NBC - The Wiz Live 11.1 million viewers
Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

“The Wiz Live” Eased On Down The Road With 11.1 Million Viewers

NBC’s updated live musical production of the hit Broadway musical, “The Wiz,” scored an averaged 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 11.1 million viewers on Thursday night surpassing last year’s music, “Peter Pan Live,” which scored 9.1 million viewers.

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

NBC was clearly angling to turn the ratings decline around with The Wiz. Chairman Bob Greenblatt, a Broadway vet whose championed live telecasts since taking the reins at the network, spoke candidly about the ratings dip with Peter Pan. “In spite of the fact that there was a lot of critical negativity, I think Carrie Underwood was an enormous amount of draw for The Sound of Music,” Greenblatt told reporters in January. “Peter Pan’s not as well known as a show… We didn’t have stars that were as big as Carrie.”

The Wiz suffered no shortage of high-wattage stars. Dorothy may have been played by newcomer Shanice Williams, who the network found at an open casting call, the supporting players were almost exclusively boldface names. Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Common and Uzo Aduba toplined the rest of the ensemble.

Though this marks the third consecutive December where NBC has aired a live musical production, Greenblatt has been very shy to ever commit to making it an official “annual” event. It’s hard to imagine there won’t be another outing in 2016, however, now that The Wiz has prompted a ratings turnaround — however modest.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of “The Wiz Live!”

Did you tune in last night? What are your thoughts on “The Wiz Live!”


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