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‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ draws 9.6 million viewers

John Legend stars as Jesus in NBC's "Jesus

John Legend stars as Jesus in NBC's "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert," which aired Sunday. Credit: NBC / Paul Lee

“Jesus Christ Superstar” performed like a superstar Sunday night.

NBC’s Easter showing of “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” attracted 9.4 million total viewers according to Nielsen overnight ratings released on Monday. The show easily beat out its competition, including ABC’s “American Idol,” which had 7.4 million viewers.

The special, a live staging of the 1971 Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera starring John Legend, Sara Bareilles and Alice Cooper, helped NBC enjoy its most-watched prime-time Easter lineup in 12 years. The high ratings for “Jesus Christ Superstar” are especially impressive compared with those for Fox’s “A Christmas Story Live,” which only drew 4.5 million viewers in December.

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