First, networks found success with singing competitions. Then, Fox struck gold with ‘Glee.’ Now, NBC will attempt to capitalize on the success of ‘The Sound of Music Live!,’ which originally aired on December 5, 2013 and averaged 18.47 million viewers with a 4.3 rating in the adults 18-34 demo.
The telecast was a massive ratings success despite – and perhaps because of – the mix of snark and backlash that comprised the social conversation about the show.
In the days following the telecast, Lost Remote writer Natan Edelsburg was asked about the show for a Mashable piece: “What social media has proven is that live TV is stronger than ever…These one-off events will absolutely continue and social media will be its best friend. I wouldn’t say the negative social sentiment was a serious problem; I’d instead say they need to up their game in producing good-quality live entertainment.”
Natan’s prediction came true and this past Sunday NBC announced its plans to produce a live version of ‘Peter Pan,’ which will air in December 2014.
“We’re very pleased to be underway on ‘Peter Pan’ as our next live holiday musical for the whole family,” NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said in a statement. “We were all delighted to see how ‘The Sound of Music Live!’ struck such a chord in December and brought nearly 19 million people to the live telecast. … In the hopes that lightning strikes twice, we think we’ve landed on another great Broadway musical.”
Fox, CBS, and ABC are well aware of NBC’s ‘Sound of Music Live!’ success and it will be interesting to see if and how they enter the live entertainment fray. Live events (sports and award shows) are always at the top of social conversation lists, and networks will continue to produce such events to fuel ratings increases.