There were spies on ABC but it was truly show time on Fox and NBC last night. With its first live elimination show of Season 6, last night’s The Voice (2.7/9) rolled out a sizzling performance from mentor Shakira as well as cutting two contestants. Coming off its lowest Monday result ever and with the return of the Twitter instant save for a second season, the singing competition show was down 10% from last Tuesday. That’s a new low for the show in terms of regular episodes. Still, The Voice was the top-rated and most watched show of the night with 10.95 million watching. While NBC likely doesn’t want those standings to change, it might see a change in The Voice’s 18-49 rating later in the day when the final numbers come in – the show has commonly seen an adjustment upward from the preliminaries. With its 9:01 PM Voice spillover start, freshman About A Boy (1.9/6) saw a 6% bop up from last week in preliminary ratings. Fellow newbie Growing Up Fisher (1.5/4) was even with last week’s low. Getting a 1.8/5 among the 18-49s, NBC was No. 1 last night with an all-encore CBS coming in tops in total viewers with 9.41 million watching. CBS’ NCIS repeat was the second-most-watched show of Tuesday’s primetime after The Voice with an audience of 10.42 million.
NBC will have two “new” judges for The Voice in the fall as Gwen Stefani is in talks to replace the pregnant Christina Aguilera as a coach for Cycle 7, which starts taping in June. According to informed sources, Stefani also had been in talks for a judge position on ABC’s Rising Star, the interactive singing competition that’s set to premiere June 22. And she has experience on these kinds of shows, having mentored on Fox’s American Idol. The No Doubt singer and fashion icon might have given fans at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival something of a Voice fall preview last week when she joined Pharrell Williams onstage for a take on her 2005 solo hit “Hollaback Girl.” NBC announced last month that Williams will join The Voice next season, replacing CeeLo Green, who had announced his departure in February.
UPDATE: 7:20 AM: “CeeLo Green has been an instrumental part of the success of The Voice and we deeply appreciate all his contributions,” NBC reality TV chief Paul Telegdy said in a statement about Green’s announcement today that he’s leaving the network’s hit singing competition series. “We’re looking forward to working with him on other upcoming projects that will tap into both his musical and entertainment expertise.”
Green also issued a statement: “I’m officially announcing today that I won’t be returning as a coach on The Voice cycle 7 in the Fall. There are numerous reasons that led to this decision, which has been amicably reached with NBC, but I’m excited to be developing several other ideas with the network and my association with NBC remains strong. The Voice has been an immensely enjoyable experience for me and I can only hope I have enriched the lives of our viewers, the contestants, and the many friends I made there. I will always be there in spirit.
“Meanwhile, NBC and I plan to continue our relationship with several new co-ventures including a new music show, while we also explore our ideas for me to create and host a new show of my own. I will not go quietly into the night… expect more great music and entertainment done in my own unique unmistakable and undeniable way. And The Voice has given me all the altitude and incentive to do just that. Thanks for the memories and make way for many more!”
Shakira and Usher will reprise their roles as Season 4 judge/mentors, reuniting with show regulars Adam Levine and Blake Shelton for the NBC singing competition’s sixth season. They pair returns in a special two-night premiere: 8-10 PM Monday, February 24, and 8-9 PM Tuesday, February 25.
The Voice has averaged a 4.9 rating in the demo and 14.7 million viewers overall with its Monday edition, and a 4.5 and 14 viewers overall on Tuesdays, making it the No. 1-rated Monday and Tuesday series on the broadcast networks so far this season in the demo. Last spring, Shakira and Usher were cast to fill in for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green, respectively, on The Voice — the latter two original judge/mentors returning for the fall season. It’s an arrangement the show’s producers appear to have institutionalized. And in so doing, The Voice has become a bastion of judge stability while Fox’s The X Factor is on its third judging panel in three seasons, and we’ve lost count of the various iterations and regroupings on Fox’s American Idol, which in January will feature the return of JLo and Keith Urban and the addition of Harry Connick Jr.