Friday, June 21, 2013

The War of 18-49, The Voice


Scheduling history: Season one of The Voice aired mostly on Tuesday, with a couple Wednesday results shows at the end of the season. Since then, it's mostly moved into the regular season and been a Monday/Tuesday fixture. The Tuesday results show has gone back and forth between 8:00 and 9:00 a bunch of times, and it returned to 8:00 starting in winter/spring 2014 to lead into new scripted series.

See (who saw) how it all began: NBC rushed its new singing competition The Voice on the air right at the end of the 2010-11 regular season, looking to get the jump on Fox's similar upcoming The X Factor. And The Voice drew considerable interest right out of the gate, premiering to 11.78 million viewers and a 5.1 demo rating on 4/26/11. Its second week of auditions actually spiked to a 5.7 demo, but it dropped from there to a fairly consistent mid-4's level for the rest of the season, with its Wednesday results shows dipping into the 3's.

The best of times: After the success of season one, NBC was determined to make The Voice a regular season fixture. And like CBS with Survivor, they had some big help: a post-Super Bowl airing. Season two premiered after the big game with a whooping 16.3 demo, and it turned that audience into a massive 6.7 for its regular slot premiere the next day. The audience bailed rather quickly in subsequent weeks, but the early boost meant it was the show's biggest season on the main night in raw numbers.

The worst of times: Most seasons of The Voice have dropped pretty significantly over the course of the season, and that effect has become more pronounced in the show's later seasons. Season 16 in spring 2019 brought the show's most disturbing drops yet, including some journeys into fractional territory for the results episodes on 4/23/19, 4/30/19 and 5/7/19. Its first ever 0.9 on a main night came a year later, on 5/11/20.

Then vs. now: The Voice has been nothing short of a game-changer for NBC as a network. Its double season in 2012-13 was pretty much the only big reason why the network became somewhat competitive again. And like other reality staples of the past, it's helped the network create a scripted supporting cast as well, boosting shows like The Blacklist, Chicago Fire and eventually a megahit in This Is Us.

It's had a tendency to keep raising questions about its long-term viability because it drops so much in the second half of the season, but it also keeps answering those questions by premiering very well. Overall, the show has mostly stuck pretty close to the rate of league average decline, which is perfectly fine for something of this size (but a worse trend than many of the other reality staples). Unless it can start on an upward trajectory again, the ultimate story seems to be that The Voice's assist to NBC was a miniature version of what Idol did for Fox. But given where NBC was a few years ago, that's not at all insignificant.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

1Spring 2011Tuesday 9:004.58
2Spring 2012Monday 8:004.82+5%3.56.7detail
Tuesday 9:003.61
3Fall 2012Monday 8:004.38
Tuesday 8:004.08
4Spring 2013Monday 8:004.14-14%3.25.2detail
Tuesday 8:003.79+5%2.84.6
5Fall 2013Monday 8:004.02-8%3.35.1detailB
Tuesday 8:003.65-10%2.54.7
6Spring 2014Monday 8:003.55-14%3.04.7detailC
Tuesday 8:003.18-16%2.54.1
7Fall 2014Monday 8:003.35-17%2.54.1detailC
Tuesday 8:003.07-16%2.34.1
8Spring 2015Monday 8:003.08-13%2.34.1detailC+
Tuesday 8:003.02-5%2.04.1
9Fall 2015Monday 8:003.12-7%2.63.5detailB+
Tuesday 8:002.79-9%2.13.7
10Spring 2016Monday 8:002.50-19%2.03.4detailC
Tuesday 8:002.34-22%1.63.1
11Fall 2016
12Spring 20172.22-11%1.83.1detail
13Fall 20172.10-16%1.72.6detailB-
14Spring 20181.94-12%1.52.8detailC+
15Fall 20181.73-18%1.42.1detailC+
16Spring 20191.50-23%1.12.1detailC-
17Fall 20191.31-24%1.11.7detailC+
18Spring 20201.42-5%0.91.8detailB
19Fall 20200.97-26%0.81.2detailC
20Spring 20210.84-40%0.61.1detailC-
21Fall 20210.83-14%0.71.1detailB+
22Fall 20220.67-19%0.60.7detailB-
23Spring 20230.55

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

1Spring 2011180big hit0.77
2Spring 2012204megahit0.87+13%148284284161
153big hit0.65
3Fall 2012208megahit0.89
194big hit0.83
4Spring 2013197big hit0.84-4%152247228176
180big hit0.77+18%133218195209
5Fall 2013213megahit0.91+3%175271271175
194big hit0.83+0%133250250212
6Spring 2014189big hit0.80-4%159250250170
169big hit0.72-6%133218196175
7Fall 2014199big hit0.85-7%149244244167
182big hit0.78-6%137244244196
8Spring 2015183big hit0.78-3%137244244155
180big hit0.77+7%119244232172
9Fall 2015214megahit0.91+8%176241241222
192big hit0.82+5%144255237199
10Spring 2016171big hit0.73-7%134235235134
161big hit0.69-11%111216209148
11Fall 2016204megahit0.87-5%163273273182
12Spring 2017181big hit0.77+6%143257257159
165big hit0.70+2%122215215156
13Fall 2017192big hit0.82-6%159240240183
186big hit0.79-9%156246246186
14Spring 2018178big hit0.76-2%136254254138
155big hit0.66-6%114215215138
15Fall 2018182big hit0.77-5%147217214155
175big hit0.75-6%144228228183
16Spring 2019157big hit0.67-11%119221221125
17Fall 2019160big hit0.68-12%132212212148
158big hit0.67-10%117193190157
18Spring 2020173big hit0.74+10%116220188124
19Fall 2020150big hit0.64-6%124190190140
151big hit0.65-4%109175168140
20Spring 2021131hit0.56-24%96172172109
21Fall 2021162big hit0.69+8%137212212143
162big hit0.69+7%129214214137
22Fall 2022157big hit0.67-3%141169157162
153big hit0.65-6%131171171155
23Spring 2023130hit0.55

The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.


Spot said...

I just love the voice. BTW, just out of curiosity, was this the voice best season in TRUE terms? I think the summer airing kind of hurts its raw numbers when comparing it to a fall season

Spot said...

I'm not sure about past seasons, but the current version of True definitely thought that the spring/summer 2013 season was stronger than the fall 2012 one. It definitely seems much more difficult to try to air the second half of the season in a time of year when people are predisposed to turning off their TVs (early summer), rather than a time when people are turning them on (late fall).

Spot said...

Yeah that's what I thought and what I also figured when I scrolled through your archive pages ;) Thanks!

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