May 19, 2024

Media Decoder Blog: NBC Lures Back Viewers With ‘The Voice’ and ‘Revolution’

NBC had a lot riding on the comeback of its twin hits from the fall — “The Voice” and “Revolution” — with “The Voice,” in particular, taking a big chance by coming back for a second arc in the same season (no singing competition had done that before) and with a new lineup of judges.

But “The Voice” soared back to the top on Monday, with a 4.7 rating among the target audience of viewers between the age of 18 and 49 and 13.4 million viewers. And “Revolution” was a winner at 10 p.m., averaging a 2.7 rating in the 18-49 group with about 7.2 million viewers.

Monday’s edition of “The Voice” actually beat the show’s performance from last fall, when its premiere averaged a 4.2 rating with about 12 million viewers.

The show, however, is down from where it was last winter when it followed the Super Bowl. And executives at Fox hurried to note the show did not come close to matching the 6 rating and 17.9 million viewers that its singing powerhouse “American Idol” attracted for its premiere this season.

But NBC, which has stumbled badly in the ratings since “The Voice” and N.F.L. football left the air, has reason to feel extremely pleased about the initial results for “The Voice.”

The competition on Mondays is the toughest in network television, with strong shows on other networks: CBS’s comedy lineup, ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and Fox’s “Bones” and “The Following.” “The Voice” beat all of them handily from 8 to 10 p.m., and it grew impressively in every half hour, from a 4.0 rating to a 4.5 to a 4.9 to a 5.2.

The numbers for “Revolution” were down sharply from the fall premiere of the postapocalyptic drama, which averaged a 4.1 rating and about 10 million viewers. It was closer to what the show was scoring when it left the air in November, though still down from a 2.9.

NBC notes that “Revolution” has been among the most successful shows in television in adding audience when delayed viewing is counted, but one alarming note is that the show fell off sharply at the half-hour mark, from a 2.9 rating to a 2.4. That is often a sign that viewers don’t find the episode compelling and it might be especially unexpected in the highly promoted return of a serialized drama after a hiatus set up by a cliffhanger.

But for the moment, given its recent travails, Monday night was cause for enormous relief for NBC, if not quite celebration.

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