Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 4, 2014.
NBC's "Peter Pan Live!" was no match for last December's "Sound of Music Live!" with ratings falling so hard and dramatically that the network started the morning with a defensive press release and statement from Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt.
These morning ratings stories never include network quotes/blurbs, but this is the first time in my memory that a network has tried to smooth over ratings before 8 a.m. on the West Coast.
"We're very pleased with the 'Peter Pan' ratings and it was a great night for NBC. We won every hour, which hasn't happened on Thursday with entertainment programming since a year ago. I'm proud to be part of a company that takes chances and creates big events, and that's exactly what we're going to continue to do," Greenblatt states.
He continues, "We didn’t expect to reach the same rating as 'The Sound of Music' since that was the first live movie event of its kind in over 50 years. But the high wire act of Peter Pan was a joy for everyone involved and I take my hat off to Allison Williams, Christopher Walken, the entire company, and our incredible directors and producers for three months of the hardest work I've ever seen. I love these live events and we're already working on putting the next one together."
Quotes and justifications aside, "Sound of Music Live!" averaged 18.5 million viewers and a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast Nationals last December. "Peter Pan Live!" averaged 9.13 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating in Fast Nationals last night, winning primetime among young viewers, but losing to football-inflated CBS overall.
The most disconcerting thing for NBC is that "Peter Pan Live!" drew an OK audience to start with and then plummeted by the last hour. Some viewers were curious, but they left. Heck, you might say the audience petered out. I wouldn't. But you might.
The quick football-related caveat would be that last year's Thursday Night Football game pitted the Jaguars against the Texans, a fairly weak matchup. Last night's game featured the Bears and the Cowboys and, almost certainly, drew a bigger audience. [CBS had the preemptions in both Chicago and Dallas.] That's not why "Peter Pan Live!" did half the "Sound of Music Live!" numbers.
On to Thursday ratings...