After landing half of this fall's NFL Thursday Night Football package, CBS wisely decided against leaving broadcast's top-rated series, The Big Bang Theory, on the sidelines until regular Thursday night programming resumed Oct. 30. Instead, it deployed Big Bang to Mondays where it propped up a lineup that has been in flux since How I Met Your Mother signed off last spring.
For the first five weeks of the TV season, Big Bang dominated its faceoff against two of the other highest-rated shows on TV, NBC's The Voice and ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Last Monday, Big Bang drew 16.02 million total viewers and a 4.6 rating in the 18-49 demo, far ahead of The Voice (11.9 million, 3.4 18-49) and older-skewing Dancing (12.58 million, 2.0 in 18-49).
But with Big Bang returning to Thursdays this week, the Monday night cakewalk is over for CBS, starting tonight. Replacing the sitcom at 8 p.m. is the season premiere of 2 Broke Girls, which took over the time slot last April after How I Met Your Mother's finale and averaged 7.14 million viewers and a 2.2 in 18-49—less than half of what Big Bang pulled in this fall. And no, a guest appearance by Kim Kardashian won't do much to move the needle for 2 Broke Girls; this is going to be an ugly ratings drop for CBS.
That will open the door for The Voice—boosted by the first appearance of "key adviser" Taylor Swift—to swoop in and take the time slot victory in both total viewers and 18-49. Dancing should end up a close second in total viewers, with 2 Broke Girls just edging out Fox's Gotham for third place. In 18-49, look for The Voice to win handily, with Gotham and 2 Broke Girls duking it out for second place and Dancing bring up the rear.
The time slot: Monday 8 p.m.
The contenders: 2 Broke Girls (CBS) vs. The Voice (NBC) vs. Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Adweek's predicted winner:
Total viewers: The Voice
Ages 18-49: The Voice
Overall winner: The Voice