Music competition leads network to weekly win, pumps lead-outs

There’s no greater ratings weapon this fall than NBC’s “The Voice.”

The music talent show has performed better than expected relative to the competish, and the net has used it effectively to funnel viewers into first-year series. Monday’s “Revolution” and Tuesday’s “Go On,” both of which follow “The Voice,” are NBC’s top two entertainment series of the fall and have been picked up for the rest of the season.

Last week, the net aired “The Voice” on three nights, including a special Wednesday edition that fueled lead-out “Chicago Fire” to series highs and a special Thursday results-show edition that lifted “The Office” to season highs. As a bonus, the show easily topped music-contest rival “The X Factor” on Fox.

Overall, the Peacock used five hours of “The Voice,” “Sunday Night Football” and a winning perf by its news division on Election Night to notch its sixth adults 18-49 victory in seven frames this season — and by its widest margins yet.

In Nielsen estimates for Nov. 5-11, NBC matched its fall high in adults 18-49 with a 3.1 rating/8 share, followed by ABC and Fox (both 2.3/6) and CBS (2.2/6). It also won in all other demos, while CBS led in total viewers (9.3 million to 8.8 million for NBC).

Through seven weeks, NBC is up a big 23% vs. last year — its biggest year-over-year gains in the 25-year history of Nielsen’s people-meters.

“Sunday Night Football” led the way as usual (7.9/19 in 18-49, 20.86 million viewers overall), but the week’s standout was “The Voice.” Monday’s edition (4.5/11, 11.93m) was the week’s No. 4 series in 18-49, while Wednesday’s two hours (3.8/10, 10.47m) and Thursday’s hour (3.0/8, 8.83m) won their slots.

With “Chicago Fire” (2.2/6, 7.03m) benefiting from its lead-in to surge about 35% week to week, NBC won its first in-season nonsports Wednesday in 18-49 since 2008.

“Revolution” remained the top-rated 10 p.m. drama on any net this fall in 18-49 (2.8/7, 7.34m), and “The Office” (2.4/6, 4.83m) was up 26% from its most recent episode.

NBC won Election Night (4.3/10, 12.01m) as 66.8 million watched primetime coverage on 13 nets Nov. 6.

At ABC, “Modern Family” (4.8/12, 12.43m) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.3/8, 9.26m) led the way, but the net’s Sunday drama “Once Upon a Time” (2.7/7, 8.75m) saw an unusual 23% week-to-week decline. Also down, but a bit more understandably, were the second outings of Friday laffers “Last Man Standing” (1.6/6, 7.44m) and “Malibu Country” (1.7/5, 7.34m), which had strong starts the previous week; they ran second to CBS’ “Undercover Boss” (1.9/6, 9.02m).

Also at the Eye, “The Big Bang Theory” (5.1/15, 16.68m) and “Two and a Half Men” (4.0/11, 14.07m) paced a Thursday victory, with the former TV’s most-watched scripted program of the week and the latter matching a season high.

CBS won in total viewers even with its “NCIS” dramas sitting out Tuesday.

Fox had a sluggish week as “X Factor” wasn’t much of a factor opposite “The Voice” on Wednesday (2.6/7, 7.03m) and Thursday (2.3/6, 6.33m). The net did enjoy a lengthy NFL overrun on Sunday, boosting “The Simpsons” (3.2/8, 6.86m) and the 200th episode of “Family Guy” (2.7/6, 5.57m).

CW saw rookie drama “Arrow” remain on the mark (1.3/4, 3.75m), while “Beauty and the Beast” held steady (0.7/2, 1.84m) behind “The Vampire Diaries” (1.5/4, 3.02m).

At Univision, “Amores Verdaderos” (True Love) on Wednesday became the net’s top-rated novela premiere on record (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.32m). In the 8 p.m. hour, Univision was the No. 1 net in Los Angeles, Miami and Houston.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” had another monster week (5.6/15, 10.37m), ruling as TV’s No. 1 entertainment series in 18-49 and rising 14% week to week for its second best score to date.

TLC’s “Breaking Amish” ended its season strong Sunday (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.80m) and wrapped as the net’s top-rated rookie series since “What Not to Wear” in 2003.

Discovery’s second-season bow of “Moonshiners” set series records Wednesday (1.5/4, 3.06m) as the net ranked No. 1 for the night among cablers in male demos.

Benefiting from the election, Fox News stood as the most-watched cable net (in both total-day and primetime) for a record fourth straight week (3.4 million). It also easily led in total viewers among cable newsies on Election Night (11.45 million to 9.25 million for CNN and 4.67 million for MSNBC), though CNN pulled ahead in demos.

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