The Voice remains clear and strong: NBC's reality hit (and one of its few hits, period) began its spring cycle Monday by drawing 13.4 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults under 50, easily winning the night's Nielsen battle. How big is that for the Peacock? This big: The Voice tripled NBC's average audience last week (4.2 million viewers) and improved its standing among adults under 50 (1.2 rating last week) by a factor of four. And while Monday's return was down sharply from last winter's initial Monday broadcast (which aired the night after the Super Bowl), The Voice actually ticked up from its most recent fall season premiere (12.3 million viewers).
In the under-50 demo, there's a very good chance The Voice will end up with bigger ratings than Fox's American Idol, embarrassing the longtime music-competition champ. This is all very good news for the struggling NBC, though not entirely unexpected: The network's bosses and those of us in the media have been predicting for weeks that the Peacock would regain a bit of its pluck once The Voice returned. What's not yet known is whether the network will start showing signs of life on other nights of the week or whether it can successfully launch upcoming shows such as Ready for Love and Hannibal.
The Voice did provide a strong lead-in for the midseason premiere of Revolution, though the sci-fi series doesn't seem to have much momentum. It averaged a 2.7 among adults under 50, which is better than any scripted NBC series has done in weeks, but still down a bit (7 percent) versus its fall finale. It's worth noting that Revolution tends to do very well with time-shifters, leaping more than 60 percent once DVR data gets tallied. Meanwhile, with NBC once again having a pulse, rival networks suffered — particularly ABC. Its Dancing With the Stars tumbled nearly 30 percent with adults under 50 (to a 2.3 rating). Fox's The Following also scored one of its lowest ratings yet with viewers under 50, falling about 10 percent from last week.