Launching a successful reality series is proving even more difficult for the broadcast networks than finding scripted hits. Their latest efforts, NBC’s Ready For Love and ABC’s Splash, appear headed to the list of recent broadcast unscripted disappointments. After an unimpressive debut last week, NBC’s new dating series Ready For Love fell 13% in its second airing last night to 1.3/4 in adults 18-49. The series executive produced by Eva Longoria was recently upgraded to one of NBC’s best time slots, following the Tuesday edition of The Voice, but it doesn’t seem to be getting traction, keeping only a small fraction of The Voice audience. Last night, the hot singing competition logged 4.5/14 in 18-49, up 7% from last week’s fast nationals (2% from the finals) to match its Tuesday season high. Despite Ready For Love‘s sub-par delivery, NBC won the night in 18-49. READ MORE »
TV Weekly Warfare: NCAA, Academy Of Country Music Awards & ‘Big Bang’ Keep CBS On Top; NBC Maintains ‘Voice’ Boost
Let’s just cut to the chase: If you’re CBS, spring is looking like the best season so far this broadcast year, and if you’re NBC it looks like the ratings fire of The Voice really is keeping you going after a dismal winter left you ice cold. For a third week in a row, CBS has won the week in viewership and adults 18-49. It was the most watched frame for the network since the week the Grammys aired in February. With a 2.7/8 for Week 28 of the 2012-2013 season, the network was not just up from the 2.3/7 of the week before but also up 8% from the comparable week a year ago. In terms of viewership, the network pulled in an average of 11.256 million viewers, compared to 9.018 million for the week starting March 25, 2013.
CBS’ surge came in no small part due to strong and steady promotion of Sunday’s highly rated 48th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards leading into this past week and throughout the frame itself, plus solid numbers for the NCAA Tournament‘s Final Four round Saturday. The 9:11-11:38 PM game was the highest-rated show of the week with a 5.7 and the second-most-watched show of the week with 17.104 million viewers. Back after three weeks due in part to NCAA games, a new The Big Bang Theory on April 4 was the second-highest-rated show of the week with a 5.2 and the most watched show with viewership of 17.242 million. Beating ABC’s Country Music Awards for the first time ever, the third-most-watched show of last week was the ACM Awards. The country music show pulled in 15.505 million viewers Sunday for its best audience result since 1998, and jumping 39% among adults 18-49 from last year for its best result since 2001. The awards show proved the sixth-highest-rated show of the week with a 4.3 rating — behind the April 1 (4.7) and April 2 (4.5) airings of NBC’s The Voice. In that sense, it was a good week for Blake Shelton, who co-hosted the ACM Awards and is a judge on the NBC competition show.
So far, three of the broadcast networks — CBS, Fox and the CW — have awarded early renewals to their strongest series, while ABC and NBC have yet to make any moves on that front. There is speculation that NBC may jump in the fray with early pickups to some of its strongest series. Among those rumored to get an early jump on next season are the network’s flagship reality series The Voice, top scripted series Revolution and solid Friday performer Grimm, which also received an early second-season order last year. The renewals could come as early as tomorrow, following the latest set of ratings for The Voice and Revolution, both of which made a strong return to the schedule two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Grimm just logged another finish as the top-rated scripted series on Friday. I hear a deal for a second-season renewal of Revolution was put in motion several months ago when NBC reduced the first-season order to the futuristic drama by two episodes. Meanwhile, I hear Grimm is already preparing for third season, releasing a large number of low- and mid-level writers early than normal in preparation for staffing. Beyond those three series, also certain to return at NBC are comedy Parks And Recreation, which also is reading writers for next season, and Chicago Fire, whose pickup may once again be tied to that for NBC’s other Dick Wolf-produced drama, Law & Order: SVU, which is looking to re-sign star Mariska Hargitay.
What a difference a week can make if you’re NBC and The Voice is back. Sure CBS has taken the top spot in viewers and the key 18-49 demo for a second week in a row, but for NBC anything is better than the TKOs it’s been receiving. Boosted by the return of its juggernaut reality series for a new season last Monday, the struggling network moved up 33% from the previous frame’s 1.2/3 to a 1.6/5 for Week 27 of the 2012-2013 season. Down from last spring’s Season 2 debut and up from last fall’s Season 3 premiere, The Voice’s Season 4 debut March 25 was the No. 1 show last week among adults 18-49, and the series’ March 26 show was No. 2. With the return after a very long winter break of Revolution, which hit the 15th spot on the Top 20 shows of the week in the demo, NBC actually had its best week in the demo since January 21-27, when it aired the NFL Pro Bowl. With 5.428 million watching last week, NBC had its highest average audience since the week of January 7-13, when the Golden Globes were on. That’s up from the 4.154 million the network had as an average audience for Week 26. Additionally, NBC was the only network to not see a ratings decline from the same period last year and the only one to see a viewership rise; it was even from the week of March 26, 2012 in terms of ratings, and gained 11% in viewership. However, let’s be clear: NBC is off the mat but it isn’t landing many punches just yet outside of Voice. Still, with the previously unsteady Go On and The New Normal getting Voice surges last week and Smash up as well, NBC did manage to tie Fox for third for the week — an improvement over the south-of-Univision position it found itself in last week.
For the week of March 25, CBS drew a 2.3/7 and 9.018 million viewers thanks to strong NCIS and NCIS: LA audience numbers, solid comedy performances and the NCAA Tournament. ABC was second in 18-49 with a 1.7/5 and second in viewers for a second week in a row with 7.112 million. That’s up from the 2.1/6 it earned the week before but down from its 8.449 million audience average during Week 26. NBC and Fox were tied in the demo with 1.6/5 each, while the former inched ahead of the latter in average viewership (5.428 million vs. 5.224 million). That’s down for Fox from the 1.9/6 it had the previous week and also down from the 5.93 million the network pulled in on average in Week 26. The CW got a 0.5/2 and 1.365 million viewers on average last week, down from the 0.6/2 and 1.435 million viewers the network saw the previous week.
As the third season of NBC’s The Voice came to a close tonight, the network launched the first promo for the next cycle, introducing new coaches Usher and Shakira, who are stepping in for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. In the comedic promo, the newbies are given a ride …
Another moving tribute to the murdered children and teachers from Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary: The coaches and the contestants of NBC‘s The Voice opened the performance finale last night with a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s anthem “Hallelujah” while holding cards with the names of the massacre’s 26 victims.