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Lustre fading a bit for “The Sing-Off”

Second-episode overnight ratings numbers are in for the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, and it confirms the ratings drop for last week’s season premiere when compared with season two. Monday’s (Sept. 26) ratings averaged 1.7, with close to 5 million viewers at the start of the two-hour episode, but falling to just under 4 million toward the end of the program. The first week posted slightly better ratings, averaging 1.8 and around 5 million viewers. Overall, the show is in fourth place for Monday nights, behind shows on CBS, ABC and Fox.

Some of the erosion is undoubtedly due to new programs on other networks, including fresh episodes of CBS’s popular How I Met Your Mother and the debut of the smash comedy Two and a Half Men, now starring Ashton Kutcher in place of Charlie Sheen. Its premiere episode garnered 28 million viewers, leaving all competition in the dust.

Last year’s figures, where The Sing-Off was a short-run series (five episodes over three weeks), were somewhat better – ratings in the high twos and low threes and viewership in the eight million range. Perhaps the competition was lighter closer to the holidays – it’s hard to go up against blockbuster shows the likes of which CBS and ABC have rolled out this season.

It’s anybody’s guess where this will lead, but analysts are sure to speculate that this could be the final season for The Sing-Off, at least on NBC in prime time. As the singing competition heats up, though, and the curiosity factor of the other shows fades, the singers could be singing a sweeter tune come November.

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