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Primetime Ratings: Live TV The Winner

The power of live TV was evident Thursday; NBC's The Wiz Live! put up a 3.4 rating in 18-49, and 11 share, according to Nielsen fast official ratings. NBC had The Wiz Live!, the latest in its yearly run of live stage musicals, while CBS had Thursday Night Football, also strong at 3.3/11.

The rest of the broadcast competition was playing for scraps. ABC showed a 0.9/3, Fox had a 0.6/2 and The CW a 0.5/2.

The Wiz, whose cast included Queen Latifah and David Alan Grier, rated a 3.4, with 11.5 million watching. Last year’s Peter PanLive! did a 2.3 in 18-49, with 9.1 million tuned in.

On its return to CBS, Thursday Night Football saw the Green Bay Packers off the Detroit Lions with a last minute, Hail Mary touchdown. The game was simulcast on NFL Network.

ABC aired a Toy Story movie at 8, then CMA Country Christmas did a 1.0, down 38% from last year’s 1.6, which was not up against football or a live stage show.

Fox was in reruns.

CW had The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, both at 0.5. Vampire was flat, while Originals was up 25%.  

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.