April 23, 2018

'Jesus Christ Superstar' Rises to Top in Ratings, Reviews

03 April 2018, 03:33 | Clyde Nash

Zack Kotzias as Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper

Zack Kotzias as Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper

On Sunday night, millions of people tuned in to watch John Legend star in NBC's live version of the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, including his wife Chrissy Teigen and former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. It topped ABC American Idol head-to-head from 8-10 PM (6.1 vs. 4.5) and tied CBS' 60 Minutes as the top program of the night in households.

NBC's live treatment of the classic comedy musical Hairspray pulled in its lowest ratings for Broadway TV adaptations, with 9 million total viewers tuning in for the December 7, 2016 showing. John Legend stars in the title role, with Sara Bareilles as Mary, Alice Cooper playing King Herod, and Hamilton's Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas. NBC fared much better in 2013 and 2015 - with The Sound of Music and The Wiz, respectively.

Jesus Chris Superstar Live in Concert was simply divine! Another spin on Jesus Christ's last days, one that relied on eclectic pop tunes rather than a familiar songbook, failed to drum up much heat.

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The rating means that, excluding the network's Golden Globes and sports, "Jesus Christ Superstar" is NBC's top time slot rating for 8 10:15 the last three years, The Wrap said.

In terms of Sunday musicals, it outperformed FOX's "A Christmas Story Live" (2.8 on December 17, 2017) and FOX's similarly positioned "The Passion" (4.3 on Easter Sunday in 2016).

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