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Ryan Seacrest Prods Adds Unscripted EVP

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 4:22pm PDT

Ryan Seacrest Productions said Izzie Pick Ashcroft will join the company as EVP Current, Unscripted Programming. She will report to CEO Adam Sher and start early next year. Pick Ashcroft is currently SVP Programming Development and Production at BBC Worldwide Productions LA, where she oversees a team that developed and formatted shows including Ladies Of London (Bravo), Breaking Pointe and Breaking Pointe 2 (the CW), Lovetown, USA (OWN), The Next Big Thing (Oxygen), and Skating With The Stars (ABC). Before joining BBC, she was the showrunner on Dancing With The Stars and was part of the original team on Strictly Come Dancing, helping to develop both formats in the UK and the U.S. Ryan Seacrest Prods recently sold Dream Date to Fox, marking a rare competition series for the company, which has built its unscripted brand on docu-reality series like the Keeping Up With The Kardashians franchise and Shahs Of Sunset.

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Bill Nye May Have Paso’d His Last Doble on ‘Dancing With The Stars’

By | Tuesday September 24, 2013 @ 5:26pm PDT

Bill Nye the Science Guy, whose fan-fave-dom is helping ABC resuscitate ratings on its Dancing with the Stars franchise, injured his knee when he tripped at the end of last night’s paso doble — a performance show judge Carrie Ann Inaba best described as a “weird bizarre masterpiece of insanity”. The network is waiting for MRI results to know if he will be able to continue with the competition. “We can confirm Bill Nye was injured during his performance last night and is currently seeking medical attention,” the network said in response to questions. “We will continue to keep you posted on his progress.” Losing Nye would be a blow to the show, as it soft-shoes its way back up in the ratings. His first dance on the show went viral on YouTube. This week, dressed as Beethoven, he paso doble’d to the composer’s Symphony No. 5, while members of MENSA in the audience shouted “Bill! Bill! Bill” (You had to be there.) So far this fall Dancing is averaging nearly 15 million viewers — up 12% compared to last fall — and a 2.7 rating in the demo, up 17%.

Related: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ At A Casting Crossroads

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Strong Debut For ‘Sleepy Hollow’, Solid Finish For ‘Under The Dome’

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 9:11am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Both Sleepy Hollow and Bones went up a tenth in the finals to a 3.5 and 2.3 18-49 rating, respectively. Sleepy Hollow now stands as Fox’s highest-rated fall drama premiere in 7 years, since Standoff in 2006.

PREVIOUS: That’s how the broadcast networks would want to begin the rollout of new shows, with a strong opening out of the gate. It came courtesy of Fox’s new drama Sleepy Hollow last night. The pilot, co-written by Alex Kurtzman & Bob Orci and directed by Len Wiseman, drew a 3.4/9 among adults 18-49. It edged Fox’s breakout midseason drama The Following (3.1 18-49 rating in the fast nationals, 3.2 in the finals) to post the highest drama debut rating since last September’s bow of NBC’s Revolution, which was buoyed by a big The Voice lead-in and a preview during the Summer Olympics. This marks Fox’s highest-rated fall drama premiere in six years. Sleepy Hollow, a contemporary take on the Headless Horseman tale, grew an impressive 55% from its lead-in, the season premiere of veteran Bones (2.2/7), which was in line with last year’s opener. Understandably, Sleepy Hollow dwarfed Fox’s drama premiere in the time slot last year, the long gone Mob Doctor (1.5/4). Like The Following and Revolution, Sleepy Hollow will likely add as much as 50% or more to its live ratings within the 7-day playback window.

Related: 2013-14 Broadcast Season Preview: Challenges The Networks Face This Fall Read More »

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It’s Valerie Harper Week On Broadcast TV

In what was supposed to be a big fat plug for NBC, Meredith Vieira and Today, that network announced this morning that Valerie’s Story: A Meredith Vieira Special, will premiere Thursday. Harper will be a guest on NBC’s Today that morning. Valerie Harper Week actually begins tonight with her debut on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. NBC’s Harper special is airing at 10 PM Thursday, so as to enjoy that huge lead-in audience watching the finale of Million Second Quiz right earlier in primetime that night. Oh — nevermind. On her Today appearance that morning, we presumably will learn whatever shred of information Harper did not already divulge over at ABC when that network announced she had been declared well enough to compete on Dancing this fall.

Related: ‘Dancing’ Cast Reveal On Track To Top Weekly Morning Ratings

Harper, 74, had previously battled lung cancer and, this past March, announced she’d been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare, terminal cancer and given 3-6 months to live. When ABC named her to the new cast of Dancing, on Good Moring America, and a few days later on ABC’s The View, Harper explained doctors had told her she was “close to remission” and therefore well enough for the rigorous competition. NBC, however, stuck to its guns and insisted it had the remission news first, on Today.

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Thomas Dekker Moves To Resolution; CAA Signs Brooke Burke-Charvet; ‘Graceland’ Director Ron Morales To APA

By | Monday September 9, 2013 @ 8:06pm PDT

Actor Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Nightmare On Elm Street) has signed with Resolution. He previously was a client of WME. The 25-year-old most recently graced TV screens on The CW’s The Secret Circle and HBO’s Cinema Verite with James Gandolfini. His indie film streak of late includes Gregg Araki’s Kaboom, Catherine Hardwick’s Plush, and The White City. Dekker is also repped by The Schiff Co and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

Onetime Dancing With The Stars contestant-turned-DWTS co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet has signed with CAA. She’s going into her seventh season co-hosting the ABC show, which she won in season 7. Burke-Charvet continues to be managed by Bx2 Management and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano. Read More »

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‘Dancing’ Cast Reveal On Track To Top Weekly Morning Infotainment Ratings

Based on preliminary stats, Good Morning America’s Wednesday announcement of the new Dancing With The Stars cast is on track to have scored the biggest morning infotainment-show audience this week – about 5.3 million viewers. Demo-wise, it’s the same story, only with 2.2 million viewers 25-54.  Still, Wednesday’s Dancing cast reveal did not match the nearly 6 million who’d watched GMA unveil Dancing‘s most recent previous lineup, and ABC was trying hard to get the biggest crowd tune in possible as it looked to resuscitate the stumbled franchise. Maybe that’s why the network is said to be investigating who leaked so many of the names to TMZ in advance of Wednesday’s announcement, cutting at least 20% of the drama. Among the names TMZ spoiled was Valerie Harper, who was supposed to be the Big Surprise, what with her battling cancer that has moved to her brain, and Harper having said in January that doctors had given her three to six months to live. With Harper’s participation a foregone conclusion by the time of the Wednesday reveal — ditto multiple sclerosis patient Jack Osbourne, former The Talk co-host Leah Remini, Glee’s Amber Riley, and others  — The Reporters Who Cover Television were left scrambling to name a  “big surprise” in their coverage of Wednesday’s casting news. Several went with Bill Nye the Science Guy.
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‘Dancing With The Stars’ Cast: Valerie Harper, Leah Remini, Jack Osbourne, Bill Nye Among Competitors

From the brave to the blah, Mary Tyler Moore Show/Rhoda actress Valerie Harper and a mess of Disney alums were this morning revealed on the next round of ABC’s struggling dance competition series Dancing With The Stars. Harper was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January and given three to six months to live but is now said to be “nearing remission,” as she and her doctor explained it to NBC’s Today recently while plugging Valerie’s Story — A Meredith Vieira Special, set to air September 19 on that network. Speaking of NBC, Sharon Osbourne’s son Jack — who was yanked from a reality competition series on that network when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — is joining Harper on Dancing. His sister Kelly was a finalist on the show in 2009.

Related: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ At A Casting Crossroads

Many of the celeb dancers’ names had been leaked before this morning’s reveal on ABC’s morning infotainment show Good Morning America. Bill Nye the Science Guy was in none of those reports and he’s maybe the morning’s biggest surprise. Not at all surprising was Leah Remini, whose name was first leaked. Remini, maybe best known for starring in CBS’ sitcom King Of Queens has more recently been making headlines for her exit from Scientology. She appeared on this morning’s reveal via satellite, looking very subdued. Glee’s Amber Riley, no longer a regular on that Fox series, is looking for her next career move on Dancing; ditto Jersey Shore alum Snooki and The Voice social media correspondent Christina Milian. Ironically, it’s The Voice’s move to Dancing’s time slot that’s been giving it such a ratings headache the past several seasons. Read More »

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‘Dancing With The Stars’ At A Casting Crossroads

By | Thursday August 29, 2013 @ 9:30am PDT

ABC needs to get two things right this fall: 1) Launch Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.; 2) Relaunch Dancing With The Stars. The first one looks to be a slam dunk, given the anticipatory gushing over the series, and creator Joss Whedon, going on in the press and on fan sites. The second, however, is far from a sure thing — especially after the last fall’s disastrous all-star edition.

The veteran dance competition lives or dies based on its celebrity casting, and the producers botched it pretty thoroughly in both editions last season. Ratings plunged to an all-time low as the show competed against NBC’s The Voice for the first time in the fall with the all-star edition. Turned out, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee acknowledged recently, viewers don’t want to see celebrities who can dance well competing — they want to see celebrities who can’t dance well, learning their right foot from their left. This had escaped the network and producers until it was too late. Any hope of real recovering in the spring edition fell flat with that edition’s limp cast. Andy Dick — really? Not surprisingly, the reality series only climbed back up to its second-worst numbers ever, though, yes, up is up.

Related: CNN To Launch Overhauled ‘Crossfire’ Same Night ABC Launches Overhauled ‘Dancing With The Stars’
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CNN To Launch Overhauled ‘Crossfire’ Same Night ABC Launches Overhauled ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Tapping into viewer interest that gets ginned up around the start of the broadcast network TV season, Jeff Zucker’s CNN announced this morning it’ll launch some of its most interesting new programs on Monday, September 16. That’s the week walking up to the start of the broadcast TV network’s official 2013-14 TV season, and a week in which some of the broadcasters’ new products are unveiling. CNN’s most anticipated new series, a half-hour remake of Crossfire, debuts that Monday, September 16 at 6:30 PM ET – which, in one of those incredible coincidences, is the same night ABC launches the remake of its dance competition series Dancing With The Stars.

It’s also the same night Fox unveils its remake of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleep Hollow, in which Ichabod Crane is now a badass action hero, returned to save us from apocalypse. Similarly, this time Crossfire stars Newt Gingrich. Joining him: Stephanie Cutter, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones. CNN said the show will “resemble the show’s original format with passionate conversation” – or, as Jon Stewart called it back in 2004, “partisan hackery” that was “hurting America.”  CNN, understandably, focused on Crossfire having “cemented its status in the political and cultural lexicon” when President Bill Clinton joked during his remarks at the 1997 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner that the newly opened Newseum featured an exhibit with “CNN’s very first Crossfire: from the … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Finale Lowest Ever, ‘The Voice’ Hits New Low, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Even

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 9:02am PDT

The second-to-last night of the season featured the Season 16 finale of Dancing With The Stars (2.6/7). In the first finale with four remaining contestants, it came down to former American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler, Disney star Zendaya, Olympian Aly Raisman and the Baltimore Ravens’ Jacoby Jones. Musical performances came from rapper Pitbull, Psy and former contestant Wynonna Judd. The two-hour live results show was up 44% from last week, but it was the lowest-rated finale for DWTS ever, down 13% from the last cycle ender on November 27, 2012 and down 21% from its last spring finale May 22. The show was the second-highest-rated of the night behind The Voice but the most-watched by far with 14.96 million viewers. With a live show like this, expect an adjustment later in the day when final numbers come in.

Ahead of the season premiere of The Bachelorette on May 27, a special one-hour recap of the funniest moments from The Bachelor (1.2/4) aired before DWTS last night. ABC won the night in total viewers, with NBC topping adults 18-49. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Up Strong, ‘Voice’ Hits Low, ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Finale Down, ‘Motive’ Debuts Soft

By | Tuesday May 21, 2013 @ 9:08am PDT

Monday saw a primetime mix of live shows, encores, finales, premieres and prayers for those in the path of the tornado in Oklahoma. On ABC, the last performance show of Dancing With The Stars (2.5/7) before tonight’s Season 16 results finale saw the final four couples strut their stuff once last time. DWTS certainly flexed some muscle as the show was up 25% from its series performance low tie of May 13. The most watched program of the night with 14.73 million viewers, the two-hour show was down 14% from its one-hour May 21, 2012 performance finale and dipped 7% from its last performance show of last season on November 26, 2012. Although the show was up from last week, it appeared last night like the total votes might be down. Online “technical difficulties” saw voting on ABC’s website temporarily suspended, forcing viewers to cast their ballots via text, Facebook and phone. The online voting was restored before the show was over and viewers were encouraged to hit the website to decided who gets the Mirrorball trophy. Afterward, new crime procedural Motive (1.4/4) did not benefit from its lead-in. The Canadian import was down sharply from the 2.2/6 of Castle’s season finale last week and down 30% from Scandal’s April 5, 2012 debut. ABC won the night in total viewers and in adults 18-49.

Related: NBC To Air Tornado Special In Tuesday’s ‘Voice’ Recap Slot Read More »

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ABC 2013-14 Schedule: Rebel Wilson Gets Post-‘Modern Family’ Slot, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ On Tuesday, ‘Dancing’ Shrinks To One Night

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC is launching eight new series in the fall and taking some big swings, including a Tuesday lineup of all-new series, anchored by Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Rebel Wilson’s hot streak continues, with the rising star landing the post-Modern Family slot for her comedy Super Fun Night. ABC is looking to stem Dancing With The Stars‘ ratings decline by eliminating the Tuesday edition, with the Monday 8-10 PM show incorporating both performances and results. Dancing, as well as The Bachelor, Shark Tank and The Taste have been formally renewed for next season. Here is ABC’s fall schedule, analysis and descriptions of all 13 new series for next season, including newly picked up adventure reality series The Quest from The Amazing Race creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri:

Related: ABC To Air Some Dramas In Two Batches Of 12 Episodes

ABC FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)

MONDAY
8 PM – Dancing With The Stars
10 PM – Castle

TUESDAY
8 PM – MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
9 PM – THE GOLDBERGS
9:30 PM – TROPHY WIFE
10 PM – LUCKY 7

WEDNESDAY
8 PM – The Middle
8:30 PM – BACK IN THE GAME
9 PM – Modern Family
9:30 PM – SUPER FUN NIGHT
10 PM – Nashville

THURSDAY
8 PM – ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
9 PM – Grey’s Anatomy
10 PM – Scandal

FRIDAY
8 PM – Last Man Standing
8:30 PM – The Neighbors
9 PM – Shark Tank
10 PM – 20/20

SATURDAY
8 PM – Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY
7 PM – America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM – Once Upon A Time
9 PM – Revenge
10 PM – BETRAYAL

From ABC’s returning series, left off the schedule are comedy Suburgatory and reality series The Bachelor, which comes on in midseason, and The Taste.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ & ‘HIMYM’ Hit Season Lows, ‘DWTS’ Falls To Series Low, ‘Hawaii Five-O’ & ‘Revolution’ Up

By | Tuesday May 7, 2013 @ 9:02am PDT

The pre-tapes are over and it’s all live, live, live this week. Monday was the first night of the live playoff round on The Voice (3.9/11), which was the night’s highest-rated show. But it dipped 9% from last week’s season-low tie to hit a new season low. Spread out over three nights this week and four contestants from each of the four coaches teams’ performing, this round will end with two singers per team moving forward. As judge Usher said Monday, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” To that end, last night’s two-hour episode started as Team Adam and Team Usher took tp the stage. It also saw Usher and Adam Levine perform Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Afterward, lead-out freshman drama Revolution (2.1/6) rose 17% from its season-low tie April 29 show. However, coming off a live show, those numbers could see adjustment in the final ratings. NBC won the night in adults 18-49, while ABC was No. 1 in total viewers with 12.22 million.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Bones’ & ‘The Following’ Finales Up, ‘The Voice’ & ‘Revolution’ Hit Season Lows, ‘DWTS’ Down

By | Tuesday April 30, 2013 @ 9:12am PDT

It was a full house on all the networks as we’re now in the first full week of the May sweep. On Fox, there also were finales for Bones (2.1/6) and The Following. The Season 8 finale of the crime comedy-drama Bones was up both from last year and last week, besting its previous season-ender from May 14, 2012 by 11%. Bones was also up 5% in adults 18-49 from its April 22 show. In terms of viewers, the 7.1 million who watched last night was almost even with the 7.2 million of last year’s closer and matched the number who tuned in last week. After a season of ups and downs, freshman The Following (2.6/7) ended high. The Kevin Bacon-starrer was up 8% from last week’s show to hit its best 18-49 rating since March 11. In terms of network rivalry, last night saw The Following beat NBC’s Revolution in the key demo for a second week in a row. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ & ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Down, ‘DWTS’ Dips, CBS Wins Night

By | Wednesday April 24, 2013 @ 9:12am PDT

There was a lot of reality on television last night, with some shows faring far better than others. On NBC’s The Voice (4.0/12), the battle rounds came to an end as judge Usher used his final steal in the hourlong show’s final minutes, Team Adam saw Sarah Simmons nail a Lady Antebellum tune, and fellow judge Shakira forced the two Latina singers on the show to face off against each other performing one of her songs. But as previous seasons of The Voice have shown, battle rounds are not blind auditions, and while The Voice was Tuesday’s highest-rated show, the ratings powerhouse stumbled. Up against a new NCIS on CBS, it was down 13% from its April 16 broadcast. The third-most-watched show of the night, The Voice garnered 12.45 million viewers on Tuesday. As The Voice fell, the now-canceled Ready For Love (1.2/3) had a final new episode on Tuesday. The 9:01-to-11 PM broadcast was flat with last week’s show. Starting next Tuesday, Grimm will occupy The Voice lead-out slot. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ & ‘DWTS’ Dip, ‘The Following’ & ‘Castle’ Up, ‘Rules Of Engagement’ Hits Series Low

By | Tuesday April 23, 2013 @ 9:23am PDT

It was the beginning of Week 2 of the battle rounds on The Voice (4.8/13) last night. With the teams taking shape, a last-minute steal by judge Usher brought one contestant’s ambitions back to life. However, despite that drama, the two-hour show slipped 8% from the year-high of last week’s show. Even though The Voice stumbled on the week-to-week growth it has seen since its season debut, the singing competition series was Monday’s highest-rated and most-watched show with 13.90 million viewers. After The Voice, Revolution (2.2/6) was back. Pre-empted last week due to NBC News’ coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, the post-apocalyptic drama was even with its last original April 8 to tie a series low. NBC won the night in adults 18-49, but ABC took the top viewership spot with 12.959 million. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ Hits Year High, ’2 Broke Girls’ & ‘Hawaii Five-0′ Hit Series Lows, ‘DWTS’ Up

By | Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 9:27am PDT

After an afternoon of comprehensive coverage on all networks of the bombing at Monday’s Boston Marathon and pre-emptions in various markets, last night’s primetime was relatively normal, with NBC the only network to make changes to its schedule. After three weeks of blind auditions, The Voice (5.1/4) finally began its battle rounds, with mentors Pharrell Williams, Sheryl Crow, Hilary Scott and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden joining the show to help lead the judges’ teams to victory. The Voice was the most watched show of the night with 14.29 million viewers and posted its best numbers since March 12. 2012. It rose 2% from last week in adults 18-49 and viewers. The scheduled Revolution that was supposed to air at 10 PM was replaced by NBC News’ Terror In Boston (3.1/8), which was watched by 8.856 million and was up 41% from what Revolution drew last week. However, the special did not run in consistent time zones and its results likely will be adjusted in final numbers. NBC won the night in total viewers and the demo.

Related: NBC’s Pre-Emption For Bombing Coverage Creates ‘Revolution’ Conundrum
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Hits Low, ‘Voice’ Hits Season High, CBS Wins Night With NCAA Final, ‘Carrie Diaries’ Finale Strong

By | Tuesday April 9, 2013 @ 9:12am PDT

Between reality and college basketball, there was a lot of live on TV on Monday night. Running from 8 PM-10:01 PM, Dancing With The Stars (2.0/5) kicked off things on ABC. The live two-hour performance show saw some gymnastics, tears and stumbles. Up against the NCAA Tournament championship game and The Voice, it also saw a 9% drop from its April 1 show to hit a season low. That marks the the lowest performance episode ever for the 16-season show. A Castle repeat (1.3/5 ) followed.

Related: NCAA Title Game Up 18% Over Last Year

The NCAA title game dominated CBS’ primetime. In fast nationals, the NCAA Playoffs Pre-Game (4.4/11) was even with last year, while the game (7.5/19) was down 1% from the final numbers of the final last year and up 7% from the fast nationals for the April 2, 2012 final. Due to the nature of live sports, the numbers are approximate at best and will likely see a larger than usual adjustment in the final numbers. The matchup between winning Louisville and Michigan was up 18% in average overnight household rating/share over last year’s final. In addition to the game, CBS had a double comedy shot with repeats of 2 Broke Girls (2.7/8) and The Big Bang Theory (3.3/9). CBS won the night in total viewers and the adults 18-49 demo. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ Rises Slightly, ‘New Normal’ Finale Up, ‘Splash’ Down, ‘Golden Boy’ Hits Tuesday Low

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT

The second show of the second week of The Voice (4.3/13) on Tuesday saw the fourth night of blind auditions. There was some singing of an Adele tune, a model-turned-singer, some chairs turned around, judge Blake Shelton’s offer to adopt a contestant, and a few fine dance moves from Usher. The one-hour episode was up 5% from the March 26 show’s final numbers and up 10% from last week’s fast nationals of 3.9/12. So don’t be surprised if today’s final number sees a bump. In that long road back from its ratings hell, NBC is taking pride that the fast national for last night’s Voice is the best result for any show on NBC, ABC, CBS or Fox in Tuesday primetime since The Voice Season 3 finale on December 18. NBC won Tuesday in the adults 18-49 demo, with CBS taking the top spot in total viewers with 9.544 million.

Related: TV Weekly Warfare: NBC Gets Expected ‘Voice’ Boost; CBS Stays On Top

Also on NBC last night, the season finale of The New Normal heard a bit of John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy and saw a birth. It also came in two parts: One at 9 PM (1.9/5), where the Thursday-headed Go On is usually slotted, the other during its regular 9:30 (1.4/4) slot. Benefiting from its Voice lead-in, the 9 PM episode of the Ryan Murphy-produced show was even with the last week’s Go On, which saw a ratings surge coming on after the singing show. The 9:30 show was up 8% from last week. Smash (0.9/3), about to be moved to Saturday nights starting this week, saw its final Tuesday episode fall 10%. With 3.1 million watching, the series that is almost certain to not be renewed did hit its highest viewership total since February 19.
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