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December 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

NBC’s three-hour live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music produced the network’s best non-football ratings on a Thursday night since the Must-See-TV days. The telecast averaged 18.47 million viewers, the highest number since E.R.’s finale on April 2, 2009, according to It peaked in the 8:30 p.m. half hour with 19.30 million viewers. Among the key 18-49 age group it averaged a whopping 4.6 rating and a 13 share. CBS, the usual Thursday-night winner, had to settle for a 2.5/7, with 9.50 million viewers. Early reviews for the musical were mixed, with star Carrie Underwood drawing the most criticism. Charlotte Alter in Time magazine was particularly cutting, writing that Underwood “looked like an emoticon for being constipated, if such a thing existed.” Verne Gay in Newsday also agreed that “Underwood can’t act.” However, he added, “She can sing, and she is a luminous stage presence.” Likewise Elisabeth Vincentelli in the New York Post commented that Underwood did “a lot better in the singing department than in the acting one.” New York Daily News critic David Hinkley observed, “Underwood is a talented pop singer who obviously worked hard to learn Broadway singing on short notice. It’s no reflection on her that at this point, she’s not as far along as the singers who surrounded her Thursday night. Nor was this a fatal wound to the production. It made Underwood, in a strange way, almost feel like a plucky underdog.”