Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The Voice came at a good time for NBC. One of the few shows keeping the lights on at the network, it replaced coaches Christina Aguilera and Ceelo Green with Usher and Shakira without missing a beat. Just last week, it achieved its highest ratings since March 2012. Coach Adam Levine said at today’s NBC Summer Press Day closing panel he was happy rather than relieved that the chemistry brought by the new judges has proven so effective. “It’s a different chemistry than before,” Levine added, “but it’s there.” Added coach Blake Shelton: “One thing that you can’t fake is chemistry. And I’ll be damned if it isn’t as strong as it’s ever been with the four of us.” Someone asked what the formula is these days for “kicking ‘American Idol’s’ ass. Exec producer Mark Burnett stressed that he thinks it’s because The Voice has “been claimed by young America. It’s young America’s show. Everyone knows it’s fresh, it’s now, it’s authentic, it’s real. And everyone is just being themselves and having fun, and that comes across on the screen.”