“Peter Pan Live” was no match in Chicago for the Bears, whose Thursday night loss to the Cowboys drew more than four times as many viewers as the much-hyped musical on NBC.
A total of 1.36 million people tuned in locally for Thursday Night Football on CBS (1.13 million) and the NFL Network (228,000), according to preliminary Nielsen numbers.
The musical starring an energetic Allison Williams as Peter Pan and a lethargic Christopher Walken as Captain Hook averaged only 316,000 viewers in the Chicago market during the three-hour show.
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Not surprisingly, the disparity between the two live performances was even more pronounced in the advertiser-coveted demo of 18- to 49-year-olds — at least in Chicago. “Peter Pan” got a 2.2 rating in the adult demo locally, but it scored more than twice that — a 4.5 rating — in New York.
Across the country, “Peter Pan Live” didn’t come close to being the ratings magnet of last year’s “The Sound of Music,” which had the dual benefit of novelty (a live TV musical of this kind hadn’t been on the air for half a century) and the sizable following of star Carrie Underwood as opposed to the lesser-known Williams (“Girls.”)
“Peter Pan” averaged 9.1 million total viewers, slightly less than half the 18.6 million who watched “The Sound of Music.” “Pan” continued to shed viewers every half hour during its three-hour run time.