Talent Showdown: Ratings For ‘American Idol’ vs. ‘The Voice’

Julia Delbel
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TRAE PATTON, NBC/Eric Liebowitz/ABC

Spring has arrived, and that means by now the current seasons of ABC’s American Idol and NBC’s The Voice are both is full swing. Both are on the hunt for the next music superstar, and share a Monday primetime slot. But which one came out on top last night?


The Voice is used to being top dog on both Monday and Tuesday nights whether it’s springtime or autumn, and…so far that hasn’t changed with Season 16. This week’s Monday evening installment had 9 million viewers and a rating of 1.6, the highest of the night. While that’s lower than some of the other episodes this season have been, the show is clearly still dominating Monday night television and continues its reign as a force to be reckoned with.

American Idol came in second with 6.45 million viewers and a 1.2. This is pretty much par for the course for that show – at least since the network switch from FOX to ABC – as well. It’s also worth noting that while Idol hasn’t been touching The Voice, it’s doing quite well in its own right in the sense that it’s one of ABC’s biggest and most popular shows, at least in the unscripted department. ABC as a network hasn’t been doing so hot in the past several years, so even a more modest success like Idol is a major plus for them.

Even in the second year of this…arrangement, I’ve got to say it still feels very strange having The Voice and American Idol duke it out every week while sharing a timeslot. You wouldn’t think the two biggest singing shows on American television right now would be scheduled this way, but here we are. The most surprising thing about it, though, is how well both shows are doing for themselves despite this. They both have large, dedicated followings and cater to a similar demographic (though it does feel as though The Voice is generally seen as a “older” show while Idol‘s main fanbase seems to skew younger) but have somehow both managed to be successful so many seasons in.


American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8/7 central on ABC and The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7 central on NBC.

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