'Voice,' 'Smash' down but net takes night in demos

Its midseason Monday combo of ”The Voice” and ”Smash” has been just about NBC’s lone bright spot since football ended, but both shows declined again this week and and the net’s once surprisingly large lead on the night is shrinking.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”The Voice” (3.6 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall) won its two-hour block among young adults , including all four half-hours , but its overall average came in slightly below CBS’ ”Two and a Half Men.” ”Voice,” which is in the live quarterfinals and a few weeks from its finale, has seen its numbers drift downward for six straight weeks, though some of that is due to spring distractions that help send most shows to their lowest ratings levels of the season. Its 18-49 advantages over competitors ABC (18%) and CBS (9%) were its smallest yet this week.

At 10 p.m., rookie drama ”Smash” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) was down a tick week to week, placing second to ABC’s ”Castle” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall). CBS’ ”Hawaii Five-0” was in repeat (1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall).

For the night, NBC prevailed in 18-49 but ABC pulled ahead in adults 25-54 and won easily as usual in total viewers.

For ABC, ”Dancing With the Stars” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 16.3 million viewers overall) was down week to week to match a season low, but had its most competitive finish to ”The Voice” in 18-49 and 25-54. ”Dancing” remains the night’s leader in overall audience, drawing about 5 million viewers more than any other show.

Elsewhere, the opening-hour CBS comedies ”How I Met Your Mother” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) and ”2 Broke Girls” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) were at season lows but ranked a close second to ”Voice.” And following, ”Two and a Half Men” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall), ”Mike and Molly” had another solid night (3.1/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), retaining more than 80% of its lead-in.

Fox saw ”Bones” edge down (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) while ”House” was on a slight upswing (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall); both shows ran fourth for their hours in key demos.

And at CW, ”Gossip Girl” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) and ”Hart of Dixie” (0.6/1 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall) were both up slightly week to week, with each earning a 0.7/2 in adults 18-34.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 3.1/8; CBS, 2.7/7; ABC, 2.6/7; Fox, 2.0/5; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 14.7 million; NBC, 8.6 million; CBS, 8.1 million; Fox, 6.3 million; Univision, 3.8 million.

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