Why “Peter Pan” on NBC Only Drew Half the Number of Viewers Than Its “The Sound of Music” a Year Earlier. 18 Million Viewers for ‘Music’; 9 Million Viewers for ‘Peter Pan’

Jan 19, 2015  •  Post A Comment

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.”



  1. Sure blame the talent..Walken was an odd and terrible choice…

  2. Having a bigger star play Peter would absolutely have brought in bigger opening ratings. BUT as the show progressed it became clear that it was produced in a studio. And the changes that were made to the original Mary Martin produced script were distracting.

    For 2014 the sets look cheap and the production amateur. The original 1955 production was far more professional looking (you can find it on YouTube along with the 1960 production that was aired in color).

  3. Nepotism rarely works. Brian Williams’ daughter?

  4. He is right. If Beyoncé had played Peter Pan the ratings would have been through the roof!

  5. To me the key quote is “He added, “Look, 10 million viewers on a Thursday night for a musical that’s 60 years old was great,” That means only people 68 and older remember the original Peter Pan. Sound of Music airs every year. I’m over 50 & know all the songs in Sound of Music. I’ve never seen Peter Pan.

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