NBC's The Voice is making some major changes as it looks ahead to the 2021-22 season. As the top finalists continue to compete on Season 20, the network announced Friday it will be cutting back on the series next year, limiting The Voice to just a single cycle. The series typically airs two cycles per year – one in the fall and one the spring – and will instead only air the Season 21 fall cycle for the upcoming TV season.
Confirming the cutback to reporters Friday, Frances Berwick, chairman entertainment networks at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, told reporters, "we want to eventize this iconic series. he best way to protect the brand while super-serving fans is to produce one amazing cycle this season." The Hollywood Reporter, which was the first to report the news, notes the decision comes as the series slips in ratings by more than 25% in adults 18-49 and about 12 % in total viewers across both fall and spring cycles and both nights. The decision also follows similar moves made by other networks, including ABC, which limited Dancing With the Stars to a single cycle in 2018.
This marks the second major change coming to the singing competition, which will also enter Season 21 with at least one new face as a coach. In March, the series announced that Ariana Grande will be joining fellow coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton, next season.
"As an undeniable force in pop music, Ariana's inimitable success in the music industry is extraordinary," Jenny Groom, Executive Vice President of Unscripted Content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said at the time. "We were thrilled to learn that she is a true fan of The Voice and know that this enthusiasm will add to her impact as a dynamic coach. Ariana is a visionary with over a decade of experience in the music industry. Her unmatched vocal skills, creativity and unique expertise on all facets of the industry will make her an invaluable coach to the next generation of artists."
Grande will join the series as Nick Jonas exits as coach. Jonas first joined The Voice during Season 18, where he went all the way to the finals with team member Thunderstorm Artis. He returned in Season 20 after former coach Gwen Stefani stepped back following Season 19.