'The Voice': Shakira and Usher debut strong in ratings

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How did NBC’s The Voice perform for Monday night’s big return premiere with Usher and Shakira in the red chairs?

It depends on which comparison you use. Last night’s The Voice spring kickoff had 13.4 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49, easily winning the night.

Normally you would stack those numbers against the show’s Monday premiere on the same night last year. But that episode was a day after NBC aired the Super Bowl and had a giant 6.7 adult demo rating. So it’s down 30 percent from that. Another comparison (and in this case, NBC would argue, the more fair one) is the show’s season 3 premiere last fall, which had a 4.2 rating. So it’s up 12 percent from that round.

Overall, I say this is a good number for the show — especially since the series swapped out half its judging panel, with Xtina and Cee Lo expected to rerun in the fall. How often do you see a judges panel shakeup without a ratings drop from the show’s previous cycle? And given NBC’s recent severe ratings woes, some wondered if The Voice return would suffer. But clearly fans are fully capable of turning on NBC again when the broadcast network has a show they actually want to see.

And since some of you below are debating these Voice numbers vs. Fox’s American Idol this season, here’s some help: Last night’s Voice is down 22 percent from Idol‘s January premiere. But it’s higher than every Idol episode since January.

The return of Revolution, however, is bit less sunny. After a four-month break, the freshman adventure-drama returned to 7.2 million viewers and a 2.7 rating. That’s down 13 percent from the show’s prior average, yet was still easily enough to win 10 p.m.

Meanwhile Fox’s The Following continued its decline to a season low — down 8 percent this week. The Voice put the hurt on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, which dropped 28 percent this week. On CBS, The Voice seemed to pressure the network’s 8 p.m. hour, with How I Met Your Mother dipping 10 percent to a season low.

Full Chart:

ADULT DEMO RANK ADULTS 18-49 RATING TOTAL VIEWERS (+000)
FOX 8-9P BONES #11 1.9 6,745
9-10P FOLLOWING #6t 2.3 6,629
ABC 8-10P DANCNG-STARS #6t 2.3 14,078
10-11P CASTLE #8t 2.1 10,685
CBS 8:00P HIMYM #3t 2.7 6,846
8:30P RULES #8t 2.1 6,181
9:00P 2BROKE GIRLS #2 2.9 8,551
9:30P MIKE&MOLLY #5 2.6 8,639
10-11P HAWAII 5-0 #10 2.0 8,158
NBC 8-10P VOICE P #1 4.7 13,362
10-11P REVOLUTION #3t 2.7 7,249
CW 8-9P CARRIE DIAIRES #12 0.4 941
9-10P HART R #13 0.1 421

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