With 17.7M viewers, 'Voice' is the smash

NBC finally has a smash hit on its hands.

And it’s called “The Voice.”

Oh, “Smash,” the making-of-a-Broadway-musical show that many critics (including this one) loved and that NBC made the focus of a saturation ad campaign, did better than most things on the network, with some 11.5 million viewers in the preliminary Nielsens.
It easily won the 10 p.m. hour Monday in total viewers and among the 18- to 49-year-olds advertisers target.

But “The Voice,” coming off a post-Super Bowl showcase, managed to hold on to an average audience of nearly 17.7 million viewers, peaking in its second hour at 19.3 million.

Those are “American Idol” numbers, people. Or at least they used to be.

“Smash,” by contrast, did well, especially in a season where breaking 10 million viewers has become something of a feat, but it not only dropped considerably from its “Voice” lead-in, it continued to drop in the second half-hour, which is why I'm a little worried, even amid reports that this is the third-highest-rated premiere for the season.

Could all that singing be putting people to sleep?