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Will ‘The Wiz Live’ Ratings Be More ‘Sound of Music’ or ‘Peter Pan’?

Carrie Underwood musical doubled Allison Williams one in total viewers; NBC’s third-annual live play debuts on Thursday

NBC hopes that Thursday’s “The Wiz Live” ratings are as alive as the Nielsen numbers for 2013 its “Sound of Music” offering but it would probably settle for something close to last year’s “Peter Pan Live.”

On Dec. 5, 2013, “The Sound of Music” scored a big 4.6/13 live-plus-same day rating in the key 18-49 demographic, along with a massive 18.6 million total viewers. Those figures rose to a 5.6 and 21.8 million viewers when including seven days of delayed-viewing.

A year later, “Peter Pan Live!” received a decent 2.4/7 and 9.2 million total. Seven days later, those numbers rose to a 2.9 and 11.4 million viewers.

That means “Peter Pan” was down 47.8 percent in the main demo versus “SOML,” and an even more whopping 50.5 percent among total viewers. With the respective delayed viewing lifts, the latter musical was down 48.2 percent in the demo, and 47.7 percent in total viewers. Therefore, the extra year of technology adoption didn’t help in the demo, but it did lend a slight hand overall.

While NBC wouldn’t share a ratings projection for “The Wiz” — and live one-offs are admittedly highly difficult to predict — the relative popularity of the three musicals will likely place the Shanice Williams-starrer much closer to “Peter Pan” than “SOML.”

Still, it’s a pretty sure bet that NBC would sign up for 9 million viewers today. After all, excluding live sports, the broadcast network averages just a 1.2 rating and 5 million viewers out of Thursday primetime thus far this fall.

Though it didn’t even compete with its predecessor via Nielsen ratings, “Peter Pan Live” fared better than “Sound of Music” on social media. The Allison Williams-starring special actually earned more tweets than the earlier effort with Carrie Underwood, 523,800 to 505,500.

However, more Twitter users played along for the first one, for what that’s worth. “The Sound of Music Live” was tweeted by 226,000 total authors, while 171,400 participated for the Neverland option.

“The Wiz Live!” heads to Oz on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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