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Allison Williams wasn’t the only one tempting gravity on Thursday night. With its second live musical production, NBC was clearly trying to hold on to as much of the inaugural outing’s gargantuan ratings haul as possible.
So how did Peter Pan shape up compared to The Sound of Music Live? Not quite as strong. Per metered market returns, the three-hour stage production averaged 9.1 million viewers. That’s just more than half of what Music did last year. And in the key demo of adults 18-49, Peter Pan logged a 2.3 rating. Half of last year, that puts it behind CBS broadcasts of Mom and Two and a Half Men for the night.
Read more TV Review: ‘Peter Pan Live!’
Looking back at last year, facing very similar competition, The Sound of Music ultimately pulled 18.5 million viewers and a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49. NBC was considerably more bullish with advertisers on this round, buoyed by the surprise hit status of The Sound of Music, but few expected Peter Pan to exceed the original.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt offered a statement on the numbers early Friday: “We’re very pleased with the Peter Pan ratings and it was a great night for NBC. We won every hour, which hasn’t happened on Thursday with entertainment programming since a year ago. I’m proud to be part of a company that takes chances and creates big events, and that’s exactly what we’re going to continue to do. We didn’t expect to reach the same rating as The Sound of Music since that was the first live movie event of its kind in over 50 years. But the high-wire act of Peter Pan was a joy for everyone involved and I take my hat off to Allison Williams, Christopher Walken, the entire company, and our incredible directors and producers for three months of the hardest work I’ve ever seen. I love these live events and we’re already working on putting the next one together.”
For its part, Peter Pan did fall only just shy of The Sound of Music in being the network’s second-highest rating for a non-sports Thursday in more than two years.
Peter Pan was not the only story on Thursday. CBS, likely inflated by NFL preemptions in Chicago, had lifts for its block of Mom, Two and a Half Men, The Millers and Elementary. The Big Bang Theory aired a repeat. And both Bones (1.5 adults) and Gracepoint (0.9 adults) rose by two-tenths of a point on Fox.
ABC debuted a new season of The Taste to a 0.9 rating in the key demo. That’s off four-tenths of a point from the previous season’s January opener.
And The CW saw a steady episode of The Vampire Diaries (0.7 adults) and a two-tenths lift for Reign (0.5 adults)
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