This fall, NBC launched their first big drama hit in years with Revolution. Much of its success has been attributed to airing after The Voice but that didn’t help Smash last year and Revolution has been gaining almost 2 full points regularly when L7 numbers are added in. Only Modern Family and TBBT regularly add that amount. In other words, it’s a real hit – one that likely would have held up pretty well without it, but NBC is opting to protect it and themselves by returning both together March 25th.
At first blush it looked like the Tuesday Voice episodes helped comedies Go On and The New Normal. But looking a little closer the shows got minimal DVR boost and once The Voice wasn’t there, both shows came down big.
I think it’s in NBCs interest to use the Tuesday edition of The Voice this spring to launch something new. As is, Tuesday from 9-11 is the one programming hole on the networks (broadcast and cable) without a huge hit. ABC had a real opportunity to seize that this winter during the Voice hiatus, but for whatever reason (I don’t understand), they chose to let that opportunity go by. Yesterday FOX decided they were done surrendering and are adding Hell’s Kitchen to the 8p slot beginning in March which should help the 9p comedies but mosty certainly will boost their 8p fortunes.
It seems silly for NBC to use The Voice to enhance the comedies again since they got that shot all fall, and it’s now obvious their true potential in a not very competitive slot. Plus the comedies will have aired 20 eps before The Voice returns. If they double up 2 weeks or even air new eps on Thu for 2 weeks in March (in lieu of comedy reruns) their 1st season run will be complete.
I could see NBC possibly deciding to air the Tue installment of The Voice at 9p but why give Smash that shot again as opposed to another new show.
So what are their options? There are a few but whatever it is, it should be something mass appeal and with the potential to draw a large audience like The Voice is. In other words, no niche sitcoms (i.e. Save Me). Here are a few ideas:
- Hannibal – They could possibly air Hannibal at 9p. Some might say “well that’s some crazy ass flow: The Voice-Hannibal-Smash.” I can’t really argue with that, but it would certainly be counterprogramming to NCIS: LA, DWTS & the FOX comedies. In actuality, maybe a better option is to launch Hannibal Monday at 10p, with the last month of The Voice in June after Revolution has completed its run.
- The Winner Is – Maybe NBC can launch another music/reality show after The Voice. The obvious contender is The Winner is- a music/ game show that sounds like a stand-alone version of The Voice http://www.deadline.com/2012/05/nbc-greenlights-singing-game-show-from-the-voice-producer-john-de-mol/
- Celebrity Game Night – The Sean Hayes “Celebrity Game Night” sounds like a fresh entry in the reality/game/celebrity space. Plus the minimal commitment required here sounds like they might be able to attract more than just C list celebs.
- Ready For Love – This Eva Longoria produced dating show is currently scheduled for Sundays this spring but if they have a lot if faith in it, they might seek to upgrade it to a post Voice slot.
Finally, there’s another option that might be their best bet:
- Grimm – . Grimm is scheduled to return for an interrupted run on Fri this March. This show has proven its worth by getting around 6 mil and a 1.7 on Fri nights. It gets large DVR gains as well. The show is currently doing far better than the NBC Tue comedies and it airs on Fri. Imagine what this could do on a more viewed night like Tue with a Voice lead. (This was also my logic for why ABC should have moved Shark Tank to 9p Tue, but in this case it would have a large lead in as well). This could be NBCs chance to change this show from cult hit to an even bigger hit that can be used on a night like Wed next fall (Grimm/SVU/Chicago Fire could be a strong night for them). It’s also a young skewing hit like The Voice. Dateline Friday gets a mid to high 1 and 5 million many weeks and that would help Fri from collapsing while making Grimm a much bigger hit and exposing it to a larger audience.
Whatever NBC does, they should certainly be planning to use Tue’s edition of The Voice to either launch a potential new hit this spring or turn one of their existing shows into a much bigger one. Someone needs to attack that Tue hole.