NBC will mount its third live musical in as many years Thursday night with “The Wiz Live.” The network’s first try with “The Sound of Music Live” was a hit, but last year’s “Peter Pan Live” turned in mediocre numbers.
So how will “The Wiz Live” do? You can vote in the poll below, but here are a few points to keep in mind:
– “The Sound of Music Live” scored a 4.6 same-day rating in adults 18-49. “Peter Pan Live” came in with just over half that number, 2.4.
– “The Wiz,” a loose adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” that made its Broadway debut in 1975 (and won seven Tony Awards), is probably a little more recognizable than the musical version of “Peter Pan” is. At the very least, a lot of folks know the song “Ease on Down the Road.”
– The cast includes a number of well-known singers and actors, including Queen Latifah as The Wiz; Mary J. Blige as Evilene, the Wicked Witch of the West; Ne-Yo as the Tin Man; Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”) as Glinda, the Good Witch of the North; and David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion. Newcomer Shanice Williams is playing Dorothy.
– “The Wiz Live” will have one obstacle that its predecessors didn’t: CBS is airing an NFL game Thursday night opposite the musical. The other two faced regular competition from the other networks. (How much crossover there might be between an NFL audience and the audience for a musical is an open question.)
So, with that in mind, vote in the poll below on how you think “The Wiz Live” will do in the ratings.