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'The Voice' ratings rise: Shakira and Usher are working

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Shakira and Usher on The Voice? Working.

NBC’s singing competition hit is doing something that other reality shows only wish they could pull off: Showing ratings steadiness, and even growth, in the weeks following a premiere — despite a new judging panel.

Three weeks into its spring run, Monday’s two-hour The Voice inched up 4 percent to its best performance this year — 13.7 million viewers and a 4.9 rating among adults 18-49. In fact, this matches the fall edition’s finale as the highest-rated Voice of the season. Competition was mixed: CBS comedies were in repeats at 8 p.m., but CBS’ live coverage of NCAA basketball had some big numbers after the repeats. At any rate, The Voice‘s apparent strength is supported by what we saw last week, with its Tuesday edition also rising from the prior week’s premiere.

These ratings with Shakira and Usher in the red chairs must come as a huge relief to NBC. Not only does it help boost the current edition of the show, it also suggests the network’s prime-time performance isn’t wholly dependent upon the cooperation of Cee Lo and Christina Aguilera (because prime-time sure is dependent on The Voice). The show could still plummet, mind you. We’ve seen other many shows defy gravity for a few weeks than suddenly drop, but for now it seems The Voice can function without two of its original stars.

Too bad The Voice‘s rise didn’t do more for Revolution. The apocalyptic drama just went up a tenth of a point at 10 p.m., but it was facing some very strong basketball numbers. Over on Fox, fellow freshman drama The Following ceased its recent dips, while on The CW The Carrie Diaries concluded with a whimper. Full Chart:

FOX 8-9P BONES R #10 1.1 4,280
9-10P FOLLOWING-FOX #7 2.2 6,207
ABC 8-10P DANCNG STARS #8 2.0 12,943
10-11P CASTLE R #9 1.3 7,355
CBS 8:00P 2 BROKE-GIRLS RS #5 2.7 9,108
8:30P BIG BANG THEORY RS #4 3.3 10,505
9:00P PRELUDE-NCAA S #3 4.4 13,616
930-11P NCAA BB S #1 7.5 20,709
NBC 8-10P VOICE #2 4.9 13,673
10-11P REVOLUTION #6 2.3 6,317
CW 8-9P CARRIE DIARIES #11 0.4 1,070
9-10P HART-DIXIE R #12 0.2 524