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‘The Sing-Off’ ratings rock; third season likely

On-the-RocksImage Credit: Harper Smith/NBCIf the The Sing-Off inspired NBC to order The Voice of America, then the network might be on the right track when it comes to finding viewer-friendly competition shows: The second season of the Nick Lachey-hosted show is up 25 percent in total viewers and 26 percent among adults 18-49 versus its year-ago numbers.

The show that features a cappella groups competing for a $100,000 prize and a recording contract has averaged 8.9 million viewers and a 2.9 rating/8 share over its three telecasts this month. (Each 18-49 ratings point represents 1.3 million viewers). That includes a series record on Dec. 13, when the show earned a 3.3/9 and 9.5 million viewers. That’s NBC’s best performance in the time period, excluding the Olympics, in 22 months.

Last year, the debut season of the show only averaged 6.9 million viewers.

NBC hasn’t made a decision about a third season of The Sing-Off, but it seems likely that NBC will bring it back. The second season finale airs Dec. 20, which NBC just decided to extend to 10:30 p.m. (It’s now a two-and-a-half hour episode). NBC will follow it with a special preview episode of Perfect Couples, a comedy about three engaged couples that officially bows on Jan. 20.

Meanwhile, the winter’s other competition show on ABC hasn’t fared nearly as well. Skating With the Stars may have opened with 9.4 million viewers on Nov. 22, but it hasn’t had the benefit of a hefty lead-in from Dancing With the Stars. As a result, the show dropped to 6.1 million on Nov. 29 and 2.9 million on Dec. 6. On Dec. 13, it averaged 3.8 million.