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.
NBC's next musical is "Bye Bye Birdie," starring Jennifer Lopez, who promoted her musical during "Hairspray":
Maybe JLo's star power will bring even more viewers in for 2017.
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