'X Factor,' 'Voice' both appear softer this fall
Though the top shows in the genre are still good performers, audiences appear to be tiring of singing competition series.This month, both NBC’s “The Voice” and Fox’s “The X Factor” returned to smaller numbers than their previous editions, despite bowing prior to the start of the television season and thus opposite lesser competish than usual. These results come months after the granddaddy of music contests, Fox’s still-potent “American Idol,” wrapped its lowest-rated season to date and after a summer that saw auds coldly reject the latest entries in the genre, ABC’s “Duets” and CW’s “The Next.” “The Voice” rebounded in its second week (with “X Factor” up somewhat as well), and it could be that auds weren’t quite ready for the return of such top series. Still, fans of the music contest genre are certainly fatigued, and anybody who watched NFL football on the opening Sunday of the season (Sept. 9) was bombarded with promos for the return of the two music contests, with NBC and Fox pushing a combined seven hours in their premiere week alone. It didn’t help that the two returning music shows went head-to-head for an hour on Sept. 12, with NBC putting the collision in motion by making a late sked change to blunt the debut of Britney Spears as a judge on the Fox show. NBC won that matchup head to head (a 3.4 to 2.9 rating in 18-49, and 10.9 million to 7.8 million in total viewers), as “The Voice” appears to be the stronger of the two shows and was riding momentum; the night marked the show’s third straight airing. For its first two Monday installments, “The Voice” averaged a 4.5/12 in 18-49 (down 30% from its inflated winter start following the net’s coverage of the Super Bowl) while the first two Wednesday editions of “X Factor” averaged a 3.5/10 in 18-49 (down 19% from last fall). This is the first time that both music shows are airing in the fall, with “The Voice” slated for a second season in the winter. While there is certainly risk of a burnout, the struggling Peacock really had no choice but to use “Voice” as a lead-in. The show accomplished its mission of providing sizable sampling for the premieres of Monday drama “Revolution” (4.1/10 in 18-49, 11.7 million viewers overall) and Tuesday comedy “Go On” (3.4/10, 9.7 million).