Ratings: Fox’s Semi-Live ‘Rent’ Is TV’s Least-Watched Live Musical

Mostly pre-taped show couldn’t keep pace with previous NBC and Fox efforts

Rent Live
Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Fox’s “Rent” got evicted in ratings on Sunday — at least when comparing the semi-live TV musical to all the ones that came before it. And yes, that includes another poor performer, Fox’s “A Christmas Story Live.”

Due to a cast member’s injury, last night’s “Rent” used mostly pre-taped footage from a dress rehearsal. The show’s effort received a 1.4 rating among adults 18 to 49 and 3.415 million total viewers, per Nielsen’s fast national numbers.

Compare that with December 2017’s “A Christmas Story Live,” which drew a 1.5 rating and 4.48 million viewers. That one, which went up against “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, had been the previous low for these live-TV musicals.

Fox’s Easter 2016-timed “The Passion” got a 1.6 rating and 6.648 million viewers. The network’s “Grease: Live” in January 2016 earned a big 4.3 rating and 12.206 million viewers.

The last live-TV musical was NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live,” an Easter 2018 offering, which landed a 1.7 rating and 9.607 million total viewers.

All that said, Fox still managed to tie ABC last night atop the key demo in primetime averages. Fox’s “Big 4” competition all aired at least one rerun, however, and Fox finished third in terms of overall eyeballs.

ABC and Fox tied for first in ratings, both with a 1.1 rating/5 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. ABC was second in total viewers with an average of 5.1 million, according to preliminary numbers. Fox was third in total viewers with 2.9 million.

For ABC, following a repeat, a fresh “America’s Funniest Home Videos” at 8 p.m. had a 1.3/5 and 6.5 million viewers. At 9, “Shark Tank” took a 1.1/5 and 4.5 million viewers. At 10, another “Shark Tank” had a 1.0/4 and 3.8 million viewers.

For Fox, primetime started with animated comedy repeats at 7, followed by “Rent” from 8-11, which put up the previously noted demo rating and audience tally, along with a 5 share.

CBS was third in ratings with a 0.9/4 and first in viewers with 7 million. At 7, “60 Minutes” got a 1.1/5 and 11.2 million viewers. At 8, “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition” received a 1.0/4 and 4.8 million viewers. At 9, “NCIS: LA” settled for a 0.8/3 and 6.7 million viewers. At 10, “Madam Secretary” managed a 0.6/2 and 5.3 million viewers.

NBC was fourth in ratings with a 0.7/3 and fourth in viewers with 2.8 million. Following back-to-back repeats of “The Titan Games,” at 9 p.m., the two-hour “American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The World” special had a 0.7/3 and 2.8 million viewers.

Univision and Telemundo tied for fifth in ratings, both with a 0.4/2. Univision was fifth in viewers with 1.5 million and Telemundo was sixth with 1/3 million.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.3/1 and in viewers with 1 million.