Thursday was a lousy night to be a singing competition, as both “The Voice” and “X Factor” hit all-time series ratings lows for original performance shows — but both NBC and Fox have excuses.
“The Voice” earned a 2.7 ratings/8 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary numbers. “X Factor” received a 1.2/4 in the key demo.
“The Voice” aired a special live Thursday show for a couple reasons: because of the cancellation of “Welcome to the Family,” the network has a hole to fill. But mostly it was so one of the network’s biggest stars could attend a show on another channel.
“Blake Shelton really wanted to be at the CMAs on Wednesday (when this live episode might otherwise have aired),” an industry insider told TheWrap. “As the top award winner for several years (NBC) wanted to work with him to be there to win again.”
The schedule change paid off for Shelton — whether or not it was worth it for NBC is likely internally debatable. At the CMAs, Shelton won Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year. His wife, Miranda Lambert, won Female Vocalist of the Year — the first time a husband and wife have won the two top honors.
Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of Alternative and Late Night Programming, has been open about how the network supports its “Voice” coaches’ music careers. So the network moved the show in order for Shelton to attend the country music awards show.
As for “X Factor,” this one was their own fault. The show elected to air a “do-over” given an on-screen graphics glitch during Wednesday’s episode.
Fox aired the wrong voting phone numbers for the contestants during the performance recap at the end of the regular mid-week episode. The show’s producers and the network decided the most fair course was to have the contestants perform live again and have America re-cast their votes. So the 13 contestants performed their “Save Me” songs on Thursday.
Other shows that hit all-time lows Thursday include “Two and a Half Men,” and “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. “Glee” matched an all-time low, “Scandal” hit a season low. For NBC, even the lowest-ever “Voice” propelled its struggling Thursday lineup to its best week so far this season. NBC ended up in third place overall in the demo, Fox fourth.