'The Voice' returns and sings a victory song for NBC

Naturally, NBC triumphed on Monday with the debut of The Voice, which was the top show for the night among adults 18-49 (4.1/11) and total viewers (12.0 million), according to early results.

The talent show was down about 39 percent from the first Monday after the Super Bowl — but hey, it was the Super Bowl! It also dropped 39% from last season’s time period premiere on Feb. 6 when it posted an impressive 6.7/17, but it was up 11% versus its Monday average for the shows’ last four telecasts in the spring (a 3.7 rating). Be prepared for a lot more number crunching and chest-thumping this week when Fox rolls out its talent show, The X Factor. Goody for you!

It helped that NBC aired against comedy repeats on CBS (though the Eye had some men’s tennis) and the dreadful finale of ABC’s The Bachelor Pad, which was the show’s lowest-rated finale ever (1.3/3). Only Fox had the decent competition with the finales of Hell’s Kitchen and Masterchef, which helped the net come in second in the key demo. Kitchen earned a 2.5/7, down 4% from last week, while Masterchef posted a 2.6/6.

And another big reminder: We aren’t in the regular Nielsen season yet, which doesn’t start until Sept. 24.

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