NBC hit a high note in the ratings Thursday night with its live production of "The Sound of Music," starring Carrie Underwood in the role of Maria von Trapp.
The three-hour musical telecast drew an average of about 18.5 million viewers overall, propelling NBC to its most-watched night, not including sports, since the 2007 Golden Globes, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, the show drew a rating of 4.6, NBC's best non-sports night in that key demographic since the 2009 "ER" finale. "Sound of Music Live" was also huge among kids and teenage females.
Its viewership peaked at 8:30 p.m. with 19.7 million viewers and ended with more than 17 million.
CBS came in second place with an average audience of 9.5 million and a 2.5 in the 18-49 demographic. Except for "Two and a Half Men," which rose 10% from two weeks ago to a 2.3, the CBS comedy block was generally down, coming back from last week's break. "The Big Bang Theory" scored a 4.6, tying "Sound of Music" as the top-rated program in 18-49, despite a 13% drop. "Elementary" was flat with its last original episode at 1.8.
Fox saw upticks, with "The X Factor" jumping 30% from last Thursday to a 1.3 and "Glee" posting a 22% climb to a 1.1.
ABC's lineup returned after taking week off to make room for Christmas specials. "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," the fairy tale spinoff from "Once Upon a Time," rose a tick to a 1.0 in 18-49, while "Grey's Anatomy" fell 8% to a 2.4. "Scandal" drew a 3.1, up 7% from three weeks ago.
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