NBC's "Hairspray Live!" had everything -- great performances, an uplifting message, even its own cute hashtag -- but it was missing the one thing every musical wants: a huge audience. It's not like no one tuned in, but compared to the recent set of live TV musicals, "Hairspray" fell surprisingly flat on the numbers.
According to Deadline, the 8 to 10:54 p.m. Broadway adaptation had an overall audience of 9.045 million viewers. It also had a 2.3/8 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic.
By comparison, here's Variety's rundown of the audiences for the most recent live musicals, in chronological order:
"The Sound of Music Live!" (aired Dec. 5, 2013 on NBC): 4.6, 18.62 million
"Peter Pan Live!" (aired Dec. 4, 2014 on NBC): 2.4, 9.21 million
"The Wiz Live!" (aired Dec. 3, 2015 on NBC): 3.4, 11.5 million
"Grease: Live" (aired Jan. 31, 2016 on Fox): 4.3, 12.18 million
That puts "Hairspray" below "Peter Pan," but 9 million is still an impressive haul, and the show was trending on Twitter the whole time, with viewers mostly appreciating the results.
— Hairspray Live! (@HairsprayLive) December 8, 2016
NBC's next musical is "Bye Bye Birdie," starring Jennifer Lopez, who promoted her musical during "Hairspray":
— Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) December 8, 2016
Maybe JLo's star power will bring even more viewers in for 2017.
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