'Voice' judge shakeup: Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys to join, Pharrell Williams to exit (exclusive)
Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys will join "The Voice" as judges next season while singer-producer Pharrell Williams will leave in an NBC shake-up of the judges on its hit show, TheWrap has learned.
Country star Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have re-upped their deal as judges, according to multiple individuals with knowledge of the show.
Cyrus has signed for a "megabucks" deal according to one individual close to the deal. She served as an advisor during the current season.
It's true! I am going to be the newest judge on Season 11 of The Voice @NBCTheVoice#thevoice 🦄❤️💐 pic.twitter.com/hP5AyHDtdh
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) March 26, 2016
The other judges, Shelton and Adam Levine, make about $13 million per season, according to insiders with knowledge of the judges' deals.
The country star will be the longest-tenured judge on the top-rated show and is considered key to bringing in a country music-loving audience.
NBC had no official comment.
One insider told TheWrap that a game of cat and mouse is underway with the remaining judges, with the talent fretting that the network is looking to replace them with lower-cost alternatives. That appears to be the case with Williams and Keys, and could be the case with Levine.
Cyrus has been serving as a key advisor on the show's Season 10.
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Levine and Shelton have spent all 10 seasons together in those oversized "Voice" chairs, with Aguilera doing six between the boys. CeeLo Green, an original judge, was there for four seasons, as has Pharrell.
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Usher, Shakira and Gwen Stefani have done a pair of seasons apiece.
The lone remaining question surrounds that fourth chair. Stefani most recently served, so perhaps she's the obvious choice.
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"The Voice" is a ratings powerhouse for NBC, continuing strong this season.
In Season 10, the main Monday show is averaging a 3.8 rating/12 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, per Nielsen's "most current" ratings, which include seven-day delayed viewing numbers where available. Ignoring NFL football, that makes "The Voice" the fourth-biggest broadcast show of the season, behind only "Empire," "The Big Bang Theory," and Fox's short "X-Files" return. Or, if you want to look at it this way, it's the No. 1 alternative series on broadcast TV.
That 3.8 is huge, but still down 10 percent season over season — that's probably why NBC is willing to back the Brinks truck up for Cyrus, to goose the young-ish demographic. The Monday show also hauls in an average of 14.2 million total viewers per episode — that's down just 1 percent from last year.
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Oh, and when "The Voice" is on Tuesdays, it's nothing to sneeze at either. That second show averages a big 3.4 rating, behind a handful of more dramas plus "Modern Family." That night is down 15 percent in the main demo. Again: Welcome, Miley. On Tuesdays, "The Voice" is down 6 percent among total viewers. In other words, "The Voice" regularly owns both nights, and has been a big reason that NBC's stayed on top in recent years.
"The Voice" is also one of the reasons NBC may actually catch up to CBS, which had the massive Super Bowl 50, during this traditional fall season. (If NBC doesn't match or pass the Les Moonves-led network by May, it will by the 52-week mark, thanks to the Rio Summer Olympics.)
As a bonus, the lion's share of "Voice" ratings come from live viewing, which is huge in a TV era where "eventizing" is both a real word and a real priority.
"The Voice" currently airs Mondays at 8/7c on NBC.
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