The peacock network announced Thursday that The Village will now air at 8 p.m. ET, with The Voice following at 9 p.m. ET. This will put The Village against CBS' NCIS and The Voice against FBI. The change will last for the last five weeks of the season, from April 23 to May 21.
The medical drama New Amsterdam will stay in the 10 p.m. ET slot on NBC.
The new season of America's Got Talent will take over the two hours on Tuesdays beginning on May 28, with the new songwriting competition Songland beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
The surprising schedule change comes while The Village continues to struggle attracting viewers live. According to NBC, the series is only drawing 2.4 million viewers a week and a 0.7 18-49 rating. However, it does surprisingly well with delayed viewing, jumping by 71 percent in Nielsen's Live+7 ratings. After delayed viewing is counted, the show's total viewership climbs to 4.2 million to 6.6 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in the key demographic.
Meanwhile, NBC's decision to move its flagship competition series away from the most-watched drama on television could be seen as a move to protect it. This season's "live plus seven day" rating for the Tuesday episodes average 10.9 million total viewers and a 2.1 18-49 rating.
The biggest loser from the switch could be ABC. The Voice will now be up against the long-running Black-ish and the new Lake Bell/Dax Shepard comedy Bless This Mess. The first episode of Bless This Mess drew a 0.9 18-49 rating, but that was against The Village last week.
The Village is a new ensemble drama set in a Brooklyn apartment building where residents have built a unique family of friends and neighbors. It was created by Mike Daniels and stars Moran Atias, Dominic Chianese, Warren Christie, Frankie Faison, Jerod Haynes, Daren Kagasoff, Michaela McManus, Lorraine Toussaint and Grace Van Dien.
While it's not clear if The Village will get a second season, NBC has already renewed one of its hit freshman shows. Science fiction conspiracy drama Manifest was picked up for next season.
"In just its first season, Manifest has answered many questions about the mystery of Flight 828 and, smartly, asks many more," Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents of scripted programming, NBC Entertainment, said in a statement. "Congratulations to Jeff Rake, our producers, cast and crew who have created an incredibly addictive series with compelling characters and complex relationships."
Photo credit: NBC