When “Jesus Christ Superstar” debuts next Monday on NBC, it will be only the latest in a long line of live TV musicals that have found varying degrees of success.
Credit goes to NBC for starting the trend, premiering “The Sound of Music Live!,” starring Carrie Underwood, in 2013. It was a rousing success, reeling in 18.62 million and inspiring a slew of similar musicals in its wake.
NBC did it again the following year with the Allison Williams-fronted “Peter Pan Live!” While it didn’t achieve the ratings success of “Sound of Music,” its next big live production, “The Wiz Live!,” scored critical acclaim and 11.5 million viewers in 2015. The network came out with a fourth musical, a star-studded “Hairspray Live!,” in 2016.
It wasn’t long before other networks got in on the action. Fox tried its hand in the genre with “Grease: Live” and found big success, garnering 12.18 million viewers and 10 Emmy nominations, winning five of the awards. The network’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” however, was less successful (though it wasn’t filmed live), and its “A Christmas Story Live!” flopped. ABC dabbled in the genre too, airing “Dirty Dancing” (also not live) last year, though it canceled its planned “The Little Mermaid” TV musical.
Which of the following musicals should get the live TV treatment next? Weigh in below!
UPDATED: This poll has been closed, with “Wicked” taking the top spot.