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Tony Awards Ratings Take HUGE Tumble as Bette Midler Non-Performance Costs CBS and Show Plenty

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Tony Awards Ratings Take HUGE Tumble as Bette Midler Non-Performance Costs CBS and Show Plenty
by Roger Friedman – June 12, 2017

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The Tony Awards ratings were very very bad.

Of course last year was a high because of “Hamilton.” Total viewers were 8.73 million.

Last night, total viewers were 6.01 million. This was LESS than 2015, which was near rock bottom with 6.25 million total.

The NHL championship didn’t help, neither did Celebrity Family Feud.

The big disappointment was Bette Midler, who stiffed the Tonys by not performing any number from “Hello, Dolly!” She was brought to Broadway was a staged celebrity draw, but has failed to deliver the goods. She’s done no publicity and not done anything to help the Broadway community. Producer Scott Rudin isn’t even doing an Actors Fund performance to benefit retired actors.

If Midler had performed, and could have been promoted, the Tony ratings would have been substantially higher. What a shame. The whole “Hello, Dolly!” exercise has become a money grab. And it ends in a few months, since Midler will exit at the end of the year. That may be the end of the run as well.

Midler, who is insulated from any negative reaction, has no idea what a tepid response she got last night in Radio City. The crowd was ambivalent at best. Real Broadway stars performed on the show, like Patti Lupone and Christine Ebersole. And Lupone pitched in, after losing, to sing a final number with Kevin Spacey. (Thank goodness.)

Goodbye, Dolly.

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13 thoughts on “Tony Awards Ratings Take HUGE Tumble as Bette Midler Non-Performance Costs CBS and Show Plenty

  1. Roger Friedman – her shows have sold out, and been the biggest grossing in I don’t know how long for that company, she raises and matches funds for children’s education in the arts. I don’t think it’s fair to lump the whole of the Tony’s on one performer. I’m a huge theatre fan, but I don’t like to sit through the tonys, I’d rather watch the highlights.

  2. Blah blah blah, Bette didn’t perform, cry me a damn river. Maybe this whack-a-doo should look into WHY she didn’t perform. There’s a whole story there. Secondly, is he really singling out the contributions of the indecipherable Patti Lupone? Her belting coupled with Ebersole’s legit notes was NOT a pleasant combo. NONE of the musical numbers made me think, “Oh! I’d love to see THAT show”. Kevin Spacey was NOT a good host, the majority of jokes were ho hum. BETTE was THE best thing of the night. That speech was incredible!!! Why SHOULD she do publicity for a SOLD OUT RUN?? The song the Spacey and Lupone did at the end was first of all, BORING. Ending on a ballad – yawn. Secondly, it felt very “This is a Bobby Darin song and I played him once several years ago so I should do one of his songs”. Again with the yawning. The biggest problem the Tonys have are they are a regional awards show. All the other major, televised awards are far-reaching and the general public has some ability to identify. The Tonys are NYC. That’s it. If you don’t have some appreciation for the theatre, you’re not watching.

  3. Aw, sounds like someone is still peeved that he didn’t get a free ticket to review the show! If CBS had wanted the ratings they would have accommodated the producer’s request for the cast to perform remotely at the Shubert Theatre. They refused and paid the price.

  4. 98% of what is [poorly] written in this article is incorrect. The writer sounds like he couldn’t score tickets to the hottest ticket on Broadway. In reality, he used to work for Fox News. So, that explains a lot. But what I can’t figure out is why, Don, you are sharing this false crap? Love ya, but read the article and the writer’s credentials before you post! Lol.

  5. Yea Roger Friedman has it all wrong trying to paint Miss Midler as the Tony & Broadway Villan when that’s so Far from the truth.
    You really can’t blame Bette for Flagging Rattings & you could feel the Love for Bette in the Room that Night. Also it wasn’t Bette’s fault as they offered to do a Live Link from the Theatre & do one of the Bigger Numbers from the Show but couldn’t come to an agreement between Dolly & Tony Producers. Bette is bringing People to Broadway who wouldn’t normally come, like myself who has come from the UK twice this year just to see Bette & also take in other Shows during my Visit so that’s extra Revenue right there. Bette does an awful lot for Charity she just doesn’t Brag about it!!! Kindly get all the Facts before Slandering someone who does so much & she isn’t been a Diva when all this was in her Contract before she started her Run, she doesn’t need to do Publicity when the Show is selling itself does she?

  6. I was stunned when bette told the orchestra to “turn that “crap”off”! ….. the orchestra and music is not” crap”!!!! it changed my opinion of her and I would not,not, not, patronize the show!

  7. It wasn’t Bette Midler’s choice to not perform. The Tony’s were offered the option to do a live feed from the producing theatre due to the size and extravagance of the sets. Plus due to the large sales they felt it was unnecessary to promote. Again not Bette’s choice. So wrong they’re blaming her because of the poor ratings. She is and always will be fabulous.

  8. Nice try but you can’t blame Bette. The Tonys aren’t exactly the Oscars as far as the general public is concerned. (Those outside NYC). Not sure Kevin Spacey was a big ticket seller himself, but it just wasn’t a hot year on Broadway. You can’t win them all. But the Divine is still The Divine Miss M. Tickets sales alone prove that.

  9. I read that Tony Award honcho’s didn’t want Bette to perform on stage, how is this her fault, someone is sounding vindictive to me!! and a little jealous…..Outrageous

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