NBC's singing competition may challenge Fox's “X Factor”
"The Voice" has signed Christina Aguilera for a third season as NBC considers launching that season in the fall instead of waiting until 2013, TheWrap has learned.
That scheduling decision would have the show, now a midseason hit, airing at the same time of year as Fox's "X Factor."
Aguilera is the first of the four "Voice" judges to re-up her contract, which TheWrap last week reported amounted to a pricey $10 million, far more than "X Factor" judges earn on Fox.
But one insider close to the show said Aguilera's contract was for under $10 million.
Aguilera has been signed to tape the shows from September through December, according to a person close to the negotiations.
An NBC spokesman said no decision has been made about whether the show would air in the fall. But NBC insiders said the network was "considering" airing "The Voice" then.
One insider said NBC hopes to bring back the entire judges' panel — Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton.
"We're really pleased with the entire cast," the person said. "You look at [the] ratings and it's no accident."
The show was a breakout hit for NBC in April when it hurried it to air and got the jump on the debut of Fox's fall singing show, "X Factor." NBC considered airing the current, second season of "The Voice" at the start of the 2011-12 season, but decided the turnaround time would be too fast.
"The Voice" has become NBC's highest-rated show besides NFL broadcasts.
In its season two premiere Sunday, following the Super Bowl, it earned NBC's strongest ratings for an entertainment show in six years. Monday's episode earned the network's best ratings in its timeslot in nearly eight years, excluding the Olympics.
In its first season,"X Factor" scored a 4.3 rating/12 share in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic and averaged 12.6 million total viewers, compared to an 8.5/23 and 25.2 million for "Idol" last year.
After just two episodes, "The Voice" actually has higher average ratings than "Idol" this season — but its ratings are severely skewed by its post-Super Bowl premiere. Monday's episode of "The Voice" scored a 6.6 rating in the demo and 17.7 million viewers; Sunday's scored a 16.3 rating and 36.7 million.