In one of the last premieres of the new season, The Biggest Loser (2.2/7) was back on NBC for Season 15 last night. The trio of trainers picked the 15 contestants for the cycle, including their first celeb, American Idol alumni Ruben Studdard. Looks like star power didn’t help. The Biggest Loser took a 27% loss from its two-hour Sunday Season 14 debut on January 6. That makes last night’s one-hour show the weight loss series’ lowest premiere ever. By the way, the debuts of Grimm, Dracula, Almost Human, Raising Hope and Enlisted are still to come this season. After Loser, NBC’s night saw mentor Cher showing Team Blake and everyone else in the vicinity exactly how being a superstar is done. Which is to say that The Voice (3.9/10) was back with a new show last night after last week’s recap. The one-hour Battles episode was up 30% over the October 8 recap (no surprise there), but it was down 13% from its two-hour October 1 original. Still, The Voice was easily the top rated show of the night while CBS’s NCIS was the most watched with 18.43 million viewers. Lit-up by the return of an original Voice lead-in Chicago Fire (2.4/7) rose 14% over last week. With a 2.8/8 rating, NBC won the night among adults 18-49 while CBS was tops in total viewers with 15.16 million watching. The rankings flipped in the second spot …
NBC is up with every single one of its series on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights compared to Premiere Week 2012. The network has won seven of nine hours in the demo among broadcasters. In total viewers, it’s won six of the week’s first nine primetime hours and has moved from third place to first — making those Comcast guys look pretty clever for having re-upped NBC programming chief Bob Greenblatt’s contract without waiting for Premiere Week numbers.
For the first time since the creation of the best reality-competition category, a singing competition won the Emmy tonight. The Voice — aka, the singing competition NBC bought when it lost the bidding war to get Simon Cowell’s The X Factor — became only the second non-The Amazing Race series to win this category. CBS’ Amazing Race has won this derby nine times. “We’re back on Monday. Keep us No. 1,” exec producer Mark Burnett plugged onstage, thanking NBC for “for taking a risk” when it bought the overseas format. “The Voice is like producing an awards show on the fly with massive pyrotechnics and massive effects,” Burnett said backstage. He scoffed at any comparisons to Fox’s once-ratings-dominant singing competition, American Idol. “This is a very different show. It’s a kind show. There’s no humiliation in The Voice. People said these kinds of shows couldn’t work without humiliation, and that’s not true.” Burnett said he never felt any real comparison to Idol was genuine.
Fox’s The X Factor has declared this The Season Of The Contestant (after having little luck when it focused on its revolving door of judges). NBC’s The Voice, which has been thumping X Factor in the ratings, announced today, meanwhile, that Cher, Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder and Miguel have joined the show as this season’s “advisers.” Cher will work with coach Blake Shelton; Sheeran with Christina Aguilera, Tedder with Adam Levine, and Miguel with CeeLo Green. “This group of wildly successful musicians will add their distinctive talents to their respective teams,” NBC’s alternative programming president Paul Telegdy said Monday. “I know Christina, Adam, CeeLo and Blake are very much looking forward to having them come aboard.”
For the uninitiated: Sheeran’s debut album + was certified 2x-platinum in the U.S. and the album’s single “The A Team” was nominated for Song of the Year at the most recent Grammys. Tedder is founder of OneRepublic and producer of artists such as Adele, Beyonce, Leona Lewis, Maroon 5 and Carrie Underwood. Miguel’s sophomore release, Kaleidoscope Dream, featured his third U.S. #1 hit single “Adorn”, which garnered his first Grammy for best R&B song and resided at the #1 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hip Airplay chart for more than 23 weeks. In April, Miguel was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and was also included as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. And Cher is, well Cher.
EXCLUSIVE: The Voice coach Adam Levine continues his producing efforts with a single-camera comedy in development at NBC. The project, from Universal TV and Levine’s 222 Prods, is based on the real-life relationship between the Maroon 5 frontman and late-bloomer writer-producer Gene Hong (Community), who have been best friends and roommates since before they found success. Hong will write the pilot and executive produce with Levine, along with Levine’s childhood friend and longtime manager/producing partner Jordan Feldstein of 222 Prods. The project, whose development team includes Josh Gummersall, stems from the first-look deal Levine inked with NBC Entertainment in May. Feldstein is the brother of Jonah Hill, on whose Fox animated series, Allen Gregory, Hong worked before joining Community.
The point of NBC’s singing competition series The Voice is not to find a recording star, the show’s celebrity judges and host Carson Daly said, by way of dismissing a TV critic’s observation that the hit show had yet to turn one out. Things got tense during The Voice Q&A session at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 when the celebrity judges and Daly seemed to take issue with having to take questions from TV critics in the room. When one critic asked about the show’s practice of bringing in ringers, Adam Levine called that critic a “shit stirrer.” Another critic wondered whether Levine could not be spontaneous on the show after last season saying “I hate this country” on national TV when two of his singers got the hook, and he had to issue a statement saying “I obviously love my country very much.”
“I think people can see through stupid media hype,” he shot back, adding later, “No offense.”
Fox network’s reality-TV bad boy Mike Darnell is moving to Warner Bros TV, to create new content and oversee the studio’s interests in NBC’s singing competition hit where The Voice, ABC’s The Bachelor and Bachelorette, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York, TMZ , and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, among other franchises. As president of Warner Bros. Unscripted and Alternative Television, which he assumes on Aug. 12, Mike will oversee first-run syndicated series produced by Telepictures, and primetime TV programing produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted TV, and will serve as the studio’s creative point person in its relationship with Shed Media U.S.
Last May, it was announced that, after 18 years, the guy who brought us Alien Autopsy, the Rick Rockwell/Darva Conger insta-marriage train wreck Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire, and the slice-and-dice-a-chick series The Swan, as well as Idol, had stepped down as president of “alternative entertainment” at the Fox broadcast network. Darnell announced his departure as the network is looking to shore up its aged singing competition Idol, and its Idol – Lite singing show, The X Factor. Shoring up sliding shows is not what Mike best enjoys doing. In addition to overseeing the company’s interest in the Mark Burnett exec-produced The Voice, the Mike-Fleiss exec produced Bachelor franchise; Extra, Lisa Kudrow’s Who Do You Think You Are?, The Real Housewives of New York City, Hollywood Exes, and other programs, Mike will come …
Andy Patrick is an AwardsLine contributor.
Considering that upstart docureality series like Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo are dominating ratings and pop culture, reality-competition series have largely been overshadowed. NBC’s buzzy singing contest The Voice last year injected some fresh blood into the Emmy reality-competition field, which had mostly been filled by the same shows for the past decade. In fact, CBS’ The Amazing Race has snagged the Emmy every year but one since the category’s inception in 2003. However, The Voice is coming in strong in ratings and challenging Amazing Race’s hold on the title. So while you contemplate whether the reality-competition category is primed for a shakeup this year, here’s our assessment of the competitors.
Produced By Conference: Mark Burnett On ‘Bible’ Follow Up, Feature Version Of History Series Finished Editing
Mark Burnett is cooking up a sequel of a sort to The Bible series, but he’s keeping details of his next faith-based project to himself. “A lot of things have come our way since the Bible, that’s how the business works. Roma [Downey] and I will do a follow up to The Bible, no question to that, something big,” said Burnett today at the Produced By conference. No word if this next project on Christianity would be on the History Channel as The Bible was. The producer however did reveal that he has just finished editing a 2 hour and 15 minute feature version of the successful series focusing on the life of Jesus. He is now looking to sell it. “Just on the scripted side, I could spend the next 10 years just distributing the Bible series and the movie. I believe that in the next 15 years more people on the planet will have seen our Bible series that haven’t seen it,” added Burnett of the project he and wife Roma Downey produced with Hearst Entertainment & Syndication.