Monday night had the first head-to-head battle pitting ABC’s rebooted version of American Idol against NBC’s reality leader The Voice. And the outcome was clear: The Voice came out on top in both total viewers and the adult demo.
The Voice had 11.7 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49, while American Idol‘s time slot debut had 8.4 million viewers and a 1.8 rating. Both shows aired from 8-to-10 p.m. NBC points out The Voice ratings didn’t budge much from last week, either. In fact, this is the second most-watched telecast of The Voice in the past year.
ABC countered as if they don’t care, noting the network “nearly tied” NBC to win the night, and that Idol improved their time period average for the season (which is indeed key to executives — winning is better, of course, but you at least want to improve time periods with your new programming if you can).
Even though Idol aired for years on Fox while The Voice was on NBC, this is actually the first time the two have gone head to head for regular episodes. Past matchups during the Fox vs. NBC period were one-time stunts or for some kind of special episodes.
Idol features judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. The news follows Sunday night’s Idol premiere episode which debuted lower than any of its iterations on Fox, though given how broadcast ratings overall has ebbed in recent years, that probably isn’t too surprising.