'Revolution' Ratings vs. 'Smash' Ratings; The Trend Is Not 'Revolution's' Friend

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

May 8th, 2013


Following NBC's The Voice does wonders for a show's ratings. Unfortunately, every show can't follow The Voice, every episode, forever.

Last season, Smash followed The Voice, and did fine by NBC standards. This season, when it didn't air after The Voice, its ratings collapsed, and it was moved to Saturday to burn off its remaining episodes before cancellation.

This season, Revolution has followed The Voice on Monday for every single one of its episodes, and has done well by NBC standards.

However, its week to week ratings trend looks ominously like Smash's first season.

Wait until next season, indeed.

(click the graph for the full sized version)

  • POIFanatic

    Why are there wrong ratings in the graph? I believe Revolution has a greater chance at success than Smash when its moved to another slot.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Good comparison and I bet you’ll be right (unless they decide to keep Revolution after The Voice next year), but Bill you’re bored, huh? Why an random article like this when we’re all waiting renewals info?”

    It interested me and it will get a few page views, which as noted is the only reason I do anything. Besides, posting the renewal information is Amanda’s job, not mine.

    That said, we’re really not waiting for that much news (to us at least, for those not paying attention there will be plenty).

  • Dan

    My guess is that NBC will keep Revolution Mondays at 10 after the Voice to keep consistency, since it has 22 episodes but if not maybe Tuesday at 10.

  • rgxx

    Both Revolution & Parenthood are renewed…both for 22 episodes –
    Both at 10p (9c) Mondays & Tuesdays – if they keep them in the time slots – regardless if Voice is on or between seasons – I think they will be fine – if NBC keeps moving them – then they will not make it.

    NBC – keep them where they are regardless of Voice or No Voice

  • jessica

    Anna Bones Clarkwood,

    The ProTools is my new name for what NBC calls The Voice. I caught a bit of the show this week by accident and it sounded so perfect it couldn’t be real. I guess you could say FOX has The ProTools Factor and American ProTools.

    Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation for Microsoft Windows and OS X, developed and manufactured by Avid Technology. It is widely used by professionals throughout the audio industries for recording and editing in music production, film scoring, film and television post production, musical notation and MIDI sequencing.

    Basically it is software that will fix pretty much any mistake made by a musician. I don’t know if these shows actually use it but it really would surprise me if they don’t. If a singer or guitarist can’t perform without electricity and sound just as good then chances are it is the software that has the talent.

    As for breaks being good for cable shows, i direct your attention to The Walking Dead as the truth example and to White Collar as the example of that claim being false. The Event and FlashForward each received a long break in the middle of their only season and surprise-surprise their second half were each so bad they had no more. The Walking Dead is like NCIS in that both violate the trend and actually see general increases to their numbers over the years.

    This season, Revolution has followed The Voice on Monday for every single one of its episodes, and has done well by NBC standards.

    So The Voice is a September through May show. At least FOX has the decency to pretend they have two different karaoke contests.:)

  • Dan

    @RgXX – That would be logical though I expect NBC to move Parentood to either Wed at 8 or Thurs at 10 so they can move SVU to Tues at 10 and probably premiere that Chicago Fire Spinoff Wed at 10 after Chicago Fire.

    We’ll find out next week but I’m sure NBC will move some shows to make room for new dramas.

  • Dan

    Smash also didn’t benefit from a low rated Tuesday altogether. When you have Betty White then Go On, then The New Normal the 10pm drama is expected to drop. Not defending Smash or anything. Parenthood in the fall had the benefit of Voice then higher rated Go On and New Normal.

    If Revolution is moved to Tuesdays at 10, it will be interesting to see how it will do after whatever airs post Voice but my guess is that it will stay Mondays at 10.

  • Connor Murdock

    Personally I don’t think Revolution will have the same problem as Smash did last year. Next year NBC will have the Olympics in February.

    In my opinion NBC would do better running ONLY Revolution in the Monday 10pm time slot with new episodes and repeats from September through January, promote it heavily during the olympics and finish up season two after the the voice’s spring cycle.

  • Connor Murdock

    i meant at 10pm leading out of the voice in the spring

  • Fourat sakka

    Last year smash had 1.8 it didn’t recover ! revoltion had 1.8 last week and this week; it had 2.0
    it’s a good sign :p

  • bluejays

    It’s what I’ve been saying for weeks. NBC have a problem. They simply cannot seem to launch a stand alone show out of The Voice. My thinking is its because they keep trying and trying to launch serialized shows that are doomed to fail. It’s so so rare to get a Lost type success with a genre or serialized show and much more common to get a failure. A show that will do well at first then quickly burn out.

    So now NBC either have to waste the post Voice slot next year on Revolution to save face or move it (when it WILL drop) and have another dud that they spent millions on launching and promoting. (Don’t forgot folks that the utter flop that is Smash was the MOST expensive tv launch in history!!)

    Why oh why didn’t NBC put Chicago Fire on after Voice? I doubt it would have got the initial buzz or figures of Revolution but I’d bet it would have held on to a steadier ratings profile and been more able to stand alone if moved and help build a night.

    NBC ought to stop launching ”the most waited for show in the history of ever…or actually since last year when we did this before” and just put a good, solid procedural behind Voice on Mondays and see what happens.

  • bluejays

    @ Bill Gorman.

    ‘we’re really not waiting for that much news (to us at least, for those not paying attention there will be plenty).’


  • Ted Craig

    I would add a third line to the graph: Smash, Revolution and a show like FlashForward or Jericho.

  • DanaK

    At least in the Spring, Revolution won’t quite have the same problem as Smash did, given the Olympics will be in February. Once The Voice and Football ended this season, NBC’s ratings crashed, and there weren’t many eyeballs to see the Smash promos and to be there for the premiere. Plus, NBC put Smash behind 2 shows that had already crashed in the ratings, so it didn’t get any help there. Revolution’s ratings should be higher in the Fall and NBC will have the Olympics to help with promo in the Spring, so Rev will hopefully be part of a network with more solid footing than Smash did at mid-season. And has been pointed out, NBC kept Smash off for 9 months between seasons, which certainly didn’t help matter, where Revolution will likely be back in the Fall.

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood


    Ok, “TheProTools” is your “genre” word for “Reality Singing Competition”.

    Break btwn shows like you say even Cable has to oppossites TWD & WC…wait really White Collar? I also know that Burn Notice & other summer cable shows don’t do as well for their “winter” run, but come the next summer they do better again.

    Network shows (FlashForward. The Event) are full of viewers that don’t have even repeats on during the break. USA/TNT/A&E/HBO etc all have more than just 1 (sometimes 2) airing per week plus they keep the reruns going throughout the break. That with Network viewers & Cable viewers being “mostly” 2 different types of viewers, one that for the most part expects Sep-May season with fall of no breaks save Thanksgiving, winter, and sporadic spring, the other that expects a 3 month run or 2, 2 month runs, or 1, 2.5 & 1, 1.5 month run, straight through with no breaks. It’s no wonder that long breaks on Network tv are struggling to find their acceptance. However, more people are turning to cable, but still have some Network shows they watch so they are learning about cable schedules & will be able to apply that to Network shows, in time. Not to mention the niche that SciFi has that cable can support & Network TV can’t as easily right now. You don’t see a new Star Trek show being in the works to air on Network tv, do you?

    BTW, The Voice has 2 cycles, just like The Amazing Race, Survivor, DWTS. They don’t pretend it’s 1 show. In fact, they had a “3 month” break btwn cycles.

  • senor chang

    That’s a very good point, actually. Doesn’t seem like high-concept is something that’ll work behind something with mass appeal like The Voice.

    I’d like to ask: who here would agree that NBC’s biggest success story this season is Chicago Fire?

  • DanaK

    senor chang,
    “I’d like to ask: who here would agree that NBC’s biggest success story this season is Chicago Fire?”
    Maybe, but it’s certainly its biggest surprise success. People were predicting that Nashville would kill it and many times it’s beaten Nashville in the ratings and gotten close to CSI. I marvel at its ability to go up from SVU’s ratings and that it’s pretty steady.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I’m just looking at the overall downward trend of Revolution. A minor uptick from 1.8 to 2.0 isn’t exciting unless it stays that way. I’d say the downward trend will continue next season. The show will likely debut at 1.5-2.0 and drift downward from there. It may not collapse with The Voice holding it up (if scheduled there), but it will still go down to cancellation territory, if not by the hiatus then certainly in the spring.

    I certainly hope Revolution “dies very badly” early next season. Awful show with a stupid premise, bad writing, bad directing and slow overall season pace. Not even decent acting from Elizabeth Mitchell and Giancarlo Esposito can redeem it; Burke and Lyons are just adequate.

  • Oliver


    Why oh why didn’t NBC put Chicago Fire on after Voice?

    Because it was much more compatible with SVU? It worked and now NBC doesn’t have to worry about moving it.

    SVU also filled the otherwise very tricky 9pm Wednesday slot.

  • DW

    ugh just bring back mr. smith and manamal NBC. your troubles will all be over. :)

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