NBC is giving the second season of “The Voice” a super lead-in.
The peacock network will air the reality TV singing contest – which in its inaugural season features Oklahoma country music star Blake Shelton, hip-hop standout Cee Lo Green, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and pop diva Christina Aguilera as its four celebrity vocal coaches – after the Super Bowl in February.
An hourlong episode will air Sunday, Feb. 5 following the network’s telecast of Super Bowl XLVI, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“There is no better showcase on television than to follow the Super Bowl, and we believe The Voice is deserving of such high-profile exposure,” announced Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, Tuesday in a statement. “The attention grabbing blind audition phase of ‘The Voice’ has mass appeal and will fittingly team up with the biggest sporting event of the year.”
According to the trade publication, it hasn’t been determined whether the post-Super Bowl episode will be the season premiere. This season, the initial blind audition episodes were two hours long.
Of course, this is assuming that there is a 2012 Super Bowl.
There’s uncertainty over the coming year’s NFL schedule because of a labor dispute that led to the team owners’ lockout of players. A federal court hearing on the issue was scheduled this week, according to the Associated Press.
“The Voice” is the 2010-11 season’s top freshman series in the key adults 18-49 demographic, according to The Hollywood Reporter, ranking behind “American Idol” among new and returning series on all broadcast networks. Season-to-date, the music competition series averages a 5.4 rating and 12 million viewers.
The Mark Burnett-produced series aired its last “battle round” episode tonight, and the live episodes will start next Tuesday, June 7. Look for my new interview with Shelton about the show then.
According to the trade pub, NBC has slated the second round of “The Voice” for midseason as a two-hour lead-in to “Smash,” a drama about the making of a Broadway musical, on Monday nights.