Today, NBC announced that The Voice season 21 — featuring Ariana Grande as a coach — will premiere this coming fall. To go along with that, though, there’s another announcement that signals a change in strategy.
For the first time since the early days of the singing-show, the network is now plotting to air just one season of The Voice over the course of a year. There will be no spring cycle, which means the earliest season 22 could premiere is fall 2022.
So why change things up at this point? It may have to do with declining ratings for the series, especially during the spring cycle. There could be a feeling of talent-TV overload given that this show is roughly on the air at the same time as American Idol. We also think that scaling down The Voice gives the producers more time to figure out how to shake up the format. Adding Grande is of course a nice touch, but there are some other things that can be done from there. The format (especially the middle rounds) has long grown stale, and NBC desperately needs to work with Universal’s music division to figure out how to promote their winners. The vast majority of champions on this show end up fading into oblivion rather fast; calling it unfortunate does not even feel like doing it justice.
In the end, The Voice is taking a page from Dancing with the Stars, which ended up scaling down its competition to a season a year a few seasons back. We do think that this helped the show tremendously, since it made it feel more like an event and a little bit less of a typical ratings grab.
What do you think about The Voice scaling it back to a season a year?
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This article was written by Jess Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.