/// NBC Hits the High Notes With The Sound of Music Live!

December 6, 2013  |  Media Week

The corridors of 30 Rock on Friday morning were alive with the sound of cheering, as NBC’s live staging of a 54-year-old Rodgers and Hammerstein musical delivered Alpine ratings. According to Nielsen fast national data, NBC’s three-hour presentation of The Sound of Music Live! delivered 18.5 million total viewers and a hearty 4.6 in the adults 18-49 demo, giving the network its first definitive Thursday night entertainment win in nearly five years. Starring Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp and True Blood’s Stephen Moyer as the imperious Capt. von Trapp, The Sound of Music did predictably big numbers among the 50+ set, averaging a 10.3 rating from 8-11 p.m. But younger viewers also tuned in, as the broadcast notched a 4.3 rating among adults 18-34 and pulled a 3.9 with the 12-34 set. The show peaked early, averaging 19.7 million viewers and a 5.0 in the dollar demo at 8:30 p.m. That said, the overall retention was impressive, as 17 million viewers stayed glued to the screen until the curtain went down at 11 p.m. While the musical’s deliveries were reminiscent of the glory days of the Must See TV era, NBC actually enjoyed a huge Thursday night victory a week ago. On low-HUT level Thanksgiving night, the Peacock dominated the field with a holiday NFL game—the Steelers-Ravens bloodbath averaged 21.1 million live-plus-same-day viewers and a 6.9 in the demo. The Sound of Music Live! was punctuated by commercial breaks, including five pods that were sponsored by Walmart. Each 30-second Walmart spot reprised a popular song from the musical that had just played during the actual broadcast. For example, an ad scored by

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