NBC’s freshman sitcoms Go On and The New Normal fired second round into their regular time periods Tuesday night. One title remained quite strong in the ratings, while the other slipped slightly.
First, the really good news for NBC: The Voice is continuing its upward trend, rising 13 percent this week compared to last Tuesday’s performance. The one-hour Voice had 13.3 million viewers and a 4.5 rating among adults 18-49. After last week’s softer-than-hoped-for return of the music competition series, NBC has to be pretty thrilled that both Monday and Tuesday editions posted gains, gathering strength before next week’s deluge of premieres.
Now what would be nice to see here is NBC’s comedies rise too — since they’re getting a stronger lead-in from The Voice this week. That’s a lot to ask for in new scripted shows, however, which tend to settle in the ratings for their first few episodes (at the very least).
Go On (9.3 million, 3.3) was down merely a tenth of a point in the show’s second week in this time period, which is still strong. New Normal (6.2 million, 2.2), though, already performing much softer than Go On, fell 12 percent from last week. The difference between the rating of The Voice and Go On isn’t as worrisome as the gap between Go On and New Normal, since the comedies are supposed to make good audience flow partners for each other. Both shows are on their third episodes (counting their preview airings).
Even with Go On squandering a chunk of its Voice opening act, NBC has to be encouraged that the show is still delivering around 10 million viewers a few weeks into its run. Whereas how The New Normal would perform was probably the biggest mystery on the dial — would bigoted bomb-throwing from conservative critics about the show’s gay-friendly content hurt its chances? Or would executive producer Ryan Murphy’s magic touch prove doubters wrong yet again? Oddly, the show has avoided both extremes and initially delivered a performance that few expected — modestly well. Hopefully, New Normal can at least level off in the ratings.
Oh, and NBC also had Parenthood last night (5 million, 1.8), down a tenth from its modest return a week ago. Shows debuting before the official start of the broadcast season need an extra layer of fat on their ratings — like animals before winter — since all the competition is about to launch. Most NBC shows, which were rolled out early this year, have that extra layer. But Parenthood is one skinny-looking bear.
The NBC slate faced the modestly rated So You Think You Can Dance (4.6 million, 1.6) finale on Fox.