#AChristmasStoryLive on Fox. Ranking Live TV Musicals

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! — Pictured: (l-r) Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, David Alan Grier as Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy

The Wiz Live

(NBC, 12/3/15, 11.5 million viewers)

My take

Sing along with The Wiz Live

Fresh at 91 percent

Aaron Tveit as Danny and Juianne Hough as Sandy

Grease Live

(Fox, 1/31/16, 12.2 million viewers)

Noah Robbins on Grease Live, his first musical since high school

Sing along with Grease Live

Fresh at 91 percent


HAIRSPRAY LIVE! — Pictured: (l-r) Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad

Hairspray Live

(NBC, 12/7/16, 9.1 million same-day viewers) 

My take

Sing along with Hairspray

Fresh at 79 percent

The Passion

(Fox 3/20/16, 6.6 million viewers)

Fresh at 60 pecent

Peter Pan Live

Sing along to Peter Pan

(NBC, 12/4/14, 9.2 million viewers)

Rotten at 59 percent

The Sound of Music Live

My take

 (NBC, 12/5/13, 18.6 million viewers) 

Rotten at 44 percent

A Christmas Story Live

(Fox, 12/17/17, preliminary report:4.5 million viewers)

Rotten at at 43 percent


The Rocky Horror Picture Show:

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

(Fox, 10/21/16, 4.95 million viewers)

My take

Rotten at 28 percent


Dirty Dancing

(ABC, 5/24/17. 6.6 million viewers)

Rotten at 20 percent

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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