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'Sound of Music' makes TV ratings sing
LA Times ^ | Scott Collins and Meredith Blake

Posted on 12/07/2013 8:17:45 PM PST by BenLurkin

Thursday's three-hour spectacular "Sound of Music Live!" with country star Carrie Underwood as Maria sang for 18.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. That was a number that exceeded all expectations and gave NBC its most-watched night of entertainment programming in nearly seven years.

But Underwood and the singing Von Trapp kids also carried heavy symbolic freight for the TV industry. Networks are under attack from all sorts of competing diversions, including not just Netflix and Amazon but also apps such as Instagram that leach away millions of young viewers.

By drawing a big audience and no small amount of social media buzz for "Sound of Music Live!," NBC has added another DVR-buster to its lineup: live musical stage performances. Similar TV musicals are almost surely on the way, agents and other industry experts agreed. In that sense, "Sound of Music" may revive live Broadway on network TV ...

"There is an edge to doing something live on TV (rather) than something pre-recorded, and it showed," said Brad Adgate...

The NBC version of the musical about the free-spirited nun-turned governess hewed closely to the original Broadway show with few exceptions. NBC's staging was limited to a handful of sets and was almost universally hailed by most critics.

...

Even with the perfect casting, putting on a live musical presents enormous challenges that ensure networks won't be able to program them as frequently as they do, say, a weekly drama.

The undertaking required two directors, one to shape the performances and another to oversee the 13 cameras used during the broadcast. Seven sets were constructed on a massive soundstage in Long Island and had to be arranged in a way that would make sense for the narrative but would not require cast members to run too far between scenes.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: TV/Movies
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/07/2013 8:17:45 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

I don’t even know who Carrie Underwood is tho the name is familiar.

I saw an ad for the musical and it showed her singing for maybe 10 seconds or less. I was surprised how good she sounded and she looks good too. Now if she can just act.


2 posted on 12/07/2013 8:26:12 PM PST by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: BenLurkin

We put on a live performance of the Sound of Music in High School in the late 60’s.


3 posted on 12/07/2013 8:28:12 PM PST by fulltlt
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To: BenLurkin

I love Carrie. Sorry I missed it.


4 posted on 12/07/2013 8:28:50 PM PST by pluvmantelo (Obamism=Chavism)
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To: pluvmantelo

you can watch it online

no longer live of course


5 posted on 12/07/2013 8:29:43 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: pluvmantelo

I think I saw someone say it is on NBC’s website.


6 posted on 12/07/2013 8:30:16 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: GeronL

Thanks for the info.


7 posted on 12/07/2013 8:30:46 PM PST by pluvmantelo (Obamism=Chavism)
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To: fulltlt

Dough ray me.


8 posted on 12/07/2013 8:31:39 PM PST by fhayek
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To: BenLurkin

Thanks.


9 posted on 12/07/2013 8:34:13 PM PST by pluvmantelo (Obamism=Chavism)
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To: yarddog
I was surprised how good she sounded and she looks good too. Now if she can just act.

She looked great and sang very well, as did the other cast members. None of them could act their way out of a paper bag, IMO. I give the performance a "C minus" , at best.

10 posted on 12/07/2013 8:37:00 PM PST by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1!)
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To: workerbee

A lot of people in Hollywood cannot act, but they use editing and special effects to make them stars.

This special was LIVE


11 posted on 12/07/2013 8:38:38 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: GeronL

I know it was live.

The overall performance was disappointing. The casting was abysmal.


12 posted on 12/07/2013 8:41:46 PM PST by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1!)
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To: BenLurkin

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!! So happy it did this well. I love plays and musicals and this is a wonderful direction for TV!

You never know what new technology will bring. This is a chance to see beautiful art right on your couch, live. (Or three hours post live.). Who knew this would be an answer for the stupid networks!?

I loved the production. Sure, Carrie underwood can’t really act very well, but she sang the heck out of the songs and so did everyone else. More!!


13 posted on 12/07/2013 8:43:50 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

Agree completely!


14 posted on 12/07/2013 8:47:12 PM PST by Frapster (frak)
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To: BenLurkin
"There is an edge to doing something live on TV (rather) than something pre-recorded, and it showed," said Brad Adgate...

Yes, doing a live show in front of 18 million people is pretty edgy. Good show.

Seven sets were constructed on a massive soundstage in Long Island and had to be arranged in a way that would make sense for the narrative but would not require cast members to run too far between scenes.

Grumman Studios to be specific. I work right next door and had no idea what was going on there.

15 posted on 12/07/2013 8:47:37 PM PST by FreeReign
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To: workerbee

The kids were mostly good.


16 posted on 12/07/2013 8:48:15 PM PST by pbear8 (the Lord is my light and my salvation)
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To: BenLurkin

I hope it is successful. I’d love to see more live productions. Live theater, broadway shows... Even smaller-town productions. There’s a buck to be made I think. I hope so.


17 posted on 12/07/2013 8:50:39 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: Yaelle
I loved the production. Sure, Carrie underwood can’t really act very well, but she sang the heck out of the songs and so did everyone else. More!!

My wife and I enjoyed it as well. Acting was so-so, but the numbers were great. I hope we see more such productions.

18 posted on 12/07/2013 8:50:56 PM PST by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: Yaelle

I watched a little of her on youtube tonight. I think they should bring her back in a show a little more suited for her particular strong points. Maybe “Annie Get Your Gun?”


19 posted on 12/07/2013 8:52:27 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

I watched it, and enjoyed it, but then I like the local high school and college musicals too.

Still, it was hard not to think about that beautiful opening of the movie starring Julie Andrews. It just couldn’t compete with that. Still I enjoyed it, and wouldn’t put it down.

It was certainly better than the drivel one usually sees on NBC.


20 posted on 12/07/2013 9:00:22 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: pbear8

The actor who played the younger son, Kurt, has a tremendous voice. It’s a shame his voice will ever have to change.


21 posted on 12/07/2013 9:42:40 PM PST by ShasheMac
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To: Yaelle

Other possible shows for Underwood: “Chicago”, “Sweeny Todd” and “Hello Dolly”


22 posted on 12/07/2013 9:54:24 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: ShasheMac

Yes, he was a very good singer and for acting I liked the Brigette character.


23 posted on 12/07/2013 10:04:43 PM PST by pbear8 (the Lord is my light and my salvation)
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To: BenLurkin

Oh lord, can you imagine the outcry if she attempted Hello Dolly? She was getting hate tweets from Julie Andrew fans. BS fans would go ballistic.

I enjoyed the show. It was live and that is pretty amazing. Maybe not the best acting in the world, but it was entertaining. More family programming than has been seen in years and it was only one show.


24 posted on 12/07/2013 10:08:32 PM PST by ozaukeemom (Is there even a republic left?)
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To: workerbee

“None of them could act their way out of a paper bag, IMO.”

Miss Underwood should certainly avoid paper bags, but I thought the rest were OK to good. There were some pretty big broadway stars in the cast.

I think a lot of it came across as stilted due to the lack of a studio audience. Next time they should get some folks to be there watching. A friendly audience, like the actors’ friends and relatives, we wouldn’t want any “ba-ba booey” yahoos or anything.

I recorded it, so I wouldn’t miss it, but only after I started watching (about an hour after it began) did I realize how fun it would have been to really watch it live and keep up on twitter.

They may have found a whole new synergistic thing here. And people are still talking about it a few days later, so they’ve got to be happy about that.

(Esp. since it wasn’t exactly the greatest thing since sliced bread, as you say. - Imagine if they did something that really knocked it out of the park?)


25 posted on 12/08/2013 6:32:38 AM PST by jocon307
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To: greeneyes

“....it was hard not to think about that beautiful opening of the movie starring Julie Andrews.”

Oh I love that too, so so much!

But of course that’s the kind of thing you can ONLY do in a movie.

Books, movies, live shows, recordings, they are all good in their own ways.


26 posted on 12/08/2013 6:37:56 AM PST by jocon307
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To: GeronL

I guess I must be the only person in America who didn’t like it. I though Carrie Underwood’s singing style was too country and western and her acting dull and wooden.


27 posted on 12/08/2013 6:38:58 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: BenLurkin

Be careful. They do this all the time. One success and they believe that everybody will watch everyone they churn out. They tried to replicate “Friends” many many times only to fail. Once American Idol was a huge success, they decided to put on millions of reality singing shows and only a few had even modest success compared to American Idol. They did this with “Who wants to be a Millionaire”. It was successful once a week so they decided to put it on more and more and ended up failing (at night). Jay Leno was a relatively successful Late Night Host at 2330 at night. So they decided to put him on a 10 o’clock every night and it failed miserably. Too much of a god thing often backfires. My recommendation would be once a year put on a production like the Sound of Music and do not do it more often or it will end up failing.


28 posted on 12/08/2013 6:40:17 AM PST by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: napscoordinator

Good point!


29 posted on 12/08/2013 6:45:35 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: ops33

You’re right. Underwood does not have the sweet voice required for Maria and similar roles. Underwood’s voice leans more to the brassy side — which would indicate other roles.

Also, in the clips I’ve seen, it sounds like she is singing in a slightly different key than the kids — almost like a guitar tuned to drop d.

Not hugely off, but just enough to be noticeable. I suspect that she (and many C&W aficionados) think it sounded oaky.


30 posted on 12/08/2013 6:53:17 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: jocon307

But of course that’s the kind of thing you can ONLY do in a movie.

Books, movies, live shows, recordings, they are all good in their own ways.

********************************************************

True. That’s why I enjoyed the live performance on TV, and won’t denegrate it. I appreciated it. I may have to hunt up the DVD though, since Hubby bought a surrond sound system as a gift to me and the grand kids last Christmas.

It occurs to me that we have not yet watched The Sound of Music since we got that system. It’ll be great to watch with the kids.LOL


31 posted on 12/08/2013 10:29:27 AM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: greeneyes

Yes, it’s a great movie and it’ll be very good with high end sound.


32 posted on 12/08/2013 10:33:45 AM PST by jocon307
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To: BenLurkin

The hills are alive y’all with the sound of music.....


33 posted on 12/08/2013 1:28:40 PM PST by minnesota_bound
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To: FreeReign

You didn’t hear one DO-RE-MI-FA-SOL-LA-TI?


34 posted on 12/08/2013 1:28:41 PM PST by minnesota_bound
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To: BenLurkin

I want more musicals live on TV, not necessarily more Carrie underwood.


35 posted on 12/08/2013 3:02:58 PM PST by Yaelle
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