TVBizwire

NBC Finds a Winning Formula -- Including a Big Opening for 'Smash' -- to Launch February Sweeps TVbytheNumbers, TVWeek

NBC snapped out of its ratings doldrums in time to win the first Monday of February sweeps, as its singing competition “The Voice” combined with the series debut of “Smash” to lift the network to No. 1 in total viewers and in the key 18-49 demo, TVbytheNumbers.com reports.

NBC finished prime time with a 5.7 average rating in viewers 18-49, well ahead of the competition. CBS came in second with a 3.5 average, followed by ABC (2.4 average) and Fox (2.3). In total viewers, NBC averaged 15.6 million for the night, easitly topping CBS (10.8 million), ABC (8.4 million) and Fox (7.0 million).

“The Voice” appeared to benefit from Sunday’s post-Super Bowl push, scoring a 6.6 average rating in 18-49 for its 8-10 p.m. broadcast, 29% better than last year’s premiere.

As good as they were, the numbers for “The Voice” were dwarfed by the turnout for a special post-Super Bowl installment of the show one night earlier. NBC announced that Sunday’s season premiere, which pulled in a whopping 16.3 average rating in adults 18-49, was the highest-rated entertainment program on a broadcast network in six years -- since a post-Super Bowl episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” aired on ABC.

Bowing at 10 p.m. Monday, “Smash” scored a 3.8 to easily win the hour. CBS’s “Hawaii Five-0” pulled a 2.7 in the 18-49 demo at 10 p.m., while ABC’s “Castle” settled for a 2.0. The bad news in the hour for NBC may be the half-hour breakouts for “Smash,” which earned a 4.2 for the first half-hour but slipped to a 3.4 at 10:30.

CBS saw its solid Monday comedy lineup trending downward. “How I Met Your Mother” had a 4.0 average rating in 18-49, down 0.4 from its previous original; “2 Broke Girls” was off 0.3 to a 4.3 (the network’s best number of the night); “Two and a Half Men” slipped 0.4 to a season-low 4.2; and “Mike & Molly” fell 0.4 to a 3.4.