Wednesday, May 29, 2024

‘Hairspray Live!’ Ratings Lower Than ‘The Wiz Live!’; Jennifer Hudson Steals Show (Watch)

Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle in 'Hairspray Live' Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle in ‘Hairspray Live’

*Despite the complete and utter slayage of Jennifer Hudson on NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” Wednesday night, ratings for the network’s latest live musical were not impressive when compared to its predecessors.

According to Nielsen’s metered market overnight ratings, “Hairspray Live!” earned a 5.9 household rating, which is down nearly 25% from the household overnights for last year’s “The Wiz Live!” (7.9 rating), and dead on with 2014’s “Peter Pan Live!”, the lowest-rated of NBC’s live musicals to date.

Via Variety:

“The Wiz” ended up drawing a 3.4 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and 11.5 million viewers in Nielsen’s live-same-day ratings. “Peter Pan” came in with a 2.4 demo rating and 9.21 million viewers. Fox’s “Grease: Live” at the end of January brought in a 4.3 in the demo and 12.18 million viewers.

These were all well below the numbers for the first live musical of the modern TV era, NBC’s “The Sound of Music,” which drew a 10.9 household rating in the overnights, and a 4.6 demo rating and 18.62 million viewers for the night.

NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” was the latest incarnation after a 2002 Broadway musical, based on the 1988 original film from John Waters…which, in turn, was remade in 2007 by director Adam Shankman. The story, set in 1962 Baltimore, follows “pleasantly plump” teenager Tracy Turnblad as she pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and rallies against racial segregation.

Below, Hudson’s performances as Motormouth Maybelle in last night’s live broadcast, including her version of “I Know Where I’ve Been,” which slayed Twitter’s entire existence:

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