PHOTO CALL: The Sound of Music Live!, Starring Carrie Underwood and Audra McDonald, Hits the Airwaves; Highlights from the Broadcast

By Matthew Blank
December 6, 2013

The television broadcast of The Sound of Music Live!, starring Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood, was presented Dec. 5 beginning at 8 PM ET.



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Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess, Carrie Underwood as Maria
Photo by Will Hart/NBC



According to TVMediaInsights, overnight numbers show that the three-hour live event nabbed an overall 10.9/18 share in household ratings (one ratings point is equal to 1.142 million people). It opened with a 10.9 rating at 8 PM and held strong with a 10.5 rating through its final half hour. The Sound of Music Live! dominated television ratings in each of its six half-hour slots last night, finishing in first place for each.

The Hollywood Reporter's latest statistics show that the broadcast earned a total of 18.47 million viewers, with an average 4.6 rating among adults 18-49.

Executive-produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, The Sound of Music Live! was co-directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford.

The high ratings will likely open the door for Meron and Zadan to produce future live television broadcasts of Broadway musicals. "It's one big experiment," Zadan recently told Playbill.com. "We're very aware of the fact that if it succeeds, it will prompt the network to ask us about doing it again. It could be the beginning of something new in terms of bringing theatre to America on TV. Once we see the ratings, our wish list will come out of our pockets."

Read: Neil Meron and Craig Zadan Gamble on a New American Tradition with The Sound of Music Live!

The telecast of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical was based on the original 1959 Broadway production of The Sound of Music, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, with a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.

Six-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood starred as Maria and “True Blood” star Moyer as Capt. Georg von Trapp with Tony Award winners McDonald (Ragtime, Master Class) as Mother Abbess, Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Women on the Verge) as Elsa Schrader and Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, "Smash") as Max Dettweiler.

The principal cast and members of the creative team recently shared their "Favorite Things" about The Sound of Music with Playbill.com.

The cast also featured Tony nominee Christiane Noll as Sister Margaretta, Jessica Molaskey as Sister Berthe and Elena Shaddow as Sister Sophia. Tony nominee Kristine Nielsen plays Frau Schmidt, with Sean Cullen as Franz, Michael Campayno as Rolf, CJ Wilson as Herr Zeller, Catherine Brunell as Frau Zeller, Michael Park as Baron Elberfeld, Chase as Baroness Elberfeld, Brown as Ursula and John Bolger as Admiral Von Schrieber.

View Playbill.com's PHOTO CALL with exclusive images from the cast in rehearsal.

Cast as nuns were Georgia Stitt, Ashley Brown, Paula Leggett Chase, Linda Mugleston, Margot de La Barre, Laura Shoop, Sydney Morton, Wendi Bergamini, Cameron Adams, Rema Webb, Rayanne Gonzales, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Adrienne Danrich, Autumn Hurlbert, Catherine Brunell, Leah Horowitz, Gina Ferrall, Nikki Renee Daniels, Joy Hermalyn and Stowe Brown.

Playing the von Trapp children were Ariane Rinehart (Liesl), Michael Nigro (Fredrich), Ella Watts-Gorman (Louisa), Joe West (Kurt), Sophia Caruso (Brigitta), Grace Rundhaug (Marta) and Peyton Ella as young Gretl.

Also featured were Jake Boyd, Shannon Lewis, Samantha Zack, Megan Sikora, Matt Wall, Ward Billisen, Marty Lawson, Alex Michael Stoll, Bob Gaynor, Karl Warden, Brandon Henschal, David Hull, Charlie Williams and Jennie Ford.

The creative team included production designer Derek McLane, art director Kevin Rupnik and assistant art director Aimee Dombo.

The Sound of Music Live! was produced by Universal Television.