But while many of Underwood's fans were thrilled by the American Idol champ's turn as the almost-nun-turned-von Trapp matriarch, many others were skeptical -- including the real-life von Trapp family.
Myles von Trapp Derbyshire, the great-grandson of the real Maria, said he was disappointed with the decision to attempt to remake the beloved film and musical, especially the casting of a "glossy, tabloid figure" playing his ancestor.
“It’s just upsetting that this could potentially be the final broadcast of our story,” he said. “And although her voice is amazing, she doesn’t have acting experience... It’s just the overall image, she’s a country star, she won American Idol, she’s very public in kind of a tabloid way.”
Von Trapp, 28, said his family had been pleased with both Julie Andrews, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the 1965 film, and Mary Martin, who won a Tony Award in the original Broadway production.
Comparatively, Underwood was an underwhelming choice.
“We had the conversations of who could play this role better and it was Anne Hathaway, for example,” he said. “Here’s someone who just won an Oscar for a similar situation. She was able to act and sing.”
And it appears they were right to worry. Reaction after Thursday night's broadcast was generally unkind.
Among the headlines: "NBC's 'Sound of Music' Falls Flat," "The Sound of Music Live': An Impossible Climb After All," and "The Harsh 'Sound of Music'."