Ratings: Rent Tops Sunday, But Trails All TV Musicals That Came Before It

Rent Live Ratings

Fox’s production of Rent broke… the record for TV’s least watched musical event.

The injury-plagued, largely prerecorded event delivered just 3.4 million total viewers and a 1.4 demo rating (per Nielsen fast nationals), landing it below Fox’s December 2018 broadcast of A Christmas Story Live (which marked the TV musical trend’s previous nadir).

That said, that 1.4 demo rating topped the night and marks an improvement on Fox’s typical Sunday slate (when it’s not over-inflated by big sports matches).

TVLine readers gave Rent an average grade of “B-,” while the reunited original cast’s closing number scored a “B+.”

Here is how TV’s musical events of the past five-plus years have netted out in the Nielsen finals:
Sound of Music Live (NBC, Dec. 2013): 18.6 mil/4.6
Grease Live (Fox, Jan. 2016): 12.2 mil/4.3
The Wiz Live (NBC, Dec. 2015): 11.5 mil/3.4
Peter Pan Live (NBC, Dec. 2014): 9.2 mil/2.4
Hairspray Live (NBC, Jan. 2017): 9.1 mil/2.3
Jesus Christ Superstar Live (NBC, April 2018): 9.6 mil/1.7
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Fox, Oct. 2016): 5 mil/1.7
The Passion (Fox, March 2016): 6.6 mil/1.6
A Christmas Story Live (Fox, Dec. 2017): 4.5 mil/1.5
Rent (Fox, Jan. 2019): 3.4 mil/1.4 (per fast nationals)


THE CW | Supergirl (1.38 mil/0.3) delivered its second-largest non-crossover audience of the season, while steady in the demo. Charmed (890K/0.3) ticked up in both measures.

CBS | Big Brother: Celebrity Edition (4.8 mil/1.0) finally stabilized with its first Sunday outing. NCIS: LA (6.7 mil/0.8) hit an all-time audience low and dipped a tenth in the demo. Madam Secretary (5.4 mil/0.6) dropped a few eyeballs while steady in the demo.

ABC | AFV (6.5 mil/1.3) hit nearly a four-year high in audience while holding onto its season high in the demo. Shark Tank (4.5 mil/1.1) delivered its biggest audience in a year while tying its season high in the demo.

NBC | American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The World (2.8 mil/0.7) dropped 22 percent from the special’s March 2018 airing.

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