NBC was banking on Smash returning as a hit. They brought in a new showrunner, removed certain characters and storylines, and even cast big name guest stars like Jennifer Hudson. Did the overhaul work? Well, the numbers speak for themselves.
Plus, Justin Bieber is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, and NBC has released some SNL promos featuring the Biebs. The Wanted is getting their very own reality show. Buckwild and Top Chef have been renewed. And John Corbett is set to star in a potential NCIS spin-off.
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Without The Voice as a strong lead-in, only 4.5 million viewers tuned in to the two-hour Smash season 2 premiere. It’s NBC, so can we give them some slack? No, because the numbers keep getting worse. Compared to last year’s series debut, the show is down 71% (and down 47% from the average ratings NBC has been getting in this timeslot before this week).
The show was fortunate enough to have The Voice as its lead-in before; the singing competition show premiered after the 2012 Super Bowl, which ended up helping Smash as well. What also hurt the show on Tuesday was ABC’s decision to air a second night of The Bachelor (7.8 million). Smash‘s competitors in this timeslot include NCIS: Los Angeles (21.49 — how can you compete with that?), Vegas (10.2 million) and New Girl (4.8 million).
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This is of course disappointing news not only for NBC, but also for the fans that do watch. We were lucky to receive a second season, but if the numbers don’t turn around by May, Smash may be cancelled.
And if you’re not watching, why aren’t you? Take a look at Jennifer Hudson performing during the premiere and tell me this isn’t fantastic television:
Smash airs Tuesdays at 10pm on NBC.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)