When A Christmas Story is broadcast live tonight on Fox (starting at 7 p.m. ET), a reworked version of the Broadway musical by Pasek and Paul, it’ll be the latest example of a trend that began four years ago, with NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood.
How has this new trend/tradition fared?
Below is a ranking of nine of these live musicals, with links to my recaps/ reviews (and/or features or photo galleries), and the shows’ scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
Update: Rotten Tomatoes has now included A Christmas Story, and it isn’t pretty. Preliminary reports also reveal the show had the lowest viewership of any of the live musicals since 2013.
The Wiz Live
(NBC, 12/3/15, 11.5 million viewers)
(Fox, 1/31/16, 12.2 million viewers)
(NBC, 12/7/16, 9.1 million same-day viewers)
(Fox 3/20/16, 6.6 million viewers)
Peter Pan Live
(NBC, 12/4/14, 9.2 million viewers)
So, all snark aside, #PeterPanLive was fun — well-acted, competently choreographed, no obvious miscasting. The dog was great too
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) December 5, 2014
The Sound of Music Live
(NBC, 12/5/13, 18.6 million viewers)
A Christmas Story Live
(Fox, 12/17/17, preliminary report:4.5 million viewers)
Oh it’s a commercial!!
The commercial for @GreatestShomwan was live – (and, um, more exciting than the #AChristmasStoryLive )
— New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) December 18, 2017
The Rocky Horror Picture Show:
Let’s Do The Time Warp Again
(Fox, 10/21/16, 4.95 million viewers)
(ABC, 5/24/17. 6.6 million viewers)