'Grease Live!' races to second biggest live TV musical audience

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"Grease Live!," Fox's first live TV musical, grabbed a big audience and acclaim for its impressive production value.

The ratings for "Grease Live!" were systematic, hydromatic, and ultramatic for Fox.

Fox's first live musical averaged 12.2 million viewers on Sunday, according to the network.

The viewership for "Grease Live!," Fox's three hour live adaptation of the musical made famous by the 1978 film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, made the event the second biggest live TV musical since NBC's "The Sound of Music," which averaged 18.6 million viewers.

The production also nabbed an impressive 4.3 rating with those aged 18 to 49 years old.

The musical starring Aaron Tveit and Julianne Hough as the summer lovin' Danny and Sandy, also completely took over social media on Sunday night with its hashtag "#GreaseLive" dominating Twitter.

The event roared out of the gates with critics who found the telecast's technical aspects and production value surpassed that of other live TV musical productions.

"It took less than five minutes into Fox's 'Grease Live!' for director Thomas Kail to throw down the gauntlet, kick it out the door and slam the door shut on just about any future live musicals when it comes to sheer technical dexterity," wrote Daniel Fienberg, the TV critic for The Hollywood Reporter.

Related: 'The Wiz Live' eases on down the road to big ratings

Some reviews were mixed regarding the performances of the cast, but for those watching at home one performance stuck out above the rest: Vanessa Hudgens' Rizzo.

Hudgens' strong performance came only hours after father died of cancer. The network paid tribute to him at the end of the event.

"Imagine you had Vanessa Hudgens' day, and doing that," tweeted Lin-Manuel Miranda creator of the Broadway smash "Hamilton" after Hudgens' solo performance of "There Are Worse Things I Could Do."

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