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'The Voice' soars, but NBC still can't shake ratings blues

March 27, 2012 |  5:46 pm

Blake Shelton confers with Kelly Clarkson, left, and Erin Willet on 'The Voice'

"The Voice" is putting the heat on "American Idol." But so far, the singing contest hasn't been able to lift NBC out of the ratings cellar.

For the week ending Sunday, "The Voice" was sandwiched in second place between the Wednesday and Thursday editions of Fox's "Idol" among adults ages 18 to 49, the demographic most advertisers care about. And "Voice" is up 22% this season in total viewers, while "Idol" is down by a comparable amount, according to Nielsen.

But NBC remained mired in fourth place among 18-to-49-year-olds and total viewers, because beyond "The Voice," the network has no other show in the top 20. Things are so bad that NBC is running dead last for the entire season to date, even though it earned record-breaking results with its Super Bowl telecast.

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Meanwhile, CBS' regular lineup continued to dominate. The network had four of the top 10 programs in viewers last week, led by No. 1 "NCIS" (19 million). CBS easily leads in viewers for the season so far and could even grab the 18-49 crown away from Fox if "Idol" continues to decline.

The top show on basic cable was ABC Family's Saturday premiere of "The Blind Side" (4.7 million).


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Photo: Blake Shelton confers with Kelly Clarkson, left, and Erin Willet on "The Voice." Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC