NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said he thinks he knows why the network’s December live presentation of “Peter Pan” drew only half the number of viewers as did “The Sound of Music” a year earlier. Greenblatt explained his theory to a small group of reporters — TVWeek among them –at NBC’s TCA Day last week in Pasadena, after he had made his primary remarks.
Here’s what Greenblatt had to say: “In spite of the fact that there was a lot of critical negativity, Carrie Underwood was an enormous amount of the draw for ‘The Sound of Music.’ The show in Oklahoma City did a 7 rating. It was massive. That kind of big star helped bring a bigger audience, and it was the first one, and ‘The Sound of Music’ was a classic, also.
“ ‘Peter Pan is not as well known a show. It’s a known fairy tale, but not as well-known a show. We didn’t have stars that were as big as Carrie. I loved what Chris Walken and what Allison [Williams] did, but I think stars would bring a bigger number.”
He added, “Look, 10 million viewers on a Thursday night for a musical that’s 60 years old was great,” and that he had no regrets about “Peter Pan.”