'Sound of Music' Live Encore To Bump 'It's A Wonderful Life'

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 09:29 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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NBC is postponing its Saturday broadcast of the Christmas classic "It's A Wonderful Life" in favor of airing an encore of the widely panned "Sound of Music" live production starring Carrie Underwood.

The network announced this week that the "It's A Wonderful Life" broadcast will be bumped to Dec. 20 so the three-hour musical can run instead at 8 p.m. Saturday night.

According to the Huffington Post, Nielsen estimates that "The Sound of Music" live production drew in 18.47 million viewers during its original Dec. 5 telecast, making it the most-watched non-sports night since the 2007 Golden Globes.

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But critics and viewers slammed everything from the bad lighting and too-loud orchestra to Stephen Moyer's singing and Underwood's stiff acting.

"[Underwood] had zero chemistry with her love interest and lacked any intensity or shading," The Associated Press said in its review. "Deer in headlights have emoted more."

Even members of the real Von Trapp family, upon whom the storyline is based, have spoken out about Underwood's role as Maria.

"It's just upsetting that this could potentially be the final broadcast of our story," Myles von Trapp Derbyshire, Maria Von Trapp's great grandson, told ABC News last week. "And although her voice is amazing, she doesn’t have acting experience. It’s just the overall image, she's a country star, she won 'American Idol,' she’s very public in kind of a tabloid way."

Francoise Von Trapp, Myles' aunt, mirrored those feelings on her blog.

"For everyone who thought the whole thing was wonderful and that NBC did a spectacular job, I say maybe your expectations weren't high to begin with," she wrote. "If they hoped to have created a new holiday classic, I think they missed their mark… Carrie Underwood as Maria? Seriously?"

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The bad acting aside, NBC's version of "The Sound of Music" did reignite interest in the von Trapp family's story and sparked a surge in business at the lodge they opened in Stowe, Vt., in 1950.

"[The broadcast] definitely stirred up a lot of conversation wanting to know was the family watching, things like that," Jennifer Vincent, the lodge's marketing director, told The Associated Press.

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