‘Peter Pan Live’ Ratings: Not ‘Sound of Music’ Big But Strong for NBC Thursday

Peter Pan Live

UPDATE: In updated Nielsen estimates released Friday afternoon, NBC’s “Peter Pan Live” edged up to a 2.4 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 9.21 million total viewers. The 2.4 is more than double the net’s non-sports Thursday average this season (1.1) and beat runner-up broadcaster CBS on the night by 50% (2.4 vs. 1.6).

The night’s top program in demos was NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football” (3.2/10 in 18-49, 9.11 million viewers overall).

Elsewhere, CBS saw downward revisions as expected: “The Big Bang Theory” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 9.64 million), “Mom” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 8.61 million), “Two and a Half Men” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 8.10 million), “The McCarthys” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.08 million) and “Elementary” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.59 million).

There were no demo changes at either Fox or ABC, while CW’s “Reign” came down a tick (0.4/1).


NBC continues to generate good numbers for its event programming, with Thursday’s three-hour “Peter Pan Live” telecast, starring Allison Williams and Christopher Walken, scoring a solid 2.3 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and about 9.1 million viewers overall, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen.

That’s about half the high-bar numbers set last year by “The Sound of Music Live” telecast (4.6/13 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall), but still more than double NBC’s season-to-date averages with regular programming on Thursday night. And Peacock is projected to beat second-place CBS on the night by about 33% in the demo (2.4 vs. 1.8).

The declines from last year weren’t unexpected due to several factors, including the fact that “Sound of Music” was the first-of-its-kind live event on television in about 50 years, and it starred the popular Carrie Underwood. There also was a considerably stronger NFL game airing on NFL Network last night (Dallas-Chicago vs. last year’s Tennessee-Jacksonville), which could result in larger DVR playback this time around.

NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt called it “a great night for NBC” and said they hadn’t expected to hit “Sound of Music” numbers. “Peter Pan Live” delivered the second-highest 18-49 ratings for NBC on a Thursday, excluding sports telecasts, in three years, since Steve Carell signed off of “The Office” in April 2011. “Peter Pan’s” numbers trailed only “Sound of Music,” which aired Dec. 5, 2013.

And in total viewers, the net’s two most-watched non-sports Thursdays since the finale of “ER” in April 2009 are now the live presentations of the last two seasons.

According to Nielsen Twitter, 5.3 million people saw one or more of the 475,000 tweets about “Peter Pan Live” on NBC. Over 147,000 unique authors sent tweets, which were seen 106.9 million times — an impressive total that is more than 50% larger than last year’s “Sound of Music Live” (68.7 million).

“We won every hour, which hasn’t happened on Thursday with entertainment programming since a year ago. I’m proud to be part of a company that takes chances and creates big events, and that’s exactly what we’re going to continue to do,” Greenblatt said. “We didn’t expect to reach the same rating as ‘The Sound of Music’ since that was the first live movie event of its kind in over 50 years. But the high wire act of ‘Peter Pan’ was a joy for everyone involved and I take my hat off to Allison Williams, Christopher Walken, the entire company, and our incredible directors and producers for three months of the hardest work I’ve ever seen. I love these live events and we’re already working on putting the next one together.”

Elsewhere on Thursday, ABC sunk as expected as it switched from its popular drama lineup to reality show “The Taste” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall), with the cooking competition coming in down about 30% from its January premiere of last season (1.3 in 18-49, also on a Thursday). An encore of “How to Get Away With Murder” closed out the night (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall).

Numbers for CBS are sketchy due to football preemptions in Dallas and Chicago, which artificially inflated its results. In the prelims, the scores were: “The Big Bang Theory” repeat (2.3/8 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall), “Mom” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall), “The McCarthys” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall).

At Fox, “Bones” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and “Gracepoint” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) were both up 0.2 from their prior telecasts of two weeks ago.

CW similarly saw gains vs. two weeks ago for its dramas “The Vampire Diaries” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and “Reign” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall).

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  1. Peter Pan is pretty date, very long and there is no great musical numbers like in the Sound of Music. I didn’t watch because PP is not one of my favorites to begin with and after that awful production of the Sound of Music last year, it’s my opinion NBC shouldn’t be producing live musicals of any kind. I got the inside word NBC considering doing Pinocchio next year, again starring Carrie Underwood. Who best to play Pinocchio wood character than a someone who is great at giving wooden performances.

    • Rikardo Pardede says:

      What is your problem? Soooooo negative. Just be thankful there are these things. TV is about getting viewers, and what they did with Carrie last year proved to be great. Some people may criticize many things, she isn’t broadway enough, and etc. But, whatever, it was hugely successful. So, good job NBC! Don’t comment if you’re not interested in watching, you know. It’s that simple

  2. carmon says:

    Please do a rerun

  3. I want to see them do “That’s Gatsby!” next year:

  4. ravengirl57 says:

    I had no real issue with the casting or, really, anything about this production other than it was sooooo long. I fell asleep before the end and my kids went to bed as well. But the TV stayed on so I suppose that helped ratings.

  5. Luke says:

    My entire family enjoyed this show. Thank you NBC for having the balls to put on real entertainment devoid of any agendas and quotas. Thank you for remembering you are in the entertainment business and you are here to entertain.

  6. could not get past the horrible casting. 3 hours is ridic and the ratings are far below NBC insider predictions. oopsie.

  7. Nanny Mo says:

    It would have really been bold to have had a male play Princess Tiger Lily. Couldn’t get pass Peter Pan. I tried, but I couldn’t.

  8. ThomT says:

    Three hours on a school night is going to have time shifted much of the viewing to the weekend. Remember with four live broadcasts (1954, 1955, 1956 & 1960) of Mary Martin in “Peter Pan” there was no such thing as recording a program for later, more convenient, viewing. I think the numbers will nearly double after the DVR figures are added in. And personally I found the show at least 30 minutes too long.

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