A Singing Competition Returns Tonight, With High Stakes for NBC — But Are Viewers Burned Out on Singing Shows?

Mar 25, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Tonight’s return of the singing competition show “The Voice” to the NBC lineup is a big moment for the Peacock Network in a season in which ratings have been hard to come by. But it also will be closely watched by observers who wonder whether the genre is overstaying its welcome.

TheWrap.com reports that ratings have been lower not only for “The Voice” but also for TV’s other top singing competitions — Fox’s "American Idol" and "X Factor."

“But singing shows still do better than almost anything else, so viewers don’t seem ready to abandon them yet,” the piece reports. "’Idol’ was television’s No. 1 show for the eight years it had the singing-competition niche almost to itself. But then came ‘The Voice’ and ‘X Factor.’ With so much music in the air, ‘Idol’ no longer rules.”

The report adds that “Idol” has set “all-time lows for its Wednesday performance shows for the last four consecutive weeks. (The show’s Wednesday installments, like those of ‘X Factor,’ earn higher ratings than the Thursday results shows. Similarly, NBC earns higher ratings for "The Voice" on Mondays than on Tuesdays.)”

“Idol” dropped out of the No. 1 spot last season, falling behind "Sunday Night Football," the piece notes. “Even worse for the series, ‘The Voice’ nearly tied it for TV’s second-most popular show,” the report adds. “This season, the Wednesday edition of ‘Idol’ is behind not only ‘SNF’ but also the scripted CBS series ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ The fall Monday edition of ‘The Voice’ is behind all three of those shows, as well as ABC’s ‘Modern Family.’"

But "The Voice" remains NBC’s top non-football show, and the network is “doubling down” on it, the piece notes.

"’The Voice’ is the first of the three singing shows to attempt two different versions in the same year, one in the fall and one in the spring,” TheWrap reports. “Fox airs ‘X Factor’ in the fall and ‘Idol’ in the winter.”

"The Voice" has changed things up for this cycle, bringing aboard Usher and Shakira as judges.

“But new judges don’t necessarily help: ‘X Factor’ is down despite adding Britney Spears and Demi Lovato," and ‘Idol’ is slipping after the addition of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban,” the story notes.

The piece adds: “The good news for viewers whose ears are starting to ache? No other singing show has taken hold like the Big 3. ABC’s ‘Duets’ failed to catch on over the summer.”

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