Ratings: ‘Sound of Music’ Gives NBC's Biggest Thursday Since ‘ER’ Finale

Ratings: 'Sound of Music' Gives NBC's Biggest Thursday Since 'ER' Finale

Night hits high note since 2009, excluding football

NBC executives are toasting this morning with tea (a drink with jam and bread): “The Sound of Music Live” gave the network its biggest non-sports Thursday since the finale of “ER” in 2009.

The holiday special, starring Carrie Underwood, earned a 4.6 rating/13 share the key 18-49 demographic, and 18.5 million viewers overall. That gave NBC its highest Thursday total viewership since the “Frasier” finale in 2004.

Also read: NBC's ‘Sound of Music Live': Hollywood's Best Reactions

For the first time this fall, NBC beat a CBS lineup anchored by “The Big Bang Theory,” broadcast TV's highest-rated scripted show. “Big Bang” tied for the top show in the demo with a 4.6 rating, and was second in total viewers with 15.3 million. NBC is the top-rated network this season, but Thursday nights have been a weak spot.

Also read: ‘Sound of Music’ Ratings: 5 Milestones It Hit for NBC

The strong numbers paid off a big gamble for NBC. As noted at the top of the show, it was the first time in 50 years a network had attempted a live musical. The three-hour running time gave over a full night of primetime to the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, updating the beloved story by adding an “American Idol” as Maria and “True Blood” star Stephen Moyer as Capt. Von Trapp.

CBS was second in ratings and total viewers with a 2.5/7 and 9.5 million. After “Big Bang,” “The Millers” at 8:30 had a 2.5/7 and 9.4 million. “The Crazy Ones” at 9 had a 2.1/6 and 7.7 million. At 9:30, “Two and a Half Men” had a 2.3/6 and 8.3 million. “Elementary” at 10 had a 1.8/5 and 8.2 million.

ABC was third in ratings and total viewers with a 2.2/6 and 6.6 million. At 8, “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” weighed down the network's average with a 1.0/3 and 3.6 million total viewers. At 9, “Grey's Anatomy” had a 2.4/6 and 7.5 million. “Scandal” at 10 had a 3.1/8 and 8.6 million.

Fox was fourth in ratings and total viewers with a 1.2/3 and 4 million total viewers. At 8, “X Factor” had a 1.3/4 and 4.8 million. “Glee” at 9 had a 1.1/3  and 3.2 million.

Univision was fifth in both categories with a 1.0/3 and 2.8 million.

In sixth in both was The CW, with a .8/2 and 2 million. “Vampire Diaries” had 8 had a 1.0/3 and 2.3 million. “Reign” at 9 had a .6/2 and 1.7 million.

Telemundo came in seventh in the demo and total viewers with a .6/2 and 1.4 million.

  • telast

    Literally unwatchable.

  • http://www.examiner.com/motherhood-in-twin-falls/jeanie-cullip Twin Falls Motherhood Examiner

    Fabulous, it was a pleasure to share this movie with my family this Christmas!

  • Ugh

    Sucked. She lacks a certain innocence.

  • Radiomantx

    I thought overall it was quite a triumph. Live TV has come a long way from the Mary Martin “Peter Pan” days. It's easy to be critical of it compared to the movie, but believe me, being somewhat familiar on what it takes to do a broadway musical on “live” television is quite an achievement in itself. There's no place to stop and edit, try different camera angles; what you see is what you get and as near as I can tell it was nearly flawless. No bad lighting, no muffled sound and a pretty damn good cast, considering what is available for musicals now days. There simply aren't any Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummers or Robert Goulets around anymore. It will be interesting to see how CBS responds to the challenge.

  • NativeNewYorker

    Bravo to the cast and directors! Instead of running the Sound of Music on Broadway again….NBC brought Carrie Underwood and the illustrious talents of our New York Broadway stage to a LIVE 3 hour performance at our Long Island Grumman Studios. It was a well done theatrical undertaking, no different than a LIVE Broadway show, and with a larger and magnificent studio set…and no one had to pay $125 a ticket and we all watched it for free in the coziness of our own homes. Don't compare it to our beloved Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer!! The movie makers did a million takes for months in order to get that 1965 film perfect!!! I am an avid Theatre-goer. With a cast that size, those players were right on the money and tried their very best for a LIVE PERFORMANCE! It was a new, refreshIng remake. Let's give this new next generation a chance. Don't be so quick to knock them down!!!!