Monday, June 24, 2024

Adele Challenge: Can She Break Curse of Low Rated Pop Star Specials on Broadcast TV?


Lady Gaga couldn’t do it, and she had the Muppets.

Five years ago, Beyonce and Taylor Swift went head to head and got nowhere.

Both Ed Sheeran and Miley Cyrus have pretty much struck out in the recent past.

So the question is: Can Adele, in the middle of selling five to seven million albums, drawing a viewing audience tonight on NBC? Her special, Live from Radio City Music Hall, was produced by Lorne Michaels. She sings all her old and new hits, drops the F bomb, and takes the piss, as the Brits say.

But will it bring ratings?

Pop acts on primetime rarely score hits even when they’re number 1 with a bullet.

“Ed Sheeran: Live at Wembley Stadium” drew a total of 2.09 million viewers this past August. He pulled a meager a 0.5 in the 18-49 demo.

In August 2014, Miley Cyrus had a total of 2.01 million viewers for her “Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour” special, with a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating.

There’s so little interest in concerts like this on broadcast TV that Taylor Swift is giving away her “1989” special on AppleMusic to the streamer’s subscribers.

But Adele may be different. She’s an actual phenomenon at the peak of her game. Her “Live from New York City” has a two hour lead from a big finale on “The Voice,” a compatible show. Will “Voice” fans stick around? “NCIS: Los Angeles” on CBS and “The Great Holiday Baking Show” on ABC are the competition.

In real life, Hollywood gets the “Star Wars” premiere. New York has “The Hateful Eight” opening night. Plus Sting is performing his “Symphonicities” at Carnegie Hall.

PS so many celebs at the taping…read my report from that night...

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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