Hairspray Live! performed solidly in the ratings for NBC, but fell shy of most every recent TV musical that preceded it.
Wednesday night’s live production delivered 9.05 million total viewers and a 2.3 demo rating (per finals), down 21 and 32 percent from what The Wiz Live scored for the Peacock a year ago.
Hairspray thus also fell well shy of the total audience for Fox’s Grease Live (12.2. million and of course the one that started it all, December 2013’s Sound of Music Live (18.6 million), but was on par with December 2014’s Peter Pan Live, which drew 9.2 million viewers with a 2.4 demo rating.
NBC notes that the live staging improved on its current in-season Wednesday average by 47 percent in audience and 77 percent in the demo.
Elsewhere on Wednesday:
THE CW | Arrow (1.94 mil/0.7) dropped 47 percent from its crossover night/Episode 100, while Frequency (850K/0.2) ticked down to series lows.
CBS | Survivor (8.5 mil/1.7) slipped two tenths, Criminal Minds (7.8 mil/1.3) ticked down in the demo to tie its series low (yet bested Empire for the first time in viewers). Code Black (6.75 mil/1.1) delivered its largest audience of the season while up a tenth in the demo.
ABC | Goldbergs (5.4 mil/1.5) and Speechless (4.6 mil/1.3) each slipped two tenths, while black-ish (4.2 mil/1.2) dropped sharply leading out of a Modern Family rerun. Designated Survivor (5.2 mil/1.1) slipped to series lows.
FOX | Lethal Weapon (6.3 mil/1.4) slipped two tenths to a series low. Empire (7 mil/2.5) slipped 10 and 14 percent to new series lows.