Ariana Grande’s music might be dominating the sales and airplay charts, but her presence was not enough to turn Wednesday’s “Total Ariana Live” into a ratings powerhouse for MTV.
The special, which was billed as a one-day, Ariana Grande-themed resurrection of “Total Request Live,” drew an unremarkable average of 456,000 viewers. Specific demographic ratings were unavailable at press time, but the show was not one of Wednesday’s top 100 programs in adults 25-54 or adults 18-49.
Tolerable by typical evening cable standards and ahead of what the original “TRL” was averaging at the end of its run, the soft number was disillusioning–and disappointing–given the hype around Grande. It certainly dismisses any notion that viewers perceived Wednesday’s broadcast as a special event.
The special did, however, provide at least a symbolically strong platform for Grande to launch her new single “Break Free (featuring Zedd).” Shortly after its debut on the episode, “Break Free” rocketed to the #1 position on iTunes.
The singer-actress will return to MTV in August when she performs the song at its “Video Music Awards” ceremony.