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.
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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."