‘The Wiz Live!’ Brought 11 Million Viewers to NBC Last Night
The gaudy production was a campy, star-filled hit
Update: If you missed The Wiz, it’s now available to stream on Hulu. You can also wait until Satruday, December 19, when NBC will rerun the broadcast at 8 p.m. EST.
NBC broadcast a live reimagining of the 1970s musical The Wiz last night — featuring music heavyweights like the iconic Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West, Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, Common as the Oz Gatekeeper, and more — and now initial ratings for the show have arrived.
According to the preliminary numbers, more than 11 million viewers turned in to watch Queen Latifah chomp scenery as the titular Wizard. That makes The Wiz the second-most watched of the network’s three major live musicals in the past few years. In 2013, The Sound of Music scored nearly 22 million eyes, buoyed largely by star Carrie Underwood’s presence. Last year, a lackluster Peter Pan racked up only 9.2 million viewers. NBC’s surely pleased at the uptick, and at the largely positive critical reception The Wiz has gotten in the hours since airing. Rumors suggest the production will make the jump in some form to Broadway; based on last night’s tryout, it’s a show worth seeing — but only if the spectacular Blige goes with it.