The Voice premieres tomorrow night on NBC. It’s kind of silly to make predictions, but I’d honestly be shocked if it doesn’t open well. They’ve been promoting it relentlessly and the promos sell the show really well. I watched the 13 minute sneak they ran on late night last week (and sent to entertainment websites) and it’s far from an uncompelling show.
Lots of people are making the “Do we need another music competition” show comments regarding The Voice. Technically we don’t. But we have tons of procedurals, tons of dating type reality shows, a number of dance shows. The reality is the biggest show on all of TV is a music competition series, so even if this show gets half those ratings, it still is a hit. You can’t blame a network, especially a last place network, for trying.
In NBCs Favor is that they actually have unique twists on IDOL, with the blind audition aspect. To their credit as well, they also got 4 current superstars to be on their panel. Each of them have a unique personality on their own, plus from the 13 minute preview, it’s clear they have a good chemistry together. Christina has “the voice”. Cee-Lo has had the biggest song of the last 10 months and he has a great personality. From being a fan since Maroon 5 emerged on the music scene, I know Adam Levine has great musical knowledge. Besides being one of the biggest Country artists now, Blake Shelton has a wicked and clever sense of humor. He’s witty. I imagine that will be on full display during the show.
Outside of the blind auditions, the other twist is how the judges then select their own teams and mentor them and compete against each other. This part of the show is identical to X FACTOR and if this was Britain, viewers might not take to The Voice. But X FACTOR doesn’t premiere til the Fall here and by getting this show on now, NBC also sucks some air out of FOX’s balloon. Now what will make X FACTOR special to viewers will be the return of Simon Cowell (and potentially the reunion with Paula Abdul, if that comes to fruition), but not the format. X FACTOR probably won’t be as warm and fuzzy as The Voice and viewers that are looking for Simon’s meaner streak will welcome that with the X FACTOR. But whether it works or not, NBC definitely wins something just by potentially making X FACTOR a tad less special.
Back to The Voice: I actually think based on the star studded panel and the clear differences to IDOL, this show could potentially break out for NBC (and maybe even be their own IDOL and/or DWTS). Think about it: NBC gets 13 million viewers in the lowest viewing months of the year with America’s Got Talent with people like Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne as judges. (Why are these people deciding who has talent?) NBC even got decent ratings out of The Sing Off which only deviates from IDOL in that it’s acapella groups. There are many twists and layers to this show. Plus, the way NBC has scheduled it, airing it the final 5 weeks of the season up against lesser competition and then the first 4 weeks of summer, I really would be shocked if it doesn’t work. Celebrity Apprentice gets 3’s on Sundays at 10p. I don’t see how The Voice doesn’t get at least that for the rest of the season.
Of course nothing is a guarantee in this biz and there were many sure things before that have crashed and burned and that’s always a possibility here too. But seeing the comments from people who checked out the 13 min sneak and from journalists that witnessed the panel at NBCs Press Day, makes me think NBC might just have something.
Tomorrow night NBC has a 1 hour The Biggest Loser (which according to promos contains the first person ever to voluntarily leave the show) leading into the Voice. I’m just gonna assume NBC will have a great night coming in 1st or 2nd. Fox has a 90 minute Glee and ABC has 2 hours of DWTS into Body Of Proof. CBS is in reruns but instead of The Good Wife, they have substituted a Mentalist rerun which should do far better. In fact, I’ll just assume CBS does as well or better than they always do, since they seem to be immune to ever getting hurt ratings wise, regardless what is up against it. I wonder if the Voice might hurt the last half of Glee and or DWTS/BOP. Or maybe with the added competition, everyone will rise. Should be interesting. NBC should have their biggest week in quite some time as The Voice repeats on Wednesday and Thursday is Steve Carell’s final ep on The Office which should deliver the biggest demo number for a scripted show in some time.