TV News: NBC Wins Monday Night With ‘The Voice,’ ‘Smash’

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CHICAGONBC used the Super Bowl to launch their highly-promoted Super Monday and the gamble paid off as the troubled network won the night, beating a very competitive slate of programming on CBS and ABC. “The Voice” is a ratings beast and “Smash” was heavily sampled. Of course, whether or not “Smash” is a hit will be determined the further it gets away from the Super Bowl hype.

Photo credit: NBC

Over 37 million people tuned into the season premiere of “The Voice” on Sunday night after the Super Bowl (the highest post-game total for a show since 2006) and a large number of them stuck around for Monday’s timeslot premiere as the show with Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton notched a night-winning 10.6 rating/16 share in overnight numbers. A year ago? “Chuck” and “The Cape” were averaging about a 3.0. It proves that you can never count out a network, even one that so often seems on the ratings ropes as NBC.

How strong was “The Voice”? Most TV watchers know that CBS is absolutely dominant on Monday nights with their four comedy block but the singing show beat them by an average of 43%. “Two and a Half Men” is still the biggest hit in there, scoring an 8.5 rating/12 share. And they both beat “The Bachelor,” which notched a still-strong 6.0 rating/9 share.

Considering the super-strength of its lead-in, “Smash” holding 69% of the “Voice” audience isn’t nearly as steep a drop as it might first sound. The show landed a first-place 7.7 rating/13 share, great numbers for a premiere, improving on last year’s numbers for “Harry’s Law” by 22% and beating “Hawaii Five-O,” which scored a 6.4, down a full ratings point from last year due to the competition (and “Castle” was close and could still win in the key demo). “The Playboy Club” premiered in the same timeslot in the fall with a 3.9 rating.

While they may not be overwhelming (and it is a bit concerning that 14% of “Smash” viewers tuned out at the half-hour break), the numbers for this premiere are undeniably impressive and should be bolstered by the youth demo ratings that are released later today. While a 7.7 rating may not sound like much compared to “The Voice“‘s numbers, think about this important fact — the show’s totals were second only to its lead-in and “Two and a Half Men” on the ENTIRE night.

What about Fox? It’s humming along. “House” scored a 5.1 rating and “Alcatraz” landed a 4.7 rating (a series-low). Neither number is incredible but both work for the network and should keep the shows on the air. In other words, Monday nights have success stories for every single network. People do still watch network TV. If you give them something to watch.

Source: Marc Berman at TV Media Insights content director Brian Tallerico

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