NBC’s Comeback To #1 Begins

When you heard the intro song at 8:00pm Monday, it was the beginning of The Voice. It was the beginning of its fourth season. The start of Usher and Shakira’s new reign. The beginning of Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s hilarious pleads.

And the beginning of NBC’s climb back to the top.

Sure, The Voice‘s premiere numbers don’t match that of American Idol‘s 17 million viewers and 6.0 key demo rating. But I won’t call an improvement on the Fall ratings a bad sign at all either.

The Voice premiered with 13.3 million viewers, a 4.7 18-49 key demo rating, and was the #1 key demo show of the night, though 2nd in viewers to ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. The Voice outperformed its fall premiere, which had a 4.2 key rating. It also helped Revolution outdo ABC’s Castle in the 10pm slot for key demos (but not in viewers).

And you can only imagine that The Voice will either improve or slightly decline. But what’s the real kicker to this story? The Voice‘s viewership number and ratings (13.3 million viewers; 4.7) was HIGHER than American Idol’s numbers last Wednesday night (12.9 million; 3.7). NBC not only should be thrilled, but should be dancing in 30 Rock. The Voice (as I had predicted a year ago) is outshining, and probably continue to outshine, American Idol. The giant so many have avoided in programming has fallen.

As far as we can tell, Idol has no signs of regaining its popularity (at least for this year), and The Voice seems to be on fire. Or at least catching on fire.

So with The Voice‘s rating power, it will pump up NBC’s 10pm slot with Revolution and eventually pumping Ready for Love starting April 9th*. With momentary bumps for Go On and The New Normal, we may see NBC reclaim itself as at the very least #2 in the key demo ratings. But #1 is, for the first time for NBC in a decade, within plausibility.

So, perhaps The Voice may end up being the solution NBC needed after all.

But you already know my view about Ready for Love.

*The Voice will pump Go On, The New Normal, and Smash tonight (March 26th); Next week (April 2nd), Go On moves to Thursdays and The New Normal will have its hour-long season finale after The Voice; The following week, Smash will be moved to Saturdays as Ready for Love takes over the 9-11pm Tuesday slot on April 9th. 

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