Nellie Andreeva

NBC desperately needs a hit in its efforts for a ratings turnaround. It may have finally found one with reality series The Voice. The singing competition got off to a strong debut last night, drawing a 5.1/13 in adults 18-49 and 11.8 million viewers for its two-hour premiere from 9-11 PM. While the total viewer number is just OK, the series’ demo result is pretty outstanding, making The Voice the highest-rated series premiere (scripted or unscripted) since the debut of CBS’ Undercover Boss after the Super Bowl last year. The Voice also ranked as the top program for the night in 18-49 and beat head-to-head Fox’s Glee (4.6 vs. 3.4 from 9-9:30 PM) and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars result show (4.9 vs. 3.5 from 9-10 PM). Completing the good news for NBC, The Voice‘s lead-in, The Biggest Loser: Couples (2.7/8), was up 17% from last week. NBC (4.3/11, 10.3 million) posted a rare decisive victory for the night in 18-49.

Glee‘s heavily promoted and supersized 90-minute Lady Gaga episode (3.4/10) was down 11% from last week to mark a season low for Fox’s high school series. At 9:30 PM, Raising Hope (1.9/5) was down 10% for a series low. Fox (3.0/8, 7.6 million) was No. 2 for the night in 18-49.

Boosted by a Dancing with the Stars recap special at 8 PM (2.4/7), the reality series’ result show (3.5/9) was up 17% from last week. At 10 PM, Body of Proof (2.3/6) slipped 4% to log its lowest-rated telecast to date. ABC (2.7/7, 14.3 million) topped the night in total viewers. CBS aired all repeats.

The CW had 2 of its 3 bubble shows on last night, after giving an early renewal to 5 other series yesterday. Veteran One Tree Hill (1.5 million, 0.9/3 in 18-34) was up a tenth in viewers and the demo, while freshman Hellcats (1.1 million, 0.5/1 in 18-34) hit series lows in both measures. Making things worse for Hellcats, the CW was preempted in Chicago for a Cubs game last night, so those numbers are expected to go further down in the finals.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

Get Deadline news and alerts sent to your inbox.