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