Ratings The Wiz Live!

Ratings: The Wiz Live Crushes Peter Pan

No bad news here, Evilene: NBC’s broadcast of The Wiz Live! on Thursday drew 11.5 million total viewers and a 3.4 demo rating (per fast finals), improving on Peter Pan Live‘s year-ago numbers by 25 and 42 percent.

That said, it fell shy of pulling the 18.6 mil and 4.6 that The Sound of Music Live did two years ago.

The Wiz Live! gave NBC its best Thursday rating in two years, since The Sound of Music Live. Among all broadcast networks, it marks the highest rated Thursday in over a year (since Sept. 25, 2014, when ABC’s “TGIT” season openers averaged a 3.6) and the most watched one since Feb. 19 (when CBS aired the Two and a Half Men series finale).

TVLine readers gave the vibrant musical an average grade of “B+.” An encore has been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8/7c.


CBS | NFL coverage (Packers/Lions) averaged 12.5 mil and a 3.3.

THE CW | Pending possibly minor adjustment due to preemption, The Vampire Diaries (1.3 mil/0.5) added a few eyeballs yet was steady in the demo, while The Originals (1.2 mil/0.5) is currently up 47 percent (to its most watched episode of the season) plus a tenth in the demo.

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  1. Jason. P says:

    I’m shocked by these numbers its as if representation matters to people. Take note industry.

    • Jon says:

      Thank you! Given that The Wiz trended #1 all day and night on Twitter (and is still trending at 11AM Friday morning) I expected it to do well. Hopefully the DVR numbers will bump it even higher.

      Still, kudos to NBC for taking a chance on an all-black musical! I personally LOVED it, thought the performances were fantastic (especially Amber, Shanice, Ne-Yo, Mary J and Uzo), and can’t wait to buy the DVD.

    • Drew says:

      Wait… I didn’t watch, but based on the previews I saw, it looked like this was the least diverse cast they’ve had thus far. Wouldn’t that be less representation than before?

      • Quinn says:

        Who’s had?? The wiz has always been all black, silly!

        • Drew says:

          Yeah, I’m not talking about the way things have always been. It also doesn’t make any sense at all to have a black nun in Austria during the Nazi days. But people said that this wasn’t about race or historical accuracy, and they wanted to present diverse casts. So, a black nun (and performed brilliantly, I might add), and a mixed cast for Peter Pan.
          So, given the big deal that was made about how diverse and color-blind they wanted to be, The Wiz’s previous history shouldn’t have mattered and a more diverse production should have been made.
          But that’s all just commentary on the philosophy of those making these things. Really, I was just responding to the original comment that said that representation matters to people. It was an ill-conceived comment to make, since if representation mattered to most people in the way that this person suggested, most people wouldn’t have watched this one at all… most people had absolutely no representation here.
          The production shouldn’t be praised for being all-black or some sort of cultural importance. If it is praised, it should be because of the quality of the production and the performances delivered. Anything else is just insulting to the people involved with the show.

      • ASNS says:

        The WIZ was written as an all black cast many years before the name was slightly changed to The Wizard of Oz with an All white cast. Did you forget that? As a matter of fact, most Movies, Musicals and tv series are ALL white and not diverse at all. So Im confused at your comment…

        • Drew says:

          Okay, first of all… no. The Wizard of Oz was written by L. Frank Baum in 1900. Dorothy was based on his niece, who died at an early age. Many of the characters were based on people in his life, so it makes sense that they appear they way they do.
          The Wiz is the production that too his story, changed the name slightly and altered the characters. And I don’t care about that. I just wanted to correct your very wrong idea of how and why these productions are the way they are.

        • SherryB says:

          You really don’t get out much do you? Or read, watch t.v., go to movies? Try it and enlighten your small world of color diversity…..

        • Josh says:

          Wait, I just have to ask..that was a typo right? You know the Wiz came after The Wizard of Oz right?

      • harry says:

        Wasn’t Peter Pan mostly Caucasian? What about the Sound of Music. Maybe the Wizard of OZ was diverse

    • Lucifer says:

      If non-white representation was really more important than quality and star-power (much bigger factors to why The Wiz Live! was big in the #s) then why has Empire’s ratings been dipping per episode this season? I mean, everyone claimed the monster ratings it was getting last season was solely due to it having an all-black cast, but the quality in writing and storytelling has taken a nosedive this season and the ratings have begun to dip. So diversity and all is great, but please don’t pretend it’s a driving factor to what makes a movie, tv show or special worth seeing because the quality will always come first.

  2. herman1959 says:

    YES! No bad news, for sure. Thanks for posting the video, Matt.

  3. Amanda says:

    That’s good to hear!!!! I thought is was an excellent job done by all, this was my favorite “Live” performance to date…next year, I hope they could tackle Annie Live, I think that would be interesting!
    I didn’t mind Sound of Music, it was the first one, so there were bound to be bumps in the road. I couldn’t watch Peter Pan, because there it was bad casting all around, Allison Williams was a bad choice as Peter Pan, I know that it was to pay homage to the original play, but there were sooooooo many male choices that casting her was wrong, just wrong! Now if they’d got Chris Colfer (or any male lead on Glee) to play Peter Pan, I might have watched it…lol

  4. jjk says:

    Of course – there was nothing on last night. Went to bed early. Did not watch.

    • Murl says:

      You missed a good time!! So much fun! Live TV is a treat, and this was fantastic.

    • Daisy says:

      Up against Thursday Night Football, it’s pretty impressive, honestly.

      • Gage says:

        Yes, it is impressive.I jab at NBC a lot, but I have to admit that counter programming an NFL game with The Wiz Live was one of their smarter decisions.That hater is just trying to downplay The Wiz Live’s success. His loss anyway, it was awesome and I enjoyed it a lot! Well done, NBC.

    • Sheila says:

      Nothing on?!! Ha! There was the Packers game, NBA games, and I think the tree lighting in NYC.

  5. joec51 says:

    Didn’t see it; how can I watch it now?

  6. Brian says:

    Not even close to the original cast with Michael Jackson!! Give me a break!!

  7. Snowflake M says:

    very entertaining I loved every song, missed the dog though

  8. Tasha says:

    Awww,too busy studying for my exam and completely forgot about it. Will there be an encore?

  9. Amber says:

    The impressive crows stole the show to me. But the Scarecrow’s face looked like a burn victim.

  10. J. Medlock says:

    It was nothing short of (A+)mazing!!! It deserves a little higher rating from the TV Line viewers.

  11. Chesapeakechick says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects. It was flawless! I saw the original stage play in NYC, too. So nice Stephanie Mills was invited back as Auntie Em. NBC, kudos to you.

  12. rinaex says:

    It’ll most likely come in around a 3.0, which is excellent.

  13. Shaun says:

    This was on last night?Huh,breezed right past it.

  14. David. Williams says:

    It was fantastic. But they missed a couple chances to make it epic. Example 1. How can u have Stephanie Mills available, yet not let her sing her song, Home. that would have been the peffect ending, at least let her and ole girl sing it. example 2 when she first got on the yellow brick road it lit up the first two steps. Thai was their chance to pay tribute to MJ. Billie Jean, the walking on the lighted pathway scene. But it was still a mush see. great job.

  15. KC says:

    First of all, anything would be better than the disaster that was Peter Pan!!!
    I really wish they would have done the ‘original’ Wizard of Oz live – the numbers would be doubled.

  16. Tony Lang says:

    Kraft missed an awesome cross-promotion opportunity. All I’m sayin’.

  17. JenJ says:

    This was awesome! I loved every minute of it. I liked it better than the original movie version, where I could never get past Diana Ross as Dorothy (really, she was awful). But this was a a great version, and so entertaining. One thing I did wonder, though, is whether or not they somehow they left something out or mistimed the length because it ended almost 25 minutes (minus the ending credits) earlier than advertised. Our local TV station was looking a bit surprised and really silly trying to fill in the extra time till the end of the hour.

    • Jakay says:

      As a million people have commented, the movie with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson was not an original in any sense of the word. It was a very-much-changed version of a Broadway show called The Wiz that had the same story and songs and general plot of this one. When the movie came out, it was pretty much panned. But The Wiz on Broadway was a big success. Like this one!

    • Sherri says:

      It was timed to end at 10:45, including the credits. Our local Atlanta station then aired a 15 minute interview / behind the scenes program about the production. Not sure what aired in other markets.

  18. Carla Krae says:

    Go Originals!

  19. SherryB says:

    I honestly don’t know where they come up with these numbers, unless they just make them up and tell us this is what it is..The Wiz was horrible..Years ago with Michael Jackson, Diana Ross it was okay, but this version ruined it..

  20. Jo Ann says:

    I thought the production was great and cast was very good, but what ruined it for me was all the commercial breaks. Ackk! I thought it would be broadcast without ads or at the very least, with limited ads. After the third cluster of ads, I recorded the rest so I could fast forward through the ads. I rarely watch any TV show when it airs because of all the ads. I record eveything that has advertising. I wonder how many other viewers do this.

  21. Betty L says:

    I love ALL the cast members. The costumes were exquisite, absolute beautiful. I really enjoyed how the Wiz did a different take than the previous Wiz. The Wiz show of 2015 was fantastic all the round. Loved it!!!

  22. matty says:

    I wonder what live musical NBC is going to do in 2016.

  23. Leanne says:

    funny thing, just this week some producer/director apologized for all white cast but all black is ok. just saying the road should go both ways. ok for all black but not ok for all white. Why is that. lets get back to quality, regardless of race…we are all diverse in one way or the other.

  24. James Moore says:

    I thought it was awful, but then I couldn’t stand the original movie Wiz.