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Monday Overnights: NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Beats ABC’s ‘American Idol’ by 34 Percent

ABC Gets a Boost from 'The Good Doctor' at 10 p.m. ET

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  • MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

    Household Rating/Share
    NBC: 6.0/10, ABC: 5.9/10, CBS: 3.6/ 6, Fox: 2.5/ 4, CW: 0.8/ 1

    -Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:

    CW: +14, ABC: + 5, NBC: – 5, Fox: no change, CBS: -12

    Ratings Breakdown:
    In the first head-to-head battle between “American Idol” and “The Voice,” NBC was the clear winner. “The Voice” topped the night at a 7.5 rating/12 share in the household overnights from 8-10 p.m., which was 34 percent above the 5.6/ 9 for competing “American Idol” on ABC. Comparably, this second night of the “American Idol” revival slipped by 11 percent from the 6.3/10 for night one on Sunday, which translated into approximately 10.3 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49 (based on fast nationals from Nielsen). While ABC was touting that 10.3 million tally as its best performance in the Sunday 8-10 p.m. block in four years, it was also the lowest opening of any “American Idol” season in the history of the franchise.

    The 5.6/ 9 in the household overnights for “American Idol” was also only on par with year-ago time period occupant “The Bachelor.” Given the erosion last night, look for a total viewer count in the vicinity of 9-9.5 million viewers for this second night.

    ABC moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 10 p.m. thanks to freshman drama “The Good Doctor,” which at a 6.4/11 in the overnight households bested competing “Good Girls” on NBC (#2: 3.1/ 5) and a repeat of “NCIS” on CBS (#3: 3.0/ 5) by 106 percent and 113 percent, respectively. Comparably, the 3.1/ 5 for “Good Girls” was down by 11 percent from the 3.5/ 7 for the second episode last week.

    Elsewhere, CBS mixed originals and repeats in its two-hour Monday comedy block, with an encore of “The Big Bang Theory” at 8 p.m. (#3: 4.7/ 8) leading into a 4.0/ 7 (#3) for sophomore “Man With a Plan” at 8:30 p.m. Next was a Monday 9 p.m. repeat of “Young Sheldon” (#3: 3.7/ 6) into a 3.1/ 5 (#3) for episode three of “Living Biblically” at 9:30 p.m., which was flat from one week earlier.

    Fox finished in the distant No. 4 spot care of dramas “Lucifer” (#4: 2.3/ 4) and recent entry “The Resident” (#4: 2.8/ 5), which deserves accolades for increasing from its lead-in by 22 percent. And The CW featured relocated “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow” (#5: 1.1/ 2 at 8 p.m.) into recent returnee ‘iZombie” (#5: 0.6/ 1 at 9 p.m., which slipped by 45 percent).

    What follows are the household overnight ratings for Monday, March 12 broken out by half-hour:

    8:00 p.m.
    ABC – “American Idol”: 5.5/ 9 (#2)
    CBS – “The Big Bang Theory” (R): 4.7/ 8 (#3)
    NBC – “The Voice”: 7.3/12 (#1)
    Fox – “Lucifer”: 2.3/ 4 (#4)
    CW – “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow”: 1.1/ 2 (#5)

    8:30 p.m.
    ABC – “American Idol”: 5.5/ 9 (#2)
    CBS – “Man With a Plan”: 4.0/ 7 (#3)
    NBC – “The Voice”: 7.6/12 (#1)
    Fox – “Lucifer”: 2.2/ 4 (#4)
    CW – “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow”: 1.0/ 2 (#5)

    9:00 p.m.
    ABC – “American Idol”: 5.7/ 9 (#2)
    CBS – “Young Sheldon” (R): 3.7/ 6 (#3)
    NBC – “The Voice”: 7.6/12 (#1)
    Fox – “The Resident”: 2.8/ 4 (#4)
    CW – “The Resident”: 0.6/ 1 (#5)

    9:30 p.m.
    ABC – “American Idol”: 5.6/ 9 (#2)
    CBS – “Living Biblically”: 3.1/ 5 (#3)
    NBC – “The Voice”: 7.6/12 (#1)
    Fox – “The Resident”: 2.9/ 5 (#4)
    CW – “The Resident”: 0.6/ 1 (#5)

    10:00 p.m.
    ABC – “The Good Doctor”: 6.5/11 (#1)
    CBS – “NCIS” (R): 2.9/ 5 (#3)
    NBC – “Good Girls”: 3.4/ 6 (#2)

    10:30 p.m.
    ABC – “The Good Doctor”: 6.3/12 (#1)
    CBS – “NCIS” (R): 3.0/ 6 (#2)
    NBC – “Good Girls”: 2/7 5 (#3)

    Source: Nielsen Media Research

    Written by Marc Berman

    Marc Berman

    Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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    1. I gotta be honest, while it would be easy to rip on Idol for having it’s lowest debut ever, the number was actually pretty good. The fact that the Voice didn’t kill it either is a huge deal for ABC. There are virtually no reality shows that have been on TV for this amount of time breaking personal ratings records. You would never hear Marc talk about how Survivor is having it’s lowest rated season or Big Brother. TV trends are changing. Ratings are getting lower across the board. The 10 million is a really good number today and anything over a 2 in the demo on that wasteland known as Sunday night TV is a hit.

      • I am surprised and disappointed that ABC scheduled it opposite The Voice. What is the point in that? It is, in my opinion, actually disrespectful to viewers.

        • Its the same thing NBC did to FOX when it scheduled a special Voice episode opposite the premiere of X Factor.

          • i just don’t get that. Why split an audience that is obviously watching those types of shows? And why force people to do that.

            • Purely financial. NBC obviously didn’t want X Factor to be a hit and then possibly dilute the long term audience for The Voice. And I imagine that ABC clearly wanted to take The Voice down so that they could have Monday to themselves.

              • I think it’s multiple reasons for ABC. Obviously Sunday was one of their nights for it. Having it air back to back nights is understandable. I also think they wanted to put a dent in the Voice. Finally, ABC needed this to work and Monday is a night people are used to watching ABC for reality and in general. Waiting til say Tuesday from 9-11 for episode two could have resulted in much lower ratings. That said, they could’ve started DWTS last night like usual and maybe have done an hour of Idol on Monday and Tuesday. Would’ve been a good lead in for the new show For the People as well. I can’t imagine Blackish providing lots of lead in support. Also would have allowed them to save some episodes of The Good Doctor for May sweeps and given them an overall higher rating this spring.

                • btw, I do agree with you that ultimately, pitting similar shows against each other, whether it be Superstore vs. BBT, 20/20 vs. Dateline, etc is ultimately bad for the networks as a whole as it just dilutes ratings, which broadcasters just can’t afford to do in this day and age.

    2. I think it’s way too early to judge Kelly. The times it really counts is when you see how they handle the challenges and also get a chance to see how they coach their talent. Jennifer won me over with how wonderful of an actual coach she was more than the shoe throwing theatrics. Also, I like to see how they judge the challenges… it makes a difference to me when a judge is constantly picking the lesser talent of the two.

      • Don’t forget that Jennifer had coaching experience before joining The Voice last season ~ She was a coach for at least one season of the United Kingdom (UK) version of The Voice.

    3. American Idol is going to do well no matter what even if The Voice beats it on Mondays but it isn’t hammering Idol so that is a good thing. I think those that prefer Idol will watch it over The Voice like those that prefer The Voice over Idol will watch The Voice.

    4. I watched American Idol Sunday night and enjoyed it. Monday night I started watching The Voice and quickly decided I liked “Idol” better as it was more about the singers whereas I felt “Voice” was more about the bantering between the coaches.

      • I like the Voice for precisely the opposite reason. Personally, I find it a lot more interesting with both good talent and interesting coaches with fun banter. I tuned into Idol for a short time and watching the auditions was boring so I checked out for good.