Although the 56th Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards drew just under eight million viewers (5.69 rating/9 share), both CBS, who televised the event, and Elizabeth I. McCann, the Managing Producer of the Tonys, are encouraged by the outcomes of this year's broadcast.
"The Tony Awards, once again, did what we've been doing for 56 years — put on an exciting live broadcast with the best of Broadway," McCann said. "Even in light of the stiff competition by the other networks, particularly the final game of the NBA Western Conference championship," she added, "the effects of the broadcast were felt immediately. Broadway ticket agents report that sales spiked across the board for all shows that participated in last night's broadcast. The Goat, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mamma Mia!, Urinetown and Into the Woods, for example, all report a doubling in their box office comparable to the same time last week."
Chris Simon, who is the Senior Vice-president for CBS' Prime Time Sales, explained that "virtually all advertisers in [the June 2] broadcast have expressed interest in returning to the Tonys." And, CBS research shows that the Tony broadcast draws the second-most-upscale audience on network television, after "The West Wing."
In other Tony-related news: The Tony Awards website, located at www.tonys.org, saw a 10% percent increase over last year in overall traffic to its site, and a 20% increase in activity.
The 56th Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines, awarded top honors to Thoroughly Modern Millie (Best Musical) and Edward Albee's The Goat or Who is Sylvia? (Best Play). —By Andrew Gans