The TV broadcast, which began at 8 PM ET on NBC, earned a 5.9 overnight households rating, which matches the 2014 telecast of Peter Pan Live!, the lowest of the NBC live musical productions. Approximately 8.9 million viewers watched Hairspray Live!, which featured a host of Broadway favorites, including Tony winners Harvey Fierstein, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, and Kristin Chenoweth.
The industry website suggests that airing the musical on Wednesday — the other NBC live broadcasts were seen on Thursday nights — may have affected the ratings. That said, the TV musical was the most-watched program of the night, earning a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49.
Ratings details for the three previous NBC musical telecasts, according to the Hollywood Reporter, follow:
The Wiz: 11.5 million viewers; 3.4 rating adults 18-49 (7.9 overnight)
Peter Pan: 9.2 million viewers; 2.3 rating adults 18-49 (5.9 overnight)
The Sound of Music: 18.3 million viewers; 4.6 rating adults 18-49 (10.6 overnight)