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Posted at 06:41 PM ET, 02/14/2012

With ‘The Voice’ coming on strong, ‘Dancing With the Stars’ under pressure for casting...and Herman Cain isn’t interested

Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine on “The Voice” (Lewis Jacobs - NBC)

The second week of NBC’s singing competition “The Voice” snagged more than 16 million viewers Monday from 8-10 p.m. — where the network has only averaged a measly 5.6 million viewers this season.

At 10 p.m.—where NBC had been averaging under 4 million viewers this season -- the second episode of NBC’s highly hyped “Smash” averaged 8 million.

Together, the two shows have handed NBC two consecutive Monday primetime wins among the 18-49 year old viewers it targets. It’s the first time NBC’s accomplished that with regularly scheduled programming in four years.

With NBC’s Monday singing competition “The Voice” coming on strong in its first two episodes, the casting folks at ABC’s Monday/Tuesday show “Dancing with the Stars” are under a lot of pressure for the 14th edition, which debuts March 19.

Herman Cain (Win McNamee - GETTY IMAGES)
This is a competition series whose ratings rise or fall each edition based in large measure on the celebrity casting. So you can imagine how sorry ABC must be that former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has decided to decline the invitation to appear on “Dancing’s” 14th edition.

Polarizing political figures make for some of the best celebs on the BBC-produced program, because they’re not only great at rallying blocs of viewers, they have this crack cocaine-like effect on The Reporters Who Cover Television and/or Politics.

The network is still smiling over all the press coverage the show got when Bristol Palin shimmied out of her gray business suit to “Mama Told Me Not to Come” and “You Can’t Hurry Love,” while her mother led the pep squad in the audience. One, one year ago, reporters had their undies in a bunch over just the prospect of Christine “I’m Not a Witch” O’Donnell, the Tea Party candidate from Delaware, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate, being offered a spot on the show.

“He can’t dance in an eight count. He can only dance in a nine-count,” an aide for former pizza company big cheese Cain told a disappointed Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday – a ham-handed reference to Cain’s oft-derided 9-9-9 tax plan.

By  |  06:41 PM ET, 02/14/2012

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