The Wiz Live Does Great Numbers With 11 Million Viewers

Posted by at 9:27 am on December 4, 2015

The Wiz Live! - Season 1Two years after NBC stunned the industry with boffo ratings for its live presentation of “The Sound of Music,” the network was back at it Thursday night with “The Wiz Live,” which drew impressive numbers of its own. The event also set a Nielsen Twitter record as most social live special program in the more than four years of tracking such numbers.

Despite facing a highly rated NFL game on CBS, last night’s live musical, whose all-star cast included Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and David Alan Grier, averaged roughly a 3.3 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and about 11.1 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., according to preliminary Nielsen estimates. These early numbers should rise in the finals since the event wrapped about 10:45, and the viewership numbers for the 10:30 p.m. half-hour were noticeably lower than earlier in the night. The only NBC entertainment series to fare better this fall is “The Voice,” whose season premiere averaged a 3.5/11 in 18-49 and 12.37 million.

The preliminary 3.3 demo rating is about 40% above that earned by last year’s live musical presentation of “Peter Pan” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.21 million viewers overall). It wasn’t quite up to the level of “Sound of Music,” which averaged a 4.6/13 in the demo and 18.32 million viewers.

For the night, NBC nearly tripled its season 18-49 average on Thursday with regular programming (3.3 vs. 1.2). And it finished ahead of football for the night in key female demos as well as kids 2-11 (3.1/13).

According to Nielsen, roughly 269,400 people send 1.6 million tweets about “The Wiz Live!” on Thursday night and 6.4 million people saw those tweets a total of 128.9 million times. Last night’s production more than tripled the number of tweets for either “Sound of Music” (449,536) or “Peter Pan” (474,735).

The big ratings and Twitter numbers for “The Wiz Live!” aren’t a surprise based on strong early social-media interest for the project. Shareablee, a social media analytics company, said “The Wiz” had captured more engagement than “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan” combined in the lead-up to the show. From Tuesday through Thursday, “The Wiz” posted 19 pieces of content on Facebook, which captured 60,579 actions (of which 65% was positive). In the same three-day window, “Sound of Music” had posted seven pieces of content and captured a total of 28,523 actions, and “Peter Pan” posted three posts on Facebook that garnered a total of 4,505 actions.

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