9.13 million viewers and 5.2/9. FOX was third with 4.8 million viewers and a 3.0/5, topping ABC's 2.1/4 and 3.15 million viewers. The CW averaged 1.37 million viewers and a 0.9/2 for the night.

8 p.m. – NBC won the 8 p.m. hour with a respectable 11.09 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 for “Peter Pan Live!” CBS was second with football-boosted episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” (10.74 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating for a repeat) and “Mom” (10.375 million and a 2.5 key demo). FOX's “Bones” was third with 5.97 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating, far ahead of the 3.38 million viewers and 0.8 key demo rating for the season premiere of ABC's “The Taste.” The CW's “The Vampire Diaries” averaged 1.495 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating.

9 p.m. – CBS moved into first with 9.32 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating for “Two and a Half Men” and “The McCarthys,” numbers so distorted by football that there's no point in breaking out the individual figures. NBC's “Peter Pan Live!” slipped to 9.12 million viewers and a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 in its second hour. FOX's “Gracepoint” averaged 3.64 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, compared to the 3.23 million viewers and 0.9 key demo rating for the second hour of ABC's “The Taste.” The CW's “Reign” averaged 1.25 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo rating.

10 p.m. – Football-inflated “Elementary” gave CBS 8.62 million viewers to win the 10 p.m. hour, finishing second with a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's “Peter Pan Live!” was down to 7.18 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo rating in its final hour. ABC drew 2.84 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating for a “How To Get Away With Murder” repeat.

[UPDATE: “Peter Pan Live!” adjusted up to a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 and to 9.21 million viewers in Final Live+Same Day numbers. That's not a big adjustment, but it is, indeed, up. CBS, of course, adjusted down across the board after football was filtered out for a “Big Bang Theory” repeat (9.64 million and a 2.1 key demo) and new episodes of “Mom” (8.61 million and a 2.0 key demo), “Two and a Half Men” (8.1 million and a 1.9 key demo), “The McCarthys” (6.08 million and a 1.4 key demo) and “Elementary” (6.59 million and a 1.2 key demo rating).]

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.