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Ease on Down the Road Again! NBC Encores THE WIZ LIVE Tonight

NBC's December 3rd live broadcast of THE WIZ LIVE! brought in 11.5 million viewers overall from 8-10:45 p.m. ET and delivered a 3.3/11 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic. The show was the highest-rated non-sports Thursday broadcast for any network in more than a year, since Sept. 25, 2014.

In addition, THE WIZ LIVE! more than doubled the number of viewers who tuned in for last year's PETER PAN LIVE. (Read more ratings news here!)

Following this strong response, NBC will air an encore telecast of its holiday production tonight, Dec. 19 (8-11 p.m. ET).

THE WIZ LIVE! starred newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy alongside Grammy and Golden Globe-winner Queen Latifah as the Wizard, nine-time Grammy-winner Mary J. Blige as Evillene, original Dorothy, Stephanie Mills, as Auntie Em and David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion.

"The Wiz Live!" is adapted from "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum, with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The production opened on Broadway in 1975 at the Majestic Theatre, starring Mills. It won seven Tonys, including best musical. As previously announced, Mills is set to return to the show on NBC, this time in the role of 'Auntie Em'.??

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ("The Sound of Music Live!," "Peter Pan Live!") serve as executive producers. Tony winner Kenny Leon will direct with Harvey Fiersteinproviding new written material. Fatima Robinson serves as choreographer. "The Wiz Live!" is produced by Universal Television in association with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical.??

"The Wiz" tells the classic story hundreds of millions of people have read in the L. Frank Baum books and then saw in the much-beloved 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz," but retold in an African-American/multicultural context. Dorothy, a young woman from Kansas, is swept up in a tornado and relocated to a fantasy world that is inhabited by munchkins, good and bad witches, and, of course, flying monkeys. She eventually takes a path down a yellow brick road to find a wizard who can help her go home and along the way meets a scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion, who all learn to help one another.

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC



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