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It’s a brand new day for live musicals on TV: NBC’s The Wiz Live!, which aired on Thursday night, drew an impressive 11.1 million viewers and 3.3 rating among adults 18–49 and was praised by critics as the best of NBC’s live musical TV events of the last few years.
EW’s Melissa Maerz wrote in her A-minus review that The Wiz Live! was “impossible to hate-watch” (a term that was practically invented for its predecessors, last year’s Peter Pan Live! and 2013’s The Sound of Music Live!) and observed that the producers of this Wiz were smart enough to recognize that “no flashy TV musical gimmicks can match the power of raw talent.”
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Newcomer Shanice Williams stunned as Dorothy, and was backed up by megastars Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige as The Wiz and Evillene, respectively, and Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, and David Alan Grier as her trio of heart, brain, and courage-deficient pals. Check out all of their major musical numbers from the broadcast, in chronological order, below.
For those of you who missed out on this round of Wiz-watching, there will be an encore on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.“He’s the Wiz” “Ease on Down the Road” “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” “No Bad News” “Brand New Day” “Home”