The Programming Insider: NBC’s The Voice Builds From Stellar Debut

Stats up from stellar debut


In Today's Issue:

Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings: CBS Wins; Weekly Gains for NBC's The Voice 

National Ratings in Prime-Time: Week of April 25, 2011

Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options

TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time: Eight Is Too Much


Tuesday 5/03/11

Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.  All times are ET/PT.

Household Rating/Share

CBS: 9.5/15, ABC: 8.8/14, NBC: 7.1/11, Fox: 4.5/ 7, CW: 0.9/ 1

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday 5/04/10):

Note: American Idol aired on Fox on the year-ago evening.

NBC: +39, ABC: +33, CBS and CW: no change each, Fox: -56

Yesterday’s Winners:

NCIS (CBS), Glee (Fox), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Voice (NBC), The Good Wife (CBS)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

One Tree Hill (CW), Raising Hope (Fox), Traffic Light (Fox), Hellcats (CW)

Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led this first Tuesday in May in the overnights on the strength of NCIS (#1: 11.2 rating/17 share), spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles (#2: 8.8/13), and critically acclaimed The Good Wife (#1: 8.6/14), which is expected to rack up a slew of additional Emmy nominations for its sophomore season.  Second-place ABC got a major boost, of course, from the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show, which finished as the top-rated show of the evening with an 11.8/18 at 9 p.m. But third-place NBC also has plenty to crow about courtesy of week two of singing competition The Voice, which perked up to an 8.1/12 from 9-11 p.m. Comparably, that built by 8 percent from its stellar debut one week earlier (7.5/12 on April 26, which translated into 11.78 million viewers and a 5.1/13 among adults 18-49).  Here is the half-hour breakdown:

The Voice (NBC)

9:00 p.m.: 7.7/11 (#3)

9:30 p.m.: 8.4/12 (#3)

10:00 p.m.: 8.3/13 (#2)

10:30 p.m.: 8.1/13 (#1)

Comparably, The Voice built from a one-hour version of lead-in The Biggest Loser (#4: 5.1/ 8 at 8 p.m.) by a hefty 59 percent.  And versus the recent February 2011 time period average (4.6/ 7) this is an increase of 76 percent. How do you like that? NBC has a bona fide hit!

Moving back to ABC, an 8 p.m. recap telecast of Dancing With the Stars, which is now scheduled in the time period for the remainder of the season (see TV Tidbits below), finished a very respectable second with a 7.1/11 in the overnights.  Leading out of the aforementioned 11.8/18 for Dancing With the Stars at 9 p.m. was recent crime-solving entry Body of Proof at a third-place 7.4/12 at 10 p.m.  While that looks positive on paper, retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Dancing With the Stars (12.3/18) lacked at just 60 percent.  Regardless, you can expect to see Body of Proof on ABC’s lineup next fall.

Over at Fox, young adult magnet Glee finished third in the overnights at 8 p.m., with a 6.5/10. Comparably, that should be enough to warrant a time period win among key adults 18-49 (not to mention adults 18-34, of course). But critically acclaimed sitcom Raising Hope, a Mr. TV favorite, continues to squander the lead-in support with a fourth-place 3.2/ 5 in the 9 p.m. half hour (and retention of only 49 percent out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of Glee – 6.5/10).  Significantly worse was Traffic Light at a fourth-place 2.0/ 3 at 9:30 p.m.  Note to the cast and crew on Traffic Light: avoid anything pink-colored in the mail.

Capping off the evening was The CW’s lackluster combination of veteran One Tree Hill (#5: 1.1/ 2), which should be calling it quits, and freshman Hellcats (#5: 0.8/ 1), which has collapsed at a time when it really needs the audience support.  As a reminder, we are now in the May sweeps.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)



It was another week of split leadership, but ABC inched past CBS in households and total viewers, now building for the fifth consecutive week.  Fox finished first in the three key demos—adults 18-49, adults 25-54, and adults 18-34. And that, of course, is a result of American Idol, which actually took a backseat to the Monday edition of Dancing With the Stars on ABC as the most-watched show of the week. NBC, meanwhile, moved into the No. 2 spot among adults 18-34 thanks to the stellar debut of new singing competition The Voice, while cellar-dweller The CW dipped by margins of 8 percent to 18 percent in the five surveyed categories.

The Voice kicked off with a hefty 11.78 million viewers (#8 overall) and a dominant 5.1 rating/13 share among adults 18-49 (#3) in the Tuesday 9-11 p.m. block on April 26. Comparably, this makes The Voice the top-rated series premiere on any network since Undercover Boss debuted on CBS following the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, 2010. And it built from lead-in The Biggest Loser (Viewers: #37, 7.45 million; A18-49: #15t, 2.6/ 8 at 8 p.m.) by a hefty 4.33 million viewers and 96 percent in the demo.

In season-finale news, Undercover Boss on CBS, which was already re-upped for next season, dipped to a season-low 8.37 million viewers (#28) and a 2.0/ 5 among adults 18-49 (#33t) in the Sunday 9 p.m. hour, which was atypical due to President Obama breaking into the show with news of the passing of Osama bin Laden. Also concluding, and permanently in all likelihood, was competition America’s Next Great Restaurant on NBC, which earned its pending cancellation stripes at 4.41 million viewers (#69) and a 1.6/ 4 in the demo (#52t) in the Sunday 8 p.m. time period.

In the specials department, Friday 8 p.m. CBS occupant Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty was on the map with 8.79 million viewers (#24) and a 1.8/ 7 among adults 18-49 (#44t). But the latest edition of the Eye net’s Fight Club in the Saturday 8 p.m. hour (Viewers: #95, 1.14 million; A18-49: #96, 0.3/ 1) is now the lowest-rated show to air in that time period in the history of the network. And that is over 60 years!

What follows are the live-plus-same-day ratings for the week of April 25, 2011 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the freshman midseason series report card, the top 30-rated programs for the week, and the top-rated networks on basic cable.


ABC: 5.5 rating/9 share (+10), CBS: 5.3/ 9 (-13), Fox: 4.8/ 8 (- 2), NBC: 3.6/ 6 (no change), CW: 1.1/ 2 (-15)

Total Viewers: 

ABC: 8.66 million (+12), CBS: 8.43 (-11), Fox: 8.07 (- 2), NBC: 5.85 (+ 3), CW: 1.76 (- 8)

Adults 18-49: 

Fox: 2.7 rating/8 share (-10), ABC: 2.2/ 6 (no change), NBC: 2.0/ 6 (+ 6), CBS: 1.9/ 5 (-14), CW: 0.8/ 2 (-11)

Adults 25-54:

Fox: 3.1/ 8 (- 9), ABC: 2.8/ 7 (no change), CBS: 2.6/ 7 (-13), NBC: 2.3/ 6 (+ 5), CW: 0.7/ 2 (-12)

Adults 18-34: 

Fox: 2.2/ 7 (-12), NBC: 1.6/ 5 (+ 7), ABC: 1.5/ 5 (-12), CBS: 1.2/ 4 (-14), CW: 0.9/ 3 (-18)

Freshman Midseason Report Card: (In the order of total viewers and excluding repeats)

Body of Proof (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 11.86 million (#7), A18-49: 2.2/ 6 (# overall)

Grade: B

The Voice (NBC) – Tuesday 9 p.m. (series premiere, 2-hours)

Viewers: 11.78 million (#8), A18-49: 5.1/13 (#3)

Grade: B

Breaking In (Fox) – Wednesday 9:30 p.m.

Viewers: 7.01 million (#41), A18-49: 2.4/ 6 (#20t)

Grade: D

Mad Love (CBS) – Monday 8:30 p.m.

Viewers: 5.53 million (#52), A18-49: 2.0/ 5 (#33t)

Grade: D-

Happy Endings (ABC) – Wednesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 5.17 million (#57), A18-49: 2.1/ 5 (#30t)

Grade: C

America’s Next Great Restaurant (NBC) – Sunday 8 p.m. (series finale)

Viewers: 4.41 million (#69), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#52t)

Grade: F

Top 30 Rankings

Total Viewers:

Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 22.38 million, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 22.32, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 19.60, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 18.28, The Mentalist (CBS): 13.53, Dancing With the Stars: The Road to the Finals (ABC): 13.08, Body of Proof (ABC): 11.86, The Voice (NBC, series premiere): 11.77, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS): 11.32, Better With You (ABC, Mon. 9:30 p.m.): 11.22, NCIS R (CBS): 11.21, CSI (CBS): 10.84, 60 Minutes (CBS): 10.74, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 10.71, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 10.66, NCIS: Los Angeles R (CBS): 10.29, Blue Bloods (CBS): 10.06, Bones (Fox): 9.70, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 9.44, The Amazing Race (CBS): 9.20, CSI: NY (CBS): 9.19, Criminal Minds R (CBS): 9.11, Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty (CBS): 8.79, Celebrity Apprentice (NBC): 8.65, Glee (Fox): 8.62, The Office (NBC, Steve Carell’s departure): 8.42, Undercover Boss (CBS, season finale): 8.37, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 8.21, The Mentalist R (CBS, Tues. 10 p.m.): 7.94

Adults 18-49:

American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 7.1 rating/20 share, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 5.7/17, The Voice (NBC, series premiere): 5.1/13, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 4.7/13, The Office (NBC, Steve Carell’s departure): 4.2/11, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 3.7/ 9, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 3.6/ 9, Glee (Fox): 3.4/ 9, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 3.3/10, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS): 3.2/ 9, Celebrity Apprentice (NBC): 3.1/ 8, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 2.8/ 7, The Simpsons (Fox): 2.7/ 8, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 2.6/ 8,The Mentalist (CBS) and The Amazing Race (CBS): 2.6/ 7 each,  Better With You (ABC, Mon. 9:30 p.m.): 2.6/ 6, Dancing With the Stars: The Road to the Finals (ABC): 2.5/ 7, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS, Mon. 9 p.m.), Breaking In (Fox), CSI (CBS) and Family Guy R (Fox): 2.4/ 6 each, Rules of Engagement (CBS): 2.3/ 7, Parks and Recreation (NBC) and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 2.3/ 6 each, Body of Proof (ABC), Private Practice (ABC) and The Voice R (NBC): 2.2/ 6 each, Mike & Molly R (CBS), Cougar Town (ABC, Wed. 9:30 p.m.) and Happy Endings (ABC): 2.1/ 5 each.


What follows are the top 10-rated networks on cable in prime time for the week of April 25 based on total viewers and the three key demos.

Total Viewers:

USA and TNT: 2.91 million each, Disney: 2.36, ESPN: 2.15, History: 1.91, Fox News: 1.77, Nick at Nite: 1.56, FX: 1.29, A&E: 1.26, TBS: 1.244

Adults 18-49:

TNT: 1.55 million, ESPN: 1.19 million, USA: 1.05 million, History: 890,000, TBS: 716,000, FX: 714,000, Discovery: 624,000, A&E: 571,000, Comedy Central: 534,000, Adult Swim: 525,000

Adults 25-54:

TNT: 1.46 million, USA: 1.16 million, ESPN: 1.11 million, History: 947,000, Discovery and FX: 657,000 each, A&E: 612,000, TBS: 606,000, Syfy: 487,000, HGTV: 479,000

Adults 18-34:

TNT: 835,000, ESPN: 663,000, USA: 440,000, TBS: 428,000, History: 396,000, MTV: 393,000, FX: 372,000, Comedy Central: 359,000, Adult Swim: 342,000, ABC Family: 293,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat; t = tie)


RATINGS BOX: What’s Hot/What’s Not

Over 56 Million Viewers Tune In for Presidential Address on Sunday:

Nielsen is reporting a total tune in of 56.51 million viewers on Sunday, May 1 to hear President Obama’s announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden. The address was carried live from approximately 11:35 p.m. to 11:44 p.m. on nine networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNN, Fox News Channel, HLN, and MSNBC.  As a basis of comparison, viewing levels for President Obama’s prior three addresses were significantly lower as follows:

Address on Libya – 3/28/11: 25.64 million

Address on Iraq – 8/31/10: 29.23 million

Speech on Afghanistan – 12/01/09: 40.77 million

Top 20-Rated Programs in Syndication:

What follows are the top 20-rated programs in syndication (first-run and off-network) for the week of April 18 based on household rating. CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy earned its recent renewal stripes, no doubt, with a top-rated finish among all first-run entries for the first time this season. No. 1 ranked Two and a Half Men from Warner Bros., meanwhile, has certainly not been negatively impacted by Charlie Sheen.

Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 7.0 rating, Judge Judy (CBS): 6.7, Wheel of Fortune (CBS): 6.5, Jeopardy (CBS): 5.7, Oprah (CBS): 4.6, Family Guy (Twentieth): 4.4, Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC Universal): 4.1, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 3.7, My Wife and Kids (Disney-ABC): 3.2, How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth): 3.0, Inside Edition (CBS) and Two and a Half Men – Weekend B (Twentieth): 2.9 each, Dr. Phil (CBS) and George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 2.8 each, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and Criminal Minds (CBS): 2.7 each, Judge Joe Brown (CBS) and Monk (NBCU): 2.6 each, Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC), Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television), and Bones (Twentieth): 2.5 each

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 5/04/11


8:00 p.m. The Middle

8:30 p.m. Better With You

9:00 p.m. Modern Family

9:30 p.m. Cougar Town

10:00 p.m. Happy Endings

10:30 p.m. Happy Endings


8:00 p.m. Survivor: Redemption Island

9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds

10:00 p.m. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior


8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It  

9:00 p.m. Minute to Win It (R)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU


8:00 p.m. American Idol (90 minutes)

9:30 p.m. Breaking In


8:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)

9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model


TV TIDBITS: Notes of Interest

Recommended articles