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FOX's Live Musical THE PASSION Takes Ratings Nose Dive From GREASE: LIVE

FOX hoped to follow up the huge ratings success of its live musical event GREASE: LIVE with it's semi-live broadcast of THE PASSION last night. Featuring an enormous glowing cross which was carried throughout the city of New Orleans, the telecast was not able to match its stiff competition.

According to Deadline, the 2-hour special scored a 4.3/7 in metered markets, marking a double digit decline from GREASE: LIVE and an all-time low in the recent live musical offerings by the major networks. The Passion was down 42% from the 7.4/11 that the Thomas Kail co-directed GREASE: LIVE broadcast delivered. The January 31st musical also scored a 4.3/13 rating among adults 18-49 and drew 12.21 million viewers.

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THE PASSION, written by Peter Barsocchini ("High School Musical"), tells the 2000-year-old story of the last hours of Jesus Christ's life on earth through passages from THE BIBLE and a variety of contemporary popular music, sung by the cast, and ARRANGED specifically for this event by executive producer and hit music producer Adam Anders ("Glee," "Rock of Ages"). Set in modern day, the event followed the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected.

The event unfolded live at some of New Orleans' most iconic locations, while featuring a procession of a thousand people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from outside the Mercedes Benz Superdome to the live stage at Woldenberg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.

THE PASSION stars Jencarlos Canela (Jesus Christ), Chris Daughtry (Judas), Prince Royce (the disciple Peter), Seal (Pontius Pilate) and Trisha Yearwood (Mary, the mother of Jesus). Tyler Perry served as host and narrator, and Grammy Award-winning singer Yolanda Adams performed a special opening number.

Image courtesy of FOX

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