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'The Wiz Live!' eases on down road to strong ratings for NBC

'The Wiz Live!' eases on down road to strong ratings for NBC
Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, Shanice Williams as Dorothy and Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow during a dress rehearsal of "The Wiz Live!" on Nov. 30 in New York. (Virginia Sherwood / NBC)

"The Wiz Live!" got NBC pretty close to the Emerald City, at least ratings-wise.

NBC's nearly three-hour telecast of the 1974 Broadway musical -- a soul-tinged retelling of "The Wizard of Oz" -- delivered 11.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. Queen Latifah starred in the title role, with a cast that included Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier and Ne-Yo.

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That was a 24% boost over last year's "Peter Pan Live!," which was considered a disappointment when it aired.

But it was nowhere near the 18.6 million who dashed through the Alps with Carrie Underwood on "Sound of Music Live!," which kicked off NBC's live-musical journey in 2013.

Even so, "Wiz Live!" delivered a strong enough performance to probably ensure future live-musical telecasts on NBC.

The network reported that among adults 18 to 49 -- the demographic most important to advertisers -- "The Wiz" guided NBC to the best Thursday for any network (excluding sports) in more than a year.

What did you think of "The Wiz Live"?

Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

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