Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for a new actor to play Jesus Christ began with disappointment ratings-wise after it lost out to a repeat screening of ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’.
Webber’s search for a leading man or woman for his revamped stage show ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ averaged a weak 3.5 million viewers on ITV1 to Indiana Jones’ 4.5m on BBC One.
ITV execs would have been expecting better things from their new reality show, as it was basically running unopposed. BBC had no new shows to offer so decided to run the 31-year-old blockbuster instead.
The British public loves Indiana Jones a lot more than ITV bargained for however and they paid for it.
‘Superstar’ began at 7:25pm, half way through Steven Spielberg’s ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’, which aired between 6:30pm and 8:20pm. This may have played its part in the ratings and could be considered bad scheduling on ITV’s part.
‘Superstar’ simply didn’t have the stars to out-shine Harrison Ford, with Jason Donovan, Mel C taking roles as judges on the show while Amanda Holden presents.
The BBC will be happy with the victory after Webber jumped ship to ITV to make the programme. He had previously made similar shows, the most successful of which being ‘Over the Rainbow’, which averaged an audience of between 4.3 and 6.9 million viewers.
‘The Voice’ took the place of those shows earlier this year on BBC One and was a huge ratings success early on in its run, but waned as it reached its conclusion.
Webber recently hit out at the show, labelling its contestants ‘out of tune’.