"Grease" beats "Wiz" and "Peter Pan" in the ratings

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A triumph for Fox as its first entry in the live musical genre puts NBC's most recent efforts to shame

Fox may have been a latecomer to the live musical TV trend, but it wasted no time taking a lead in ratings race. "Grease Live!" scored 12.18 million viewers last night, besting the two most recent live musical telecasts on NBC – "The Wiz Live!" (11.50 million viewers on Dec. 3, 2015) and "Peter Pan Live!" (9.21 million on Dec. 4, 2014) --  by approximately 680,000 viewers and 2.97 million viewers, respectively, according to fast affiliate time period data from Nielsen for Jan. 31.

The telecast that started it all— NBC’s "The Sound of Music Live!"—is still the most-watched in the quickly expanding genre, with 18.62 million viewers. (Results for it and the other two live NBC musicals are based on the Live + Same Day data.)

"Grease," which starred Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Keke Palmer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Elle McLemore and Vanessa Hudgens, lifted the network to an atypical Sunday night victory and warranted favorable reviews. The three-hour show narrowed the gap opposite "The Sound of Music Live!" in adults 18 to 49, with a 4.3 rating/13 share (versus a 4.6/13 for "The Sound of Music Live!). As a result, Fox easily dominated the night in the coveted demo, besting ABC, CBS and NBC combined (from 7 to 11 p.m. by 1.4 rating points). Apples to apples in the 7 to 10 p.m. block, that 4.3 rating was 48% above the Big 3 networks.

"Grease Live!," meanwhile, outrated "The Sound of Music" by double-digit percentages in adults 18-34 and teens 12-17

ABC aired only one original telecast last night – sophomore series "Galavant" in the 8 p.m. hour (out of a repeat of "America’s Funniest Home Videos" and into encore telecasts of "Marvel’s Agent Carter" and "Shark Tank"). CBS aired its regularly scheduled, older-skewing combination of "60 Minutes," "Madam Secretary," "The Good Wife" and "CSI: Cyber." And NBC opened with time-period filler "Dateline" into a three-hour edition of "American Ninja Warrior" (which returns for a new season next summer).

What follows are the fast affiliate time period results by network for Sunday, Jan. 31:

-Total Viewers:
Fox: 12.18 million, CBS: 8.56, NBC: 4.81, ABC: 2.52

-Adults 18-49:
Fox: 4.3 rating/13 share, NBC: 1.3/ 4, CBS: 1.0/ 3, ABC: 0.6/ 2


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