With the spread of COVID-19 and the restrictions on gatherings being mandated worldwide, many shows have been interrupted. Of course, The Voice is no exception as Season 18 will soon run out of pre-taped episodes and will not be able to shoot new ones until the restrictions have been lifted. This likely means that Season 19 of The Voice won't happen until 2021, and the longer I've thought about it, that may not be a bad thing.
The Voice has pushed a pretty fast pace of two seasons a year since Season 3, and it isn't hard to see why. The singing competition has been a strong ratings contender throughout its run and, at the end of the day, networks will continue to stick with what works in that regard as competition continues to mount for the attention of live audiences.
The Voice hasn't struggled to maintain that pace, though I'd argue there has been some stagnation in quality in more recent seasons. Recent seasons have introduced gimmicks that proved very unpopular with audiences, possibly because there wasn't enough time to think them through. More planning for an individual season would allow for crew to better test resulting changes they want to make and figure out how they could impact seasons in a negative or positive way.
One season a year would also allow The Voice audience to breathe a bit between seasons. The jump between seasons is so fast that there's rarely a chance for fans to really embrace the season's latest winner. Many of The Voice's winning alumni haven't reached the levels of success of contestants who have appeared on American Idol, and I think the pace of seasons could be a factor in that. With the show churning out two winners a year, it's kind of hard to keep tabs or make a win feel as significant as it should.
Could doing one season in a year fix some of The Voice's lingering issues? It's not something NBC has seemingly stopped to consider in recent years, but there's now a real opportunity to see in this COVID-19 pandemic. Provided the competition doesn't try to greatly condense Season 18 in order to still squeeze in Season 19 in the fall, there will likely only be one season of The Voice this year.
Granted, we don't know exactly what NBC plans are for Season 18 of The Voice. Many networks are going to have to drastically alter their programming in the future, and shows like American Idol and The Voice are especially complicated. Condensing a season would be a move that feels remarkably unfair to contestants, and would likely make fans feel like they've wasted their time tuning in to cheer for these hopeful singers in the first place. American Idol will be fine finishing the rest of its season ahead of the next one, but NBC may just have to go back to one season and take that time to re-evaluate where the show is at.
The Voice has a new episode airing Monday, April 6 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest news happening with television and movies in this unprecedented time.