The season finale of NBC’s “The Voice” will not air May 8, from 8 to 10 p.m., as previously announced. The singing-competition season finale will instead air from 9 to 11 that night, NBC said Monday.
So what’s going on here?
NBC is expected to announce to advertisers in New York next month that it’s moving “The Voice” to the fall next season, in hopes of pocketing big “upfront” ad bucks. The network has had a lousy season and is struggling in fourth place among viewers of all ages — including the 18- to-49-year-olds who are the currency of broadcast TV.
“The Voice” is the NBC’s highest-rated entertainment show, and those high ratings are spread over a hefty three hours of the network’s 22-hour prime-time schedule.
But while the show’s ratings are good — Monday’s performance show, for example, is averaging 17 million viewers (which, yes, includes that huge post-Super Bowl debut crowd) — “The Voice” has taken a ratings hit since ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” debuted its latest edition on the same two nights. Last week, for instance, “The Voice’s” Monday performance show logged 10 million viewers, and Tuesday results night, 9 million.
NBC would understandably want to goose the ratings for “The Voice” finale, which airs just days before the network’s May 14 presentation to advertisers.
If the finale aired as previously planned, “The Voice” winner would have been announced as some celebrity was getting the hook on “Dancing,” which has been pounding “The Voice” in terms of overall audience, although “The Voice” has hung onto its edge among younger viewers.
Pushed one hour later, “The Voice” will have one last “Dancing”-free hour in which to name a winner — and, it hopes, bag millions more viewers.