NBC's Easter Sunday presentation of "Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert" put up big numbers for a spring primetime broadcast, but when the dust clears, the network's staging of the 1971 Broadway sensation will prove to be its lowest-rated musical yet.
According to preliminary Nielsen data, the nearly two-and-a-half-hour spectacle averaged 9.34 million viewers and a 1.7 in NBC's target demo, which works out to around 2.2 million adults 18 to 49. And while that marks a significant improvement compared to the 0.8 demo NBC draws over the course of a typical post-NFL Sunday night, the "Superstar" deliveries paled in comparison to the network's previous live musical events.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt revived the long-dormant format back in December 2013, when the Peacock's broadcast of "The Sound of Music Live!" earned its stripes as the first live TV musical in 56 years. Starring Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp, the $10 million production was a smash success, drawing 18.6 million viewers and a 4.6 in the demo.