How do you solve a problem like being the third place network? Rodgers and Hammerstein, of course! NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music, starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer as Maria and Captain Von Trapp, respectively, attracted an impressive number of households on December 5. The three-hour telecast of the musical classic drew a whopping 10.9 overnight metered market rating and 18.5 million viewers overall.
According to TVMediaInsights, The Sound of Music Live! earned a 4.6 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic, and was NBC’s biggest Thursday non-sports show since the series finale of ER back in 2009. The show opened with a 10.9 at 8:00PM and peaked with an 11.5 metered market number in the 8:30PM slot. The broadcast drew an 11.3 at 9:00PM, an 11.2 at 9:30PM, a 10.5 at 10:00PM and a 10.0 at 10:30PM. To put all of that into perspective: Not even CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, which usually dominates Thursday night, outperformed NBC’s musical in the overnight numbers.
In addition to Underwood and Moyer, The Sound of Music Live! starred Tony winner Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess, Tony winner Laura Benanti as Elsa Schrader and Tony winner Christian Borle as Max Dettweiler.
The live holiday telecast was based on the original 1959 Broadway production of The Sound of Music featuring music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Adapted from Maria Von Trapp’s memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, the musical tells the tale of a young woman who leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the seven children of a naval officer widower.