The good news for NBC brass is that 'The Voice's third season debuted with much stronger ratings numbers than it was putting up by the end of season two. The bad news is, it was the lowest rated premiere that the series has ever had.
The two-hour episode earned a 4.1 rating among adults 18-49, growing every half hour. This is not a bad number by any means, however it does not reach the event-programming levels that NBC's advertising had pressed for. The four co-hosts and coaches for the third season kicked off the show performing The Rolling Stones' classic "Start Me Up," and delivered everything fans of previous seasons could hope for; it's possible that the undeniable event-programming of 'Monday Night Football' could be responsible for cutting into the figure.
Regardless of delivering the lowest rated premiere in 'The Voice's three-year history, it was still enough for NBC to rule Monday night, pulling in 12 million viewers dying to see who is selected for each new team this season. The first episode featured eight different audition numbers which included "Gives You Hell" and "I Want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," culled from various eclectic musical genres to appeal to the motley crew of judges and coaches before them.
In other contextual ratings news for NBC, a preview episode of The New Normal pulled a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 , followed by another sampling of the Go On premiere which earned a 1.8 rating in the demographic.