Network TV concert specials havent done particularly well this holiday season. Just ask Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, and now Elton.
His NBC special, Elton John: The Red Piano averaged just a 2.5 overnight rating among viewers 18-49 in the 8 p.m. timeslot Monday night, down significantly from Surface, which usually airs then, Media Life reported on December 13, 2005. So it came in third, after a 4.3 average for ABC‘s Wife Swap and CBS reruns of The King of Queens and How I Met Your Mother.
Red Piano was off 17 percent versus a 3.0 overnight average for the last four original episodes of Surface, and the programme had improved in each of those four weeks.
The concert special wasnt lacking in holiday glitz. NBC used 36 high-definition cameras to capture the Las Vegas stage show. But that wasnt enough to pique the interest of viewers, who similarly shunned country stars Faith Hill and Kenny Chesney last month in separate specials the night before Thanksgiving.
On that night, Kennys special averaged a 2.6 overnight rating in the 8 p.m. timeslot on ABC, leading into Lost, while Faiths averaged just a 1.9 on NBC during the 9 p.m. slot, head-to-head with Lost.
Of course, Elton’s live Red Piano is another story: It’s estimated that he earned $30 million from the spectacular in 2005.