NBC's The Voice earned big numbers in its Monday night debut, providing a powerful lead-in for new musical drama Smash, which scored strong but less-impressive premiere ratings. The Voice was the top-rated and most-watched show of the night, bumping the typical top dog, CBS's Two and a Half Men, and guiding NBC to an overall ratings win.
Fourth-place NBC took a calculated risk by putting The Voice against a CBS comedy block that has dominated Mondays all season. In its first week, the strategy paid off: Three out of five CBS primetime shows hit or tied season lows.
Monday's episode of The Voice, which came after huge ratings for its post-Super Bowl season- two premiere, scored a 6.6 rating/16 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and 17.7 million viewers overall during its airing from 8 to 10 p.m. Smash the next hour premiered to a 3.8/10 in the demo and 11.5 million total viewers. It was fifth in ratings and third in viewers Monday.
The season-two premiere of The Voice Sunday made the best of the plum timeslot after the Super Bowl, earning a 16.3 rating and 36.7 million total viewers. It was the highest-rated entertainment broadcast in six years.
The Monday night Voice episode, as expected, held less than half of those viewers -- but still scored NBC its highest ratings in the timeslot in nearly eight years, not including during the Olympics. NBC averaged a 5.7/14 and 15.6 million total viewers Monday night.
CBS, television's most-watched network overall, was a distant second Monday in ratings and total viewers. It averaged a 3.5/9 in the demo and 10.8 million total viewers. At 8, How I Met Your Mother scored a 4/11 and 10 million total viewers. At 8:30, Two Broke Girls, the biggest new hit of the fall, had a 4.3/11 and 11.4 million total viewers. It was the second highest-rated show of the night and the fourth most-watched. At 9, Two and a Half Men had a 4.2/10 and 12.9 million total viewers, making it the third highest-rated show and second most-watched. Mike & Molly at 9:30 had a 3.4/8 and 11 million total viewers. Facing Smash at 10, Hawaii 5-0 had a 2.7/7 and 9.8 million.
Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly hit season lows -- though their ratings were still enviable for most shows. Hawaii 5-0 tied its season low.
ABC was third in ratings and viewers, averaging a 2.4/6 and 8.4 million. From 8-10, The Bachelor had a 2.6/6 and 8.2 million total viewers. In the following hour, Castle had a 2/5 and 8.7 million.
Fox, fourth in ratings and viewers, averaged a 2.3/6 and 7 million. House at 8 had a 2.4/6 and 7.2 million; Alcatraz at 9 had a 2.0/5 and 6.8 million.