'A Christmas Story Live!'
Total viewers: 4.481 million
Despite plenty of hype and the star power of a cast that included Chris Diamantopoulos, Maya Rudolph and Matthew Broderick, Fox's live version of the beloved holiday classic was trashed by viewers on social media, while the low ratings were beyond disappointing, with "A Christmas Story Live" earning the dubious distinction of becoming TV's lowest-rated live musical.
'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'
Total viewers: 4.9 million
One of the few TV musicals that wasn't live, this remake of the cult hit starred "Orange Is the New Black" star Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a "sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania." With a cast including Victoria Justice, Ben Vereen, Adam Lambert and the original's star, Tim Curry, viewers apparently didn't want to do the Time Warp again, with less than 5 million tuning in.
Total viewers: 6.6 million
While ABC's "Dirty Dancing" remake was technically neither live nor a musical, the network hoped to capitalize on the success of the phenomenon by hyping a Chloe Grace Moretz as Baby and a supporting cast that included Debra Messing, Bruce Greenwood, Katey Sagal and Sarah Hyland. While the ratings were decent, the reviews were scathing, with viewers hate-tweeting their way through the broadcast, begging someone to please put Baby in a corner.
Total viewers: 6.648 million
The brainchild of Tyler Perry (who also hosted), this Easter Sunday musical was broadcast live from the streets of New Orleans, using pop hits to create a contemporary musical retelling of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. With Jencarlos Canela as Jesus and Tricia Yearwood as Mary Magdalene, the rest of the cast included former "American Idol" contestant Chris Daughtry and "Kiss From a Rose" singer Seal. While reviews were tepid, the ratings were solid.
Total viewers: 9.045 million
Fans loved NBC's 2016 live musical offering, an ebullient, star-studded mounting of Broadway hit "Hairspray", featuring a teleplay from the show's composer, Harvey Fierstein (who also reprised his Tony-winning role as Edna Turnblad). More than 9 million tuned in to see the all-star cast that included Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Kristin Chenoweth and Derek Hough, with newcomer Maddie Baillio tapped to play heroine Tracy Turnblad.
'Peter Pan Live!'
Total viewers: 9.211 million
NBC's 2014 followup to the mega-hit "Sound of Music Live!" never approached the monster ratings of its predecessor, and disappointed hate-watchers when it turned out not to be the embarrassing disaster that some had predicted. With "Girls" star Allison Williams as Peter Pan and Christopher Walken as, arguably, the weirdest Captain Hook ever, the general consensus was that "Peter Pan Live!" was... fine, not great, but OK.
'Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert'
Total viewers: 9.6 million
Airing on Easter Sunday 2018, NBC's live production of broadcast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar" delivered solid ratings, Featuring John Legend as the titular superstar, the cast also includes shock rocker Alice Cooper as King Herod and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene. Obviously, the network is hoping for high ratings, and it remains to be seen where "Jesus Christ Superstar" will fall in this ranking of TV's live musicals.
'The Wiz Live!'
Total viewers: 11.498 million
Aired in 2015, NBC's third live musical surpassed the ratings of "Peter Pan" with a funky trip down the Yellow Brick Road. While newcomer Shanice Williams was cast as Dorothy after a nationwide talent search, the rest of the cast was comprised of famous faces, including Queen Latifah as the Wizard, Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West, David Allen Grier as the Cowardly Lion, Ne-Yo as the Tin Woodsman and Elijah Kelley as the Scarecrow. Other stars included "Glee" star Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba of "Orange Is the New Black" and Common.
Total viewers: 12.206 million
Fox's first foray into live TV musicals remains its most successful, recapturing the magic that made the original stage musical and the 1978 film such huge hits. With Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit cast as Danny and Sandy, other stars included Vanessa Hudgens, Carly Rae Jepsen, Keke Palmer, Mario Lopez, Ana Gasteyer, Wendell Pierce and former "Brady Bunch" star Eve Plumb. More than 12 million viewers tuned in to declare that "Grease" was the word!
'The Sound of Music Live!'
Total viewers: 18.624 million
The live musical by which all others are measured was deemed an experiment back in 2013, and a successful one when more than 18 million viewers tuned in to watch Carrie Underwood step into Julie Andrews' iconic role. Despite criticism of Underwood's acting (one reviewer sniped that she had all the charisma of a UPS delivery truck), the broadcast was so successful that NBC aired a rerun a few nights later, resulting in a few million more tune-ins for a total viewership of 22 million.