Saturday, December 14, NBC’s The Sound of Music Live will have an encore presentation.
The original, live airing last week pulled in more than 18 million viewers, so not surprisingly, NBC has alreadyannounced plans to do another live musical next year. For now, fans can re-watch Stephen Moyer and Carrie Underwood’s version on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s live staging of The Sound of Music continues to shower NBC with ratings. Immediately after Thursday’s broadcast of the musical re-staging was watched by an average of nearly 19 million viewers, NBC stations’ late-local news shot up 75% in households in the 56 metered markets (7.0 rating vs. season average 4.0 rating). That kind of payoff is sure to make local station execs happy, given that NBC reported a near-record number of promos run by both its O&O stations and NBC affiliates for a one-night event, not to mention advance coverage they’d given the live event before its broadcast on their local air and on their web sites.
A scheduled Saturday airing of It’s a Wonderful Life will now air Friday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. ET.
After the triumph of last week’s “The Sound of Music Live!” NBC understandably is now planning more live musicals.
This is welcome news for anyone who likes seeing a network get off the beaten path. Few observers have failed to cheer NBC for raw ambition in presenting a live musical more than a half-century after the previous one aired. Attaboys even came from the loudest critics of the broadcast and its leading lady, Carrie Underwood, who played Maria.
“I think we can do this again — and again and again,” NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt told The New York Times this week, while allowing, “There may be a little bit of a phenomenon to the first one of these. Who knows what happens Year 2, 3 or 4?”
Who indeed? Can the interest, excitement and nearly 19 million viewers scored by “The Sound of Music Live!” be matched a year from now by another such TV event? Or was “Music” a one-note wonder?
The answer might lie in determining why so many viewers tuned in.
- Was it Carrie Underwood who served as the big draw? (Of course, for us fans it was Stephen Moyer, but we won’t be picky here).
- Was the main attraction “The Sound of Music” itself, a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that, largely thanks to its 1965 film version, is one of the most recognized and popular family entertainments in the world?
- Or did the audience simply rally to the anything-could-happen unpredictability of live TV, something no viewer had experienced with a musical since Eisenhower was president?
Odds are, all three reasons help explain why “The Sound of Music Live!” made such a splash.
The cast recording of The Sound of Music Live! is now available, and a DVD version of the performance is being released Dec. 17. Purchase both on Amazon.com by clicking below:
|Music CD||Production DVD|