How Did NBC’s Annie Live! Compare in Ratings to Its Past Musicals? | Playbill

Film & TV News How Did NBC’s Annie Live! Compare in Ratings to Its Past Musicals? The TV special, starring Celina Smith, Taraji P. Henson, and Harry Connick Jr., aired December 2.
Taraji P. Henson, Tituss Burgess, Nicole Scherzinger, Celina Smith, and Harry Connick Jr. in Annie Paul Gilmore/NBC

The numbers are in for NBC’s December 2 broadcast of Annie Live!. The TV musical pulled in 5.16 million viewers on the network, according to Nielsen numbers as reported by The Wrap. That figure is simultaneously a high and low: While it came out above other networks’ non-football programming (including ABC’s interview with Alec Baldwin following the Rust controversy), it’s NBC’s lowest rating for a live musical yet.

Annie Live! scored a .9 rating in the coveted 18–49 demographic—again on the low end for past TV musicals, though it is worth noting the musical’s target audience, should the musical’s cast of characters or the broadcast’s ad buys be any indication, would skew younger than, say, Jesus Christ Superstar or Rent (the latter airing on Fox).

The title that began the current trend of live musical broadcasts—2013’s The Sound of Music Live!—remains the top earner, having amassed 18.62 million viewers. Numbers dwindled since then, with Fox’s 2016 broadcast of Grease at 12.2 million, with The Wiz, Peter Pan, Hairspray, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Christmas Story, Rent, and now Annie trailing.

The Lion King alum Celina Smith starred as the beloved title orphan, earning praise from TV critics for her energetic and optimistic performance. Among those joining her in the cast were Harry Connick, Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace, Tituss Burgess as Rooster, Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis, and Alan Toy as FDR.

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