Von Trapp Family Member Remarks on NBC's SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE!
Writing on her blog on December 6th, journalist Francoise von Trapp, the daughter of Maria von Trapp's stepson Rupert, remarked on NBC's recent broadcast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE!
The live musical presentation was a ratings bonanza for the NBC network, which announced earlier this week that it will begin work on another live broadcast of a musical to air in 2014. The show earned a 10.9 rating/18 share in the household overnights from 8-11 p.m and dominated the night with NBC's best 18-49 Thursday average, excluding sports, since the night of the "ER" finale (5.2, April 2, 2009). In total viewers, it was the best Thursday average excluding sports since May 13, 2004 ("Frasier" finale night, with 22.597 million viewers).
Read an excerpt from Von Trapp's blog below and view it in full here.
"For all of you who clamored for public apologies for criticizing Carrie Underwood, I'm sorry to disappoint you, because you're not going to get one. I stand by what I said in last year's post. She's a talented country music star, but she is not an actress. And I think she proved that to the world last night. She kicked-ass on Lonely Goatherd - yes the girl can yodel. But beyond that I found the overall production to be completely underwhelming and mediocre at best. I kept wondering why NBC would settle for a community theater quality production. Boston Herald arts editor Michael Perigard really captured it well in his review.
As with many things, this is all a matter of personal taste and opinion. I know many people loved it, loved Carrie, thought it was great, enjoyed the nostalgia trip, etc. Many of my family members disagree quite strongly with my opinion. They asked me to keep an open mind. I tried. They declared it spectacular. I disagreed. My niece texted me, "I don't think I understand what purpose being super critical or negative about this serves. I think they are doing it fine, anyone under 20 or so don't really know the story. Now they will." Ok. Good point. I wasn't intending to be super-critical or negative, I questioned the original casting choices, and then waited to see what turned out. Personally, I think the best thing about last night's performance was that it exposed the world to the original Broadway production, which had some great songs that never made it to film.
For everyone who thought the whole thing was wonderful and that NBC did a spectacular job, I say maybe your expectations weren't high to begin with. If they hoped to have created a new holiday classic, I think they missed their mark. I expect most of that $9M was spent hyping last nights performance. (Then again, I could just be jaded, an arrogant snob and dead wrong.) Maybe my mistake is having higher expectations overall, and especially when classics - theater or film - are involved. If you're going to do it, do it right. Here's just another example how poor the quality of TV has become because viewers require so little to keep them glued to the set. We should all demand a little more for our viewing time, don't you think?
And for all of you who feel sorry for Carrie, I really wouldn't worry too much about it. She's a pro - she can take a little criticism. She got a lot of publicity out of this. And she's probably laughing all the way to the bank.
The presentation starred Grammy winner Carrie Underwood as 'Maria,' Audra McDonald ("Private Practice"), who has won five Tony Awards and two Grammys, as Mother Abbess; Stephen Moyer ("True Blood"), as Capt. Georg von Trapp; Tony Award winner Christian Borle ("Smash"), who portrayed von Trapp family friend Max Detweiler; and Tony winner Laura Benanti ("Go On"), who took on the role of Elsa Schrader, the captain's one-time fiancee.
The NBC television event, included studio recordings for all of the musical numbers that were performed by the cast members in the live broadcast, including Rodgers and Hammerstein favorites "The Sound of Music," "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," among others.
Executive producers for the telecast were Neil Meron and Craig Zadan ("Smash," "The Academy Awards"). Directors are Rob Ashford ("Evita") and Beth McCarthy-Miller ("30 Rock"). David Chase ("Cinderella") served as musical director.
The presentation led CBS's Big Bang in the 8pm half-hour (17.560 million vs. 15.261 million), marking the first time a show has topped the comedy in P2+ head-to-head in strict half-hour data since American Idol did it on 5/10/12 (13.711 million vs. 13.668 million).
Photo credit: Will Hart/NBC