NBC’s live musical experiment has been going pretty well, all things considering. Peter Pan Live! might not have set the world on fire ratings-wise, but both The Sound of Music Live! and The Wiz Live! pulled their weight in that department and have cemented NBC as the forerunner in the live musical department for the most part. They paved the way for FOX to pull off the entertaining Grease Live! last winter, and the yearly events also serve as the perfect opportunities for families all over the country to watch musical theater together and get to experience performances from all star casts each time.
But the ratings for this year’s musical outing are the worst of NBC’s quartet, throwback choreographed numbers and perfectly-coiffed performers not enough to convince viewers to tune in or stick around for the full three hour show. You might not be able to stop the beat, but you can certainly stop people from tuning in by choosing a niche musical that parodies the 60’s and isn’t a high-profile enough show to be a must watch. The final same day ratings for the event turned out to be 9 million people and a 2.3 rating in the 18-49 demo. Not exactly awe-inspiring. Thankfully, NBC not only knows where it’s been but it knows where it’s going next year with a live Bye Bye Birdie special featuring Jennifer Lopez herself.