NBC's The Sound of Music Live! brought in juggernaut ratings on December 5, proving that advertisers should start thinking about who's hate-watching what. The three-hour program, which starred American Idol alumna Carrie Underwood and True Blood actor Stephen Moyer, pulled in a staggering 18.47 million viewers, according to early Nielsen figures (via the Huffington Post). Remarkably, that means the telecast helped NBC attract its biggest non-sports Thursday audience in nearly a decade, since the Fraiser series finale in 2004.
The throwback broadcast, which according to Deadline was the first live TV musical since the 1950s, also proved to be a hit in the key 18 to 49 demographic. The Sound of Music Live! made for NBC's biggest Thursday night with viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 (again, discounting sports events) since April 2009, when the peacock network aired the final episode of E.R.
Additionally, the $9 million production proved to be the most-watched non-sports Thursday night program for any network since a March 2011 episode of Fox's American Idol.
For context, the 18.47 million figure isn't too far off from the size of the football audience NBC pulled in just a week ago. On Thursday, November 28, the network averaged 18.9 million viewers with an NFL game.
The numbers win will likely alleviate some of the sting left from media outlets that were underwhelmed with The Sound of Music Live!. The Washington Post noted in its review, "When Underwood spoke her lines, she was as flat as the label on a Swiss Miss package of cocoa," while TIME asked on Friday, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Carrie Underwood?"