'Blacklist' gets strong start as 'Voice' surprises

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And we’re off! On the first night of the broadcast season, NBC’s first new drama of the fall — The Blacklist – got off to a very strong start Monday night thanks to a head-turning The Voice premiere.

The James Spader procedural delivered 12.6 million viewers and a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m. That’s 7 percent than Revolution scored in this slot a year ago, but still a great start (read our take on The Blacklist).

The Voice,
however, is the real surprise. You would think The Voice‘s premiere ratings would decline this year since every other singing competition has been trending down lately. It’s the fifth cycle of the show. Surely the novelty of NBC’s spinning-chairs version of karaoke-TV is wearing thin, right?

Nope. The two-hour Voice debut had 14.7 million and a 4.9 rating — up 17 percent from last fall. That’s the best premiere for The Voice since its post-Super Bowl episode last year (and, for those keeping score, tops the Shakira/Usher edition). Winning the Emmy for outstanding reality competition on Sunday couldn’t have hurt either. Voice and Blacklist led NBC to easily win the night in viewers and the demo.

The Blacklist crushed CBS’ premiere of its new thriller Hostages (7.5 million, 1.8). We predicted The Blacklist would win this slot, but not by this big of a margin given how much the industry liked the Hostages pilot. This rating is the same as what Hawaii Five-0 got in this slot last fall.

The third new show that premiered last night: Chuck Lorre’s latest CBS comedy Mom (chart below) was down 19 percent from the premiere of Mike & Molly in this slot last year. Like Hostages, this is weaker than we expected — Mom is one of the better new sitcoms this year. The one-hour HIMYM premiere was steady for its final season opener. 2 Broke Girls was down 24 percent.

Over on Fox, new drama Sleepy Hollow was down 11 percent from last week’s premiere — that’s not bad at all considering the massively bigger competition this week. By comparison, Bones dropped 17 percent.

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars took a more sizable hit — down 26 percent from last week’s strong premiere.

 NETWORK/SLOT/PROGRAM ADULT DEMO  TOTAL VIEWERS
FOX 8-9P BONES 1.9 6,659
9-10P SLEEPY HOLLOW 3.1 8,562
ABC 8-10P DANCNG-STARS 2.3 13,363
10-11P CASTLE- P 2.2 11,485
CBS 8-9P HIMYM P 3.6 9,188
9:00P 2BROKE GIRLS P 2.8 8,756
9:30P MOM P 2.5 7,923
10-11P HOSTAGES P 1.8 7,486
NBC 8-10P VOICE P 4.9 14,665
10-11P BLACKLIST P 3.8 12,616
CW 8-9P HART-DIXIE R 0.2 762
9:00P WHSE-IT 9/23 1 RS 0.2 653
9:30P WHSE-IT 9/23 2 RS 0.3 728

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