Peter Pan gets pummeled by Bears

Bears-Cowboys game beats live production of Peter Pan both locally and nationally

The Bears haven’t done much this season on the field, but at least they beat an opponent. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on the field.

In the battle of train-wreck programming, the Chicago Bears game against the Dallas Cowboys on the NFL Network (and WBBM-Ch. 2 locally) won out over the live presentation of Peter Pan on NBC by quite a large margin. Here in Chicago, the Bears did a combined 26.2 household rating to Peter Pan’s 6.1.

If you split the Chicago numbers, the Bears game earned a 21.9 (33 share) for WBBM, and a 4.3 for NFL Network. In Dallas on CBS-owned KTVT, the game did a 26 household rating (and 39 share.)

In national overnight ratings, the Cowboys-Bears game did a 8.0 compared to a 5.9 for Peter Pan. In the adults 18-49 demo, Pan did a 2.4 rating. In Chicago in the same demo, Pan did only a 2.2.  Among adults 18-34, Pan did a 2.0 rating nationally. Overall, Pan averaged only 9.1 million viewers, down tremendously from the 18.6 million viewers the Dec.4, 2013 live special, The Sound Of Music Live earned with Carrie Underwood in the role.

Despite chatter on social media (more on that in a minute), the Bears game (locally) and Peter Pan were both ratings disappointments, although on different levels.

Factoring out the NFL Network number, the Bears game hit another season low on broadcast TV as it is clear the team does not have the drawing power it used to have. Despite winning the evening, the Bears’ woeful season has turned off casual fans, leaving only the die-hards. As for attendance, WBBM’s website reported there were more than 6,000 no-shows. 

As for Peter Pan, the ratings were down 46 percent in households from Music. Allison Williams (from HBO’s Girls) had the lead role in Peter Pan. While its understandable Williams does not have the drawing power of Ms. Underwood, ratings for Pan slipped every half-hour in households, total viewers, and in the adult 18-49 demo, nearly losing a full point (2.7 to 1.8.) Given the hype, Peter Pan could have and should have done better, regardless of what these “spinmisters” are saying on message boards.

One positive for Peter Pan, is the ratings did improve on what NBC usually does on Thursday night in the 18-49 demo.

If there was one thing Peter Pan had the football game beat at was in critical reviews. While anything featuring the Bears these days is the equivalent of any movie Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg has ever written (Date Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet The Spartans, etc.), Peter Pan’s reviews were more on the positive side than not. While some critics said the presentation was a bit boring, many of them gave props to Williams’ portrayal as Peter Pan, turning in a better performance than Underwood did in Music last year. On the other hand, Christopher Walken’s performance as Captain Hook was panned, as many thought he was sleep-walking through the role (just like the Bears do every week.)

So, who won the social media “hate-watching” battle between the two? A Twitter search of “Peter Pan Bears” Thursday turned up a lot of results. Here’s a sampling:


(BTW, I don’t think that’s the real Dan Bernstein…)

And the kicker, from yours truly…

While this Tweet has nothing to do with Peter Pan, it did relate to the Bears as crowds protesting recent grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Gardner cases shut down Lake Shore Drive and descended on Soldier Field…

I guess the Bears won the hate-watching battle. Too bad they can’t win on the field.