NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Limping To Finish

Despite being set up to shine, “The Voice” is limping to its finish.

Photo: Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP
Accepting the award for best reality series-competition for “The Voice” at the Critics' Choice Television Awards in Beverly Hills.

NBC’s most popular show, approaching its season finale next week, had 11.3 million viewers for its Monday edition last week and 10.9 million on Tuesday. Both were enough to rank them within the Nielsen company’s top six shows for the week.

Still, the two editions were below their averages for the season, even more among younger viewers. The show peaked at more than 14 million viewers in mid-April.

It’s not as if NBC’s rivals offered elite competition. CBS aired reruns both nights. Fox showed its fading summer franchise “So You Think You Can Dance” and Charlie Sheen’s “Anger Management,” which had cable-like numbers (1.7 million viewers on Monday). ABC offered its popular “The Bachelorette” on Monday and a weight loss show the next night.

So why isn’t “The Voice” doing better? With warm weather, television viewership typically declines. The early part of “The Voice” season, with the blind auditions, is popular and is the gimmick that sets it apart from others in the genre.

NBC surely doesn’t want to contemplate another possible explanation: that the series has peaked and viewers are tiring of it.

The network did win one important competition last week: An original episode of “Revolution” had 6.2 million viewers, while the debut of ABC’s “Mistresses” in the same time slot had 4.4 million.

ABC won the week in prime time, averaging 6 million viewers behind the strength of the first two games of the NBA Finals. CBS was a close second, with 5.9 million viewers, NBC had 5.6 million, Fox had 3.27 million, Univision had 3.26 million, Telemundo had 1.7 million, ION Television had 1.4 million and the CW had 750,000.

TNT was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.9 million viewers in prime time. USA had 2.8 million, the Disney Channel had 2.3 million, History had 2.1 million and Fox News Channel had 1.9 million.

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.5 million viewers. ABC’s “World News” was second with 7 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.7 million viewers.

For the week of June 3-9, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NBA Finals: San Antonio vs. Miami (Sunday), ABC, 14.57 million; NBA Finals: San Antonio vs. Miami (Thursday), ABC, 14.24 million; NBA Playoffs: Indiana vs. Miami (Monday), TNT, 11.57 million; “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 11.29 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 11.22 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 10.87 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 9.4 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 9.3 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 8.94 million; NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 7.88 million.