3RD UPDATE, 10:38 AM: In case you missed it or care to ease on down the road again, NBC said this morning that it will air an encore of The Wiz Live! fron 8-11 PM on Saturday, December 19.
2ND Update, 10:06 AM: NBC obviously want to get those shining The Wiz Live! numbers out fast and there’s another set of them now. The 2-hour and 45-minute live performance of the Tony Award winning musical has seen a small bump up of 3% from its earlier demo results to 3.4/11. Viewershipwise, the show has gone up 3.2% from 11.14 million to 11.5 million. There will be “official nationals” still to come but expect a very small shift in the results if any at all at this point.
UPDATE, 8:36 AM: Now the fast nationals are coming in and it’s looking very good for NBC’s The Wiz Live! (3.3/11) in the key demo and total viewers with 11.14 million watching last night. While adjustments could occur more than usual due to the live nature of the Neil Meron- and Craig Zadan-produced version of the 1975 Tony winner, The Wiz Live! is continuing to soar ahead of last year’s Peter Pan Live!
Fast nationals to fast nationals, the yellow brick road-bound songathon was up 43% among adults 18-49 over the December 4, 2014 Peter Pan on a much more competitive night. Compared to the final demo rating of Peter Pan, The Wiz Live! was ahead by 38%. Viewership-wise, last night’s NBC spectacle saw a 22% rise over last year on what is turning out to be NBC’s best Thursday since 2010 (which the exception of course the massive success of the Sound Of Music Live! in 2013).
With a tight victory right now, the big boy for the night is the NFL, with Green Bay Packers’ unbelievable last-minute win over the Detroit Lions on CBS. The 8:30-11 PM game has a 3.5/11 in the key demo in fast nationals with a total audience of 12.93 million. The matchup was also shown on NFL Network, which will lessen the Big 4 impact. It’s a testament to the draw of The Wiz Live! that last night’s game was a bit of a low score ratingswise compared to the previous seven gridiron Thursday broadcasts on CBS this year. Still, expect adjustments in this one, too.
ABC went for music on Thursday also with CMA Country Christmas (1.0/3). The holiday hootenanny fell 38% from its December 1, 2014 broadcast. The CW had a better night with The Originals (0.52/) rising 25% among adults 18-49 from its last original November 19. Lead-in The Vampire Diaries (0.5/2) remained even with its last new episode of two weeks ago.
PREVIOUS, 6:51 AM: The tune itself will always be a showstopper, and there certainly was some “Ease On Down the Road” for NBC’s The Wiz Live! on Thursday – though football provided a pothole or two and won the night. Still, even with the increased competition of the well-watched Green Bay Packers’ Hail Mary 27-23 win over the Detroit Lions on CBS, the third of NBC’s live musicals leaped up in the ratings compared to last year’s Peter Pan Live!
In metered market results, the nearly three-hour live version of the Tony Award-winning play executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan drew a 7.9/13 rating. That’s up 34% from the 5.9/19 that Peter Pan Live! had on December 4 last year. However, with the game on CBS getting an 8.7/15 rating in MM results, The Wiz Live! lost out on the more competitive night by 9% – a much closer spread than NBC probably anticipated.
With Queen Latifah as The Wiz, Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West, Uzo Aduba as the Good Witch of the North, and newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy, last night’s trip down the yellow brick road was also unsurprisingly down 28% from the sky-high notes of the 10.9/18 MM result hit by the Carrie Underwood-led Sound Of Music Live! in 2013. Still, last night’s metered market results were the best NBC has done on a Thursday — with the exception of sports programming — since the Sound Of Music aired on December 5, 2013.
Among the factors that paved the ratings road for Sound Of Music Live! two years ago was the fact that the show faced a regular night of TV, aka no NFL or CMA Country Christmas on ABC. Even with The Wiz Live!‘s impressive results, that was obviously not the case this time around.
After CBS’ Thursday NFL broadcasts of the fall, last night’s Packers-Lions game was the eighth in the net’s deal with the league – one that they were clearly saving in their back pocket for the ad-rich holiday season. And, let’s be honest, win, lose or miracle in Motown, a Packers game is usually a good bet. Plus, local CBS affiliate preemptions of the Dallas Cowboys-Chicago Bears game last year did very well up against Peter Pan Live! on NBC. Add that to the fact that the December 4, 2014 Cowboys-Bears matchup pulled in 9.1 million viewers on NFL Network and a night-winning 3.2/10 rating in the demo and you’ve got a chit that was too good for CBS not to use last night. Plus, everybody except Lions fans loves a winning comeback.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 4, 2015
Comparing singing to slamming week-to-week, last night’s The Wiz Live! took a 46% decline in MM results compared to the soaring ratings of the Packers’ loss 17-13 win over the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving on NBC. That NFL game on November 26 had a 14.6/29 MM rating which became a 9.0/31 18-49 rating with 27.75 million viewers –the second-most-watched primetime NFL game ever on the net.
We’ll update with more ratings as they come in later, but here’s a few notes to hum: Peter Pan Live! ended up with a so-so 2.4/7 rating in the demo on December 4, 2014, with 9.13 million total viewers. That’s basically just over half of what Sound Of Music Live! had on December 5, 2013 with a 4.6/13 rating and a massive audience of 18.62 million. Looking at the MM numbers, it’s pretty certain The Wiz Live! will come in somewhere nicely in the middle, makingNo. 3 now No. 2.