“The Voice,” NBC’s much-promoted new singing competition show, proved two things in its premiere outing Tuesday night: The current television season has a legitimate, out-of-the-box, ratings hit; and NBC, for all its recent ratings disasters, still knows how to draw a crowd.
“The Voice” posted the best ratings for the premiere of a new series since February 2010, and that show, “Undercover Boss” on CBS, had the huge benefit of following the Super Bowl.
“The Voice” managed a 5.1 rating among the advertiser-preferred audience of viewers between the ages of 18 and 49; nothing introduced by any network this television season has approached that number. It also pulled in 11.8 million total viewers, which is a strong number, but one that underscored that “The Voice” seems to be especially strong among the younger segment of viewers.
The program was by far the night’s biggest draw among those 18-49 viewers, but was even more dominant among viewers between 18 and 34. And “The Voice” managed that success despite facing two of television’s other most potent hit series, “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC and “Glee” on Fox. The NBC show beat both those handily head-to-head in that 18-49 audience.
Fox expanded “Glee” to 90 minutes Tuesday night, and NBC executives saw that move at least partly as an effort to blunt the opening of “The Voice.” The last half hour of “Glee” faced the first half hour of “The Voice.”
The NBC show dominated that half hour with a 4.6 rating to a 3.4 for “Glee.” And from 9 to 10, when it faced “Dancing” on ABC, “The Voice” also scored a big win, averaging a 4.9 rating in that hour to a 3.5 for “Dancing.” The latter remains the strongest show of the night among total viewers because of its enormous popularity with women over the age of 50.
NBC, which used every available moment on the network and most of the cable channels NBC owns to promote “The Voice,” made a decision late last week to repeat the premiere Wednesday night from 9 to 11. At the time, the network executives hoped to grab some viewers who might have been lost to that tough competition.
Now they are hoping word of mouth drives more viewers to the repeat, and they show up again next Tuesday for the next new edition of “The Voice.”
Source: The New York Times