TV Ratings: ‘The Sound of Music’ soars for NBC on Thursday

Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 5, 2013.
Get ready for Kat McPhee in “Cabaret” and and Phillip Phillips in “Sweeney Todd,” because NBC has a new hit franchise on its hands.
Thursday night’s live broadcast of “The Sound of Music,” starring “American Idol” veteran Carrie Underwood,” delivered massive numbers for NBC across the board, even crushing CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (overall, not in the key demo) as it won the night in all age ranges. 
[At the request of Alan Sepinwall, this ratings story will include no puns, so don’t look for any jokes based on this being “‘Music’ to NBC’s ears,” “Solving a problem like NBC” or “A few of viewers’ favorite things” or “‘Music’ offers a ray of golden sun.”]
This was NBC’s best non-sports Thursday in total viewers since May 13, 2004 (the night of the “Frasier” finale) and NBC’s best non-sports Thursday among adults 18-49 since 2009 (the night of the “ER” finale).
Among the shows that took the brunt of the “Sound of Music” juggernaut were “X Factor,” “Glee,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Elementary” and “The Vampire Diaries,” which all lost either overall audience, young viewers or both.
Oddly, “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” was up slightly in young viewers, but that may be related to ABC having the NFL preemption in Houston.
On to the actual numbers…
Among adults 18-49, NBC — and “The Sound of Music” — averaged a 4.6 rating for Thursday night, tops in the key demographic. CBS was a distant second with a 2.5 key demo rating, followed by the 2.2 key demo rating for ABC. FOX averaged a 1.2 key demo rating and The CW averaged a 0.8 key demo rating.
Overall, NBC and its live musical averaged 18.47 million viewers and a 10.6 rating/16 share for Thursday primetime. That nearly doubled the 9.5 million viewers and 6.0/9 for CBS, which was well ahead of the 6.565 million viewers and 4.4/7 for ABC. FOX averaged a 2.5/4 and 3.99 million viewers, followed by the 1.955 million and 1.3/2 for The CW.
8 p.m. – “The Sound of Music” won the 8 p.m. hour with 18.63 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was second with “The Big Bang Theory” (15.26 million and a half-hour-winning 4.6 key demo) and “The Millers” (9.38 million and a 2.5 key demo). FOX’s “The X Factor” averaged 4.8 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating in third, beating the 3.61 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for ABC’s “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.” The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” averaged 2.225 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating, down from recent airings which had topped “Wonderland” in the demo.
9 p.m. – “The Sound of Music” was up to 19.275 million viewers and a 4.8 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS was second overall and third in the key demo with “The Crazy Ones” (7.66 million and a 2.1 key demo) and “Two and a Half Men” (8.33 million and a 2.3 key demo). ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” had a tough week against “Music” and averaged 7.48 million and a 2.4 key demo rating. FOX’s “Glee” averaged 3.18 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating. The CW’s “Reign” averaged 1.65 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
10 p.m. – “The Sound of Music” took a bit of a dip in the 10 p.m. hour with 17.5 million viewers and a 4.3 rating among adults 18-49. ABC’s “Scandal” remained strong against “Music” with 8.6 million viewers and a 3.1 key demo rating, far ahead of the 8.19 million viewers and 1.8 key demo rating for “Elementary.”
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.