NBC announced this afternoon it will repeat its The Sound of Music Live! on Saturday, Dec. 14, 8-11 PM ET/PT. Sorry, It’s A Wonderful Life (The Jimmy Stewart movie has been bumped to Friday at 8 PM.) 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.
Related: NBC, Emboldened By ‘The Sound of Music’ Success, Launches Annual Franchise
After local newscasts, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno managed to match its metered-market season Thursday high – and did it with a repeat episode. (That’s excluding the previous Thursday, when Leno’s show went through the roof, owing to a Thanksgiving day football overrun.) With Sound of Music’s Live+3 viewing numbers now in, the Carrie Underwood starrer stands at 21.3 million viewers and a 5.5 rating in the demo. The only broadcast primetime entertainment series that tops SOM’s 5.5 rating in “most current” season averages is The Big Bang Theory, with a 6.9 rating. And, to the delight of NBC and advertisers who’d signed on, SOM viewers were upscale and well educated. In homes with $100K-plus incomes, The Sound of Music earned a 6.8 rating in adults 18-49, making it the highest-rated Big 4 entertainment broadcast in those homes since the Academy Awards in February. (In this, SOM is tied with ABC’s Modern Family season premiere on September 25.) In homes where the head of household has four or more years of college education, The Sound of Music scored a 7.0 rating in adults 18-49 — this season’s No. 1-ranked entertainment telecast on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox in that category.
Related: NBC’s ‘The Sound Of Music’ Celebrates Live TV, Glitches And All
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To the surprise of no one who saw the ratings and the social stats, NBC announced Monday that it’s turning last week’s live-musical/social media-palooza into an annual event. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said today he’s already circling a couple of titles for next year but already has begun managing expectations, telling The New York Times, “There may be a little bit of a phenomenon to the first one of these. Who knows what happens Year 2, 3, or 4?”
NBC clocked an impressive 18.6 million viewers Thursday night with its three-hour broadcast of The Sound of Music, which became a social media phenom, with much of the attention paid by tweeters to star Carrie Underwood’s “thin acting resume” as the NYT put it. Underwood reacted to her professional and amateur critics by tweeting that “mean people need Jesus” and that she would pray for them.
Related: NBC’s ‘The Sound Of Music’ Celebrates Live TV, Glitches And All
That said, many of those critics cut her — and the broadcast, with its numerous technical glitches — a lot of slack, in an effort to show support for the idea of mounting live TV broadcasts, and family-friendly ones to boot. Here’s maybe the best example, from The Daily Beast (NYT thought so too): “It’s the least we can do to drop any cynicism over the project and harsh reaction to the execution of it and appreciate the huge gamble and undertaking it was to reanimate those mountains, and how fun it was to — even without Julie Andrews and even if it was kind of a mess — be twirling on them again.” Read More »
Related: ‘Sound Of Music’ Ratings Big For NBC
NBC’s live The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood had a few hitches tonight. The orchestra occasionally drowned out the singers in the early going, the sound sputtered a few times, the accents were all over the place, and they really should have re-thought those Von Trapp family-esque Walmart ads. Stephen Moyer and that Nazi bigwig fumbled their will-you-or-will-you-not-join-the-Navy cross-talk act, some guy momentarily pinned The Baroness when he stepped on the train of her beautiful evening gown (“Whoops!” giggled Laura Benanti, handling it like a pro). And, as an actress, American Idol alum Underwood is an enormously talented singer.
Related: Producers Craig Zadan & Neil Meron On ‘Sound Of Music’
On the other hand, had NBC gone with the real Von Trapp family’s choice to play Maria – Anne Hathaway — that little cute little actress playing Gretl would not have come across as the next Ethel Barrymore. Nor would Moyer be up for a Medal of Freedom for his valor during that garden love scene. And maybe Audra McDonald’s “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” would not be remembered as the emotional high point of an otherwise emotionally flat show.
Yeah, live TV is wonderfully messy.
Here’s the first look at NBC‘s three-hour adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. The Sound Of Music Live! airs live December 5 and stars Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra McDonald, Christian Borle and Laura Benanti. It’s directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford and exec produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. Check it out:
CBS and the TV Academy today announced the addition of two more acceptance-speech antidotes to Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards: a segment honoring the 50th anniversary of 1963, and a performance by Carrie Underwood. Don Cheadle will present a tribute to television’s role in covering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that year, followed 80 days later by the Beatles’ performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. “Both of these historic events are often mentioned together as two of the most significant television moments in history, and the Emmy telecast will explore the tie between them,” the Academy announced. One obvious tie: Walter Cronkite, whose on-air announcement of the death of JFK is an iconic TV moment, and the Ed Sullivan Show, both had their broadcast homes at CBS — home of this year’s Emmy telecast. Here’s the release:
NoHo Arts District, CA. – September 18, 2013- The 65th Emmy® Awards will pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of two events that changed the face of our world during the live telecast on Sunday, September 22, (8:00 PM EDT / 5:00 PM PDT) on the CBS Television Network.
Six-time Emmy nominee Don Cheadle will present a moving tribute to television’s role in the assassination coverage of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 and then connect that event to the performance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show merely 80 days later on February 9, 1964.
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Tony Award winners Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle are joining Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer in NBC’s live production of The Sound Of Music, a three-hour broadcast set for December 5. McDonald, a five-time Tony winner, will play Mother Abbess; Benanti, who won a Tony for Gypsy, will play Elsa Schrader; and Borle, who starred on NBC’s now-cancelled Smash and won a Tony for Peter And The Starcatcher, is returning to the network to play Max Dettweiler. The three-hour production will be based on the original 1959 Broadway production that starred Mary Martin as Maria and Theodore Bikel as Captain Von Trapp. The Universal TV-produced special is exec produced by Oscar producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan.
It will be the country stars’ sixth consecutive turn hosting the music awards show. The 47th Annual CMA Awards airs live from Nashville November 6 on ABC. The announcement was made tonight during the CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock special on ABC.
Carrie Underwood is following into Julie Andrews’ footsteps. In her first major acting gig, the Grammy winner has been tapped to star as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound Of Music. It’s based on the original Broadway musical and is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of NBC’s Smash and the 2013 Academy Awards. The three-hour event will air near the holidays in 2013. “Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn’t be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp,” said NBC’s chairman Bob Greenblatt. “She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist.” Added Zadan and Meron, “It’s a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical.” Read More »
Bob Pittman has always loved splashy events, and his planned two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival certainly qualifies. Clear Channel says it will stage “the biggest live concert festival in radio history” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept 23-24, with Ryan Seacrest hosting hitmakers including Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Steven Tyler, The Black Eyed Peas, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Usher and Sting. The goal is to “celebrate the launch of the New iHeartRadio,” Clear Channel’s online radio streaming service, with a festival that will reach “the largest combined U.S. radio and online audience ever,” says Pittman – a former MTV and AOL Time Warner honcho who’s now the No. 1 radio company’s chairman of media and entertainment platforms. The event, he adds, ”underscores Clear Channel’s transformation to a dynamic integrated media and entertainment company with an unmatched reach in the U.S.” Video and audio streams will be accessible at iHeartRadio.com and at all websites for Clear Channel’s radio stations. The New iHeartRadio will offer broadcast radio stations as well as Pandora-like free, customized services that will have no commercials at least to the end of this year. Seacrest calls the concert “a once-in-a-generation gathering of artists and fans from all over the country.” Tickets to the live event will go on sale July 16.