If we’ve learned anything from networks’ recent fixation on televised musicals, high ratings do not always equal standing ovations; in fact, only a handful of musical productions from the past few years received Fresh scores on Rotten Tomato’s Tomatometer: Fox’s Grease: Live! and NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, The Wiz Live!, and Hairspray Live! And no, the exclamation mark doesn’t make a difference — Fox’s A Christmas Story Live! and NBC’s Peter Pan Live! and The Sound of Music Live! are all on the Rotten end of this list.
ABC’s The Little Mermaid Live! continues the downward trend, unfortunately, joining Fox’s Rent below the Fresh threshold.
Check out where The Little Mermaid Live! lands among TV’s recent musicals, both live and taped (like Rocky Horror Picture Show and Dirty Dancing).
Critics Consensus: Laverne Cox's fabulous portrayal of Frank N. Furter leads a strong ensemble effort, but the stars can't infuse this reimagining with enough energy, creativity, and quirk to make TRHPS: Let's Do the Time Warp Again a worthwhile endeavor.
Critics Consensus:Grease: Live took the pressure and threw away conventionality -- it belongs to yesterday. There was a chance that it could make it so far; we started believin' we can be who we are. Grease: Live is the word.
Critics Consensus: Shaking up traditional religious and musical iconography, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert is a sight to be heard, superbly infiltrating the classic source material with originality, rock legend star power, and soulful depth.