Fox’s version of ‘Christmas Story’ fails to excite

David Bauder
AP Media Writer

New York — To judge by the collective shrug that viewers greeted Fox’s performance of “A Christmas Story Live!,” the fascination with live theater on television may have run its course.

Andy Walken starred as Ralphie Parker in Fox’s live musical, “A Christmas Story Live!”

The Nielsen company said that Fox’s telecast was seen by 4.52 million viewers on Sunday night. That’s lower than any of the live productions that have been shown on broadcast television since NBC kicked off the trend in 2013 with “The Sound of Music.”

That performance was an unexpected smash, reaching 18.6 million viewers, and sent TV networks scurrying for other plays or musicals to adapt for the small screen.

But “A Christmas Story Live!” was beaten by an NFL game between Dallas and Oakland, CBS’ Sunday lineup and even ABC’s rerun of the 1965 movie version of “The Sound of Music.”

Prime-time viewership numbers were compiled by Nielsen for Dec. 11-17. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

Here are the Top 20 shows:

1. NFL Football: Dallas at Oakland, NBC, 19.19 million.

2. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 14.42 million.

3. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 13.74 million.

4. “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 13.31 million.

5. “NCIS,” CBS, 12.58 million.

6. NFL Football: New England at Miami, ESPN, 11.85 million.

7. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 11.64 million.

8. “Bull,” CBS, 10.87 million.

9. NFL Football: Denver at Indianapolis, NBC, 10.64 million.

10. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 10.45 million.

11. “Football Night in America, Part 3,” NBC, 9.82.

12. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 9.77 million.

13. “Survivor,” CBS, 8.75 million.

14. “Mom,” CBS, 8.65 million.

15. “Hawaii Five-0” (Friday, 9 p.m.), CBS, 8.48 million.

16. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 8.21 million.

17. “Hawaii Five-0” (Friday, 10 p.m.), CBS, 7.71 million.

18. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 7.21 million.

19. “Gwen Stefani Christmas,” NBC, 7.15 million.

20. NFL Football: San Diego at Kansas City, NFL Network, 6.99 million.

Associated Press