JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE Leads NBC To Sunday Night Win with 9.6 Million Viewers in Latest Ratings
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert aired last night, April 1, on NBC. The live broadcast starred Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony and 10-time Grammy Award winner John Legend has been cast as Jesus Christ, rock legend Alice Cooper as the flamboyant King Herod and acclaimed recording artist, songwriter and Broadway star Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene. The cast also featured Norm Lewis as Caiaphas, Jin Ha as Annas, and Jason Tam as Peter.
This NBC event was a one-of-a kind live staging of the iconic 1971 Broadway rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. The event was executive produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
"Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" (1.7 rating in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall from 8-10:23 p.m. ET):
· Leads NBC to the nightlong win in adults 18-49 and total viewers among the Big 4 networks.
· Is the #1 show of the night on the Big 4 networks in 18-49 and total viewers.
· Beats "American Idol" head to head from 8-10 p.m. in 18-49 (1.7 vs. 1.6) and total viewers (9.8 million vs. 7.4 million from 8-10 p.m.).
· While garnering critical acclaim, the special leads NBC to its most-watched Easter Sunday in 12 years (with a 7-11 p.m. average of 7.434 million viewers, best for an NBC Easter since April 16, 2006, 9.8 million).
· Tops the most recent major live musical event on the broadcast networks, Fox's "A Christmas Story Live," (1.5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewer from 7-10 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017), as well as the comparable partially live Easter-season event on Fox two years ago, "The Passion," (1.6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall from 8-10 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, 2016).
· Jumps +70% versus NBC's Sunday 8-10:15 p.m. average last season excluding sports and Golden Globes in 18-49 (1.7 vs. 1.0) and +3.9 million persons or +71% in total viewers (9.360 million vs. 5.468 million).
· Delivers NBC's top result in the timeslot excluding sports and Golden Globes in in two years in 18-49 (since March 20, 2016, 1.7) and total viewers (since March 13, 2016, 9.457 million).
· NBC's most recent live musical, "Hairspray Live!" earned a 2.3 rating in 18-49 and 9.045 million viewers overall from 8-10:54 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016.
· NOTE: "Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert" ended at 10:23 p.m. ET, so 8-10 p.m. and 8-10:30 p.m. averages will be subject to adjustment. National "fast official" ratings reflecting the accurate duration are due from Nielsen later today.
"Jesus Christ Superstar" was originally conceived as a concept album that hit #1 on the Billboard charts, and eventually made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus' life. The 1971 musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. It was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Vereen. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Composer.