Did you catch ‘The Wiz Live!’ last night?
We did, and we must say the entire cast did an OUTSTANDING job with the production. According to Variety, the broadcast drew an impressive 11.5 million viewers.
Despite facing a highly rated NFL game on CBS, last night’s live musical, whose all-star cast included Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and David Alan Grier, averaged a 3.4 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and about 11.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10:45 p.m., according to preliminary Nielsen estimates. The only NBC entertainment series to fare better this fall is “The Voice,” whose season premiere averaged a 3.5/11 in 18-49 and 12.37 million.
The 3.4 demo rating is 42% above that earned by last year’s live musical presentation of “Peter Pan” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.21 million viewers overall). It wasn’t quite up to the level of “Sound of Music,” which averaged a 4.6/13 in the demo and 18.32 million viewers.
For the night, NBC nearly tripled its season 18-49 average on Thursday with regular programming (3.4 vs. 1.2). And it finished ahead of football for the night in key female demos as well as kids 2-11 (3.1/13).
As expected, “The Wiz Live!” fared especially well in markets with large African-American populations. While the overall household average in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets was 7.9, the top scores came in Richmond (16.1), Norfolk (15.0), Baltimore (14.8), Washington, D.C. (13.2) and Atlanta (13.2). Joining D.C. and Atlanta as top-10 markets soaring above the national average were Philadelphia (10.3), New York (10.2) and Chicago (10.0).
According to Nielsen, roughly 269,400 people send 1.6 million tweets about “The Wiz Live!” on Thursday night and 6.4 million people saw those tweets a total of 128.9 million times. Last night’s production more than tripled the number of tweets for either “Sound of Music” (449,536) or “Peter Pan” (474,735).
The big ratings and Twitter numbers for “The Wiz Live!” aren’t a surprise based on strong early social-media interest for the project. Shareablee, a social media analytics company, said “The Wiz” had captured more engagement than “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan” combined in the lead-up to the show. From Tuesday through Thursday, “The Wiz” posted 19 pieces of content on Facebook, which captured 60,579 actions (of which 65% was positive). In the same three-day window, “Sound of Music” had posted seven pieces of content and captured a total of 28,523 actions, and “Peter Pan” posted three posts on Facebook that garnered a total of 4,505 actions.
And last night during the 8-11 p.m. ET window, global digital marketing technology company Amobee Brand Intelligence said “The Wiz Live!” attracted 1.374 million tweets during its three-hour telecast window — more than four times the number generated last year during the live telecast of “Peter Pan Live” (360,000). Roughly 30% of the sentiment was positive, 58% neutral and 13% negative — meaning the Twitter sentiment was 133% more positive than negative around the broadcast. Shanice Williams, the 19-year-old actress playing Dorothy, scored especially well, with only 2% of the sentiment surrounding her performance considered negative.
In case you missed it, you can watch The Wiz Live! in its entirety below (via NBC).