Upfronts 2012: NBC Adds Fall Iteration of 'The Voice,' Looking at New Coaches for Second Cycle
NEW YORK – As expected, NBC will extend top-rated The Voice to two cycles each season with a fall version of the show featuring Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.
The network also will add a third hour of the show on Tuesdays from the outset. Previously, the show’s Tuesday night results show did not begin until several weeks into the season when the competition enters the performance phase.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt expressed confidence that The Voice could weather two cycles especially with some tweaking to the show’s format, which could include different judges for the second cycle in winter/spring 2013.
“I’m not worried about it running out of steam,” Greenblatt told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday. “But we’re constantly looking at the format and the way the show lays out.”
So far this season, The Voice has been averaging a stellar 6.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 15.6 million viewers on Mondays. But Tuesday’s show dips to a 4.0 rating with 10.5 million viewers.
This fall format tweaks will include extending the auditions when the show tends to pull in some of its highest ratings; insinuating the popular revolving chairs into the battle rounds; and getting to the live episodes more quickly, according to Greenblatt.
“Nobody likes to have a dip in the ratings," he says. "And I think we’re going to be smart about how to change that."
And viewers could see some new faces in those red chairs next year. While NBC has Aguilera, Green, Shelton and Levine locked in for multiple cycles, Greenblatt concedes that "two commitments a year is more than they expected."
"We love them all and they’re all spectacular and different from one another," he says. "We love the chemistry."
Meanwhile, JJ Abrams' Revolution will get the post-Voice slot on Monday's next season while Matthew Perry's Go On will get The Voice lead-out slot on Tuesdays this fall followed by Ryan Murphy's The New Normal.
This fall, NBC will bow four comedies - Go On, The New Normal, Animal Practice and Guys with Kids - and two dramas - Revolution and Dick Wolf's Chicago Fire. The newsmagazine Rock Center with Brian Williams earned a fall berth Thursday's at 10 p.m. despite its low ratings.
Ted Harbert, chairman, NBC Broadcasting, told reporters during a conference call on Sunday that newsmagazines traditionally take a long time to gain a foothold.
"They’ve done some fantastic stuff this year," notes Harbert, citing Bob Costas' Jerry Sandusky interview and the recent special on the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which included a first-ever tour of the White House situation room.
"They know they need to do more ...to have an impact on viewers," adds Harbert. "Brian Williams is a huge asset that we want to have on television."
The network will open up comedy nights on Tuesdays (with Go On and New Normal) and Fridays, moving Community and Whitney to lead off the night on a typically low-reated evening for broadcast networks. But Greenblatt cautioned that he is by no means shunting Community -- which has a small but devoted following -- and Whitney to the graveyard. And he noted that NBC is keeping Grimm, "a show that we like," on Friday nights next fall.
"Community tends to survive where ever it goes," he says. "If you don’t build it they won’t come. There was no intention to extend those shows to the graveyard on Friday."
NBC is holding Smash for midseason where it will run straight through. The number of episodes is not yet set, but NBC executives expect to order somewhere between 16-18. It is also still to be determined if the Broadway-set drama will again air Monday's after The Voice.
NBC FALL 2012-13 SCHEDULE
(*New programs in UPPER CASE)
8-10 p.m. – The Voice
10-11 p.m. – REVOLUTION
8-9 p.m. – The Voice
9-9:30 p.m. – GO ON
9:30-10 p.m. – THE NEW NORMAL
10-11 p.m. – Parenthood
8-8:30 p.m. – ANIMAL PRACTICE
8:30-9 p.m. – GUYS WITH KIDS
9-10 p.m. – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10-11 p.m. – CHICAGO FIRE
8-8:30 p.m. – 30 Rock
8:30-9 p.m. – Up All Night
9-9:30 p.m. – The Office
9:30-10 p.m. – Parks and Recreation
10-11 p.m. – Rock Center with Brian Williams
8-8:30 p.m. – Whitney
8:30-9 p.m. – Community
9-10 p.m. – Grimm
10-11 p.m. – Dateline NBC
SUNDAY (Fall 2012)
7- 8:15 p.m. -- Football Night in America
8:15-11:30 p.m. -- NBC Sunday Night Football
SUNDAY (Post-football/Winter 2013)
7-8 p.m. – Dateline NBC
8-9 p.m. – Fashion Star
9-10 p.m. – The Celebrity Apprentice
10-11 p.m. – DO NO HARM