The Wiz Live Struck Ratings Gold for NBC

Joy! Photo: NBC

Viewers eased on down to NBC Thursday, turning The Wiz Live! into a ratings hit. Thursday’s live (to the East Coast, anyway) musical event brought in 11.5 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults under 50, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. The Wiz gave NBC some of its best non-sports numbers of the season and did dramatically better than NBC’s last holiday musical, soaring more than 30 percent above the demo performance of 2014’s Peter Pan (9.1 million/2.4 rating). The overall audience might also be revised upward somewhat later in the day, since current averages include 15 minutes of local newscasts (the telecast ended at 10:45 p.m.). After the moderately disappointing Nielsen performance of Peter Pan, NBC execs have to be very happy about how The Wiz did— and a lot more confident about green-lighting another musical for next December.