A Lesson to Networks from “The Sound of Music”: Wholesome Entertainment Sells

I hope you enjoyed NBC’s live television broadcast of “The Sound of Music” on Thursday evening.

How successful was the broadcast? 

There were some weaknesses, to be sure:  Myself, I enjoyed Carrie Underwood’s performance in the role of Maria, but I found “True Blood” star Stephen Moyer unconvincing as Captain Von Trapp.  Overall, though, I enjoyed it tremendously.

And according to early reports, “The Sound of Music” gave NBC its biggest non-sports Thursday since the finale of “ER” in 2009. 

Carmel Communications, which handled publicity for the production, offered this helpful insight:

If you receive any feedback from anyone bemoaning how Carrie is no Julie Andrews and how awful it was that NBC put the songs in all the wrong places and how over dramatic some of the acting was, or under dramatic as the case may be, please remind them that this was NOT a remake of the film.  This was a LIVE television cast of the ORIGINAL stage production written and scored by Rodgers and Hammerstein.  The film is actually an adaptation of the original which is why several of the songs from last night are not known to fans of the film.  The songs were actually in all the RIGHT places as R & H wrote them.  

In all, I’d call it a great success.  For the first time in recent history we had three hours of decent family entertainment including commercials, plus Catholicism got a great big three-hour advertisement.  Every person who watched Thursday night surely knows how to make the Sign of the Cross this morning.

Tim Molloy, writing on The Wrap, painted a pretty successful picture in terms of ratings.  You can read the piece about how it did in TV land here.

Congratulations to readers Johanne Newell and Theresa Suozzi, winners of the random drawing on Seasons of Grace!  These lovely ladies will each receive a gift package including a “Sound of Music” t-shirt, a CD, and a poster.

  • Dale

    According to The Wrap, NBC plans on airing the musical again before Christmas. They are also considering an annual broadcast during future holiday seasons.