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‘The Little Mermaid Live’ Ratings Blows Fox’s ‘Rent’ Numbers Out of the Sea

ABC’s first (semi) live musical is fourth highest-rated of the modern era

ABC’s “The Little Mermaid Live” was only kind-of live, which we knew would be the case, but it was definitely more than only kind-of successful in terms of Nielsen TV ratings.

“Little Mermaid Live,” ABC’s first foray into the space, hauled in a 2.6 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 8.978 million total viewers. Those numbers rank it fourth in the modern era of live-TV musicals among adults 18-49, and seventh in terms of total viewers.

The most recent of these broadcast musical events was January’s “Rent” on Fox. That semi-live show drew a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 3.415 million total viewers, the lowest of all the live-TV musicals in the modern era. Those were even worse than what Fox’s “A Christmas Story Live” drew in December 2017.

The only live-TV musical that aired between “A Christmas Story” and “Rent” was NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live,” which performed much better. “Rent” was marred by a cast member’s injury, so what the TV audience actually saw was mostly a pre-taped rehearsal recording.

ABC won Tuesday pretty easily among adults 18-49. It settled for second place in total viewers behind CBS.

ABC was first in ratings with a 2.0 rating/9 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and second in total viewers with an average of 7.1 million, according to preliminary numbers. Following “The Little Mermaid Live,” 10 p.m. drama “Emergence” drew a 0.7/4 and 3.5 million viewers.

NBC was second in ratings with a 1.1/5 and third in viewers with 6.6 million. “The Voice” at 8 earned a 1.3/6 and 8.1 million viewers. “This Is Us” at 9 landed a 1.3/6 and 6.7 million viewers. At 10, “New Amsterdam” had a 0.7/4 and 5 million viewers.

CBS was third in ratings with a 0.8/4 and first in viewers with 8.6 million. “NCIS” at 8 put up a 1.0/5 and 10.7 million viewers. At 9, “FBI” posted a 0.8/4 and 8.5 million viewers. “NCIS: New Orleans” at 10 received a 0.7/3 and 6.6 million viewers.

Fox was fourth in ratings with a 0.7/3 and in viewers with 3 million. “The Resident” at 8 had a 0.7/3 and 3.4 million viewers. At 9, “Empire” managed a 0.7/3 and 2.5 million viewers.

Telemundo was fifth in ratings with a 0.5/2 and in viewers with 1.4 million.

Univision was sixth in ratings with a 0.4/2 and in viewers with 1.2 million.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.3/1 and in viewers with 912,000. “The Flash” at 8 had a 0.4/2 and 1.2 million viewers. At 9, “Arrow” got a 0.2/1 and 621,000 viewers.

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