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The network will air only one cycle of the singing competition in the coming season, marking the first time that’s happened since 2012.
Every season since 2012-13, NBC has aired two cycles of The Voice — one in the fall and one in the spring. The coming cycle will be the show’s 21st, and Frances Berwick, chairman entertainment networks at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, told reporters Friday that the decision to scale back to one season will help protect the franchise.
“We want to eventize this iconic series,” Berwick said. “The best way to protect the brand while super-serving fans is to produce one amazing cycle this season.”
NBC has also bulked up on unscripted shows for the back half of the 2021-22 season. The network plans to debut seven shows in 2022: AGT: Extreme, a stunt-based America’s Got Talent spinoff; American Song Contest, a take on the Eurovision contest that features artists from every state; Ava DuVernay’s social experiment Home Sweet Home; game show The Wheel; Dick Wolf-produced docuseries LA Fire and Rescue; the Jimmy Fallon-hosted That’s My Jam; and a revival of genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?
Like most other shows on the broadcast networks, The Voice has seen its ratings fall this season. Across both cycles and both nights on which it airs, the series has slipped by more than 25 percent in adults 18-49 and about 12 percent in total viewers.
The move is similar to one ABC made with its long-running series Dancing With the Stars. Beginning with its 27th edition in 2018, the show has aired only a single cycle each season.
Season 21 of The Voice will feature Ariana Grande joining Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton in the judges’ chairs.
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