UPDATE, 2:58 PM: The Season 8 debut of The Voice hit a slightly higher note after all in adjusted final ratings. Moving up to a 4.1/11 among adults 18-49 from a 4.0/11 in preliminary numbers, last night’s show is now tied with the Season 7 premiere of last September for the series’s lowest cycle debut. However in total viewers, last night’s Voice went up 2% from this morning’s results to an audience 13.97 million. That’s almost a million more viewers that what the September 22, 2014 premiere pulled in. Also seeing some movement in the final number were Fox’s Gotham and ABC’s Castle. The former went up a tenth to 2.3/7, which gave it a lift of 9% over its February 16 show. The latter went down by 5% from earlier to a 1.6/7. That makes the show even with last week.
PREVIOUS, 9:08 AM: Ok, first thing: If you didn’t see the Season 8 debut of The Voice (4.0/11) last night then you missed some of Pharrell Williams and the show at its best. Aspiring Voicer Bryce Sherlow didn’t turn any chairs around during her performance of “Cool Kids” by Echosmith, but the multiple Grammy winner jumped on stage with the teen and belted out a duet of his Oscar-nominated tune “Happy” that brought the house down and Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and returning coach Christina Aguilera, who replaces Gwen Stefani, to their feet.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the numbers. The two-hour return of NBC’s powerhouse singing competition show fell 14% from its comparable Season 6 premiere on February 24 last year. As it stands in preliminary numbers, that’s an all-time demo premiere low for the Mark Burnett-produced series. Compared to the Season 7 premiere on September 22 last year, which garnered a 4.1/11 rating in the demo and a total audience of 12.95 million, last night’s demo was steady with just a 2% slip. The Season 6 debut pulled in a 4.7/13 rating among adults 18-49 and 15.86 million total viewers.
With some context, Voice episodes generally do see adjustment in final numbers both in the demo and viewership so that low could rise to a tie. In terms of viewership, last night’s premiere saw 13.6 million tuning in. Compared to the Season 8 finale of December 16 last year, last night’s Voice was up 21% in the demo.
After The Voice, NBC had another return with the Season 2 debut of The Night Shift (1.5/4). Back after more than seven months since its freshman run ended and moved from its previous Tuesday slot, the medical drama dipped 6% from its Season 1 premiere on May 27. Although on a different night, it should be pointed out that slot had some serious lead-in competition juice of its own with Night Shift debuting right after the Season 9 debut of America’s Got Talent.
In the end, NBC easily won the night among 18-49 with a 3.1/9 and in total viewers with 10.903 million. ABC was second with 2.3/7 among the demo while CBS took second in viewership with 9.584 million tuning in.
As some shows came back, one ended its 18-episode run this year with the Season 2 finale of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (1.4/4) at 9 PM. After a season that saw series lows, there is no word yet whether the Ichabod Crane-inspired drama will be back for a third run. To that end, last night’s episode provided a sense of closure from the September 16, 2013 pilot, with characters going back in time this time. However, the show was down a hard 41% among adults 18-49 from the Season 1 finale on January 20, 2014. With another new Sleepy Hollow as its lead-in, that Monday night ender had a rating result of 2.4/6 with 7.05 million total viewers. Last night’s show had 4.4 million viewers. Week-to-week, last night’s Sleepy Hollow was even in demo and viewership with its February 16 show. Lead-in Gotham (2.2/7) was up 5% from last week.
Even is not the first word that comes to mind if you watched ABC’s The Bachelor (2.6/7) last night, but it is fact in terms of its demo result compared to its February 16 show. Lead-out Castle (1.7/5) was steady with a 6% rise from last week.
CBS saw its primetime take a few small hits, likely due to the return of The Voice. 2 Broke Girls (2.1/7) and Mike & Molly (2.0/6) dipped 5% and 9% respectively from last week. Scorpion (2.1/6) and NCIS: LA (1.6/5) slipped 9% and 6%, respectively, from their last originals January 15.