NBC is back in the game!
The 2012-13 TV season officially kicked off Monday and NBC, armed this time with “The Voice,” more than doubled its performance, causing its competition to take some major hits.
On the first night of last season the network had limped in with 5.2 million.
Of course, last fall NBC’s Monday lineup had included a fall version of its underperforming holiday singing competition, “The Sing-Off,” and new drama called “The Playboy Club” – a.k.a. Last Season’s First Cancellation.
So yes, the bar was set pretty low.
Anyway, NBC, which had introduced its new primetime lineup early, to take advantage of in-Olympics promotions, clobbered the competition of the season’s first night, among the 18-49 year old viewers who are the currency of primetime TV. And not just when “The Voice” aired, but also from 10-11 p.m. when the network broadcast the second episode of its post-apocalyptic Kudzu-takeover drama, “Revolution,” from JJ Abrams.
Against “Revolution,” ABC’s season debut of “Castle” fell 34 percent in the age bracket compared to the launch of last season, and CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O” suffered its worst ratings ever.
Any way you slice it, CBS had a tough night, because the bar for this network was set so high. Remember one year ago on the first night of the 2011-12 TV season when CBS introduced Ashton Kutcher as Charlie Sheen’s replacement on “Two and a Half Men” and that show copped a whopping 30 million viewers, after which the unveiling of “2 Broke Girls” bagged the biggest crowed for a new comedy since 2001, and “Hawaii Five-O” scored its biggest audience of the entire TV season?
Well, this past Monday was nothing like that.
The much ballyhooed return of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” got banged up badly by NBC’s singing show, though it did wind up with 14 million viewers, to “The Voice’s” 11 million.
But “Dancing” plunged 32 percent in the key age bracket year to year, even after bracing itself against the coming singing-competition storm with an all-star edition this time around.
And, Tuesday afternoon, when the Monday ratings came in, ABC announced it had purchased — a singing competition series!
But not just any singing competition series.
A soldier singing competition series!
We regret to report it’s called “Troupe Stars.”
Not willing to have the spotlight taken off itself, NBC announced Tuesday it had picked up “The Voice” for the spring and fall of 2013!
Of course, NBC had already announced last week that Usher and Shakira were going to fill in for Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera on the spring of ’13 edition of “The Voice.” And, at that time, NBC said Aguilera and Green would be back for the edition after that.
So, it’s not really “news.”