Ratings: Smash Returns on (Very) Low Note

Ratings Smash Season 2 PremiereSmash… and burn?

NBC’s musical-drama opened Season 2 on Tuesday night with a series-low average of 4.5 million total viewers and a 1.1 demo rating across its two-hour run, leading out of the Betty White birthday special (which drew 6 mil/1.5).

RELATED | Smash Season 2 Premiere Recap: ‘Someone’s Always Waiting to Take You Down’

Versus the show’s series launch (11.4 mil/3.8 on a Monday, leading out of The Voice‘s 18 mil/6.7), that marks plunges of 60 and 71 percent.

Compared to its freshman finale (6 mil/1.8, leading out of America’s Got Talent‘s 10.5 mil/3.7), Smash was down 25 and 39 percent.

Also of note, comparing Tuesday apples to Tuesday apples: Parenthood‘s recent Season 4 finale did 4.9 mil and a 1.8, while Smash‘s 10 pm portion dipped to a 1.0 rating. So… Hey, poll!

Over on CBS, NCIS led all of Tuesday in both total viewers (with 21.49 mil, down 3 percent week-to-week) and in the demo (ticking down to 3.7). NCIS: LA (16.6 mil/3.1) dropped just a few eyeballs while steady in the demo opposite Smash‘s opening hour and a special Bachelor. Vegas (10.2 mil/1.6) was down 9 and 16 percent but led the 10 o’clock hour in total viewers.

The CW’s Hart of Dixie (1.44 mil/0.6) was up 9 percent and a tenth (and hit season highs in the 18-34 and W18-34 demos), while the Emily Owens finale (1.5 mil/0.4) added a few eyeballs but was flat in the demo.

ABC’s The Taste (5.3 mil/1.8) rose 10 percent and two tenths in its third week, while a special outing for The Bachelor (7.8 mil/2.6) was up a tenth from Monday and trounced Smash in head-to-head competition.

Over on Fox, a double-pump of Raising Hope (4 mil/1.6) added a few viewers week-to-week, New Girl (4.8 mil/2.5) dipped a tenth and The Mindy Project (3.6 mil/1.9) rose 13 percent and two tenths.

What were you tuned into this Tuesday?

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92 Comments
  1. Frank says:

    Did a 91 year old woman’s birthday party which she wasn’t even in attendance for “smash” SMASH?

  2. Dryden says:

    Hopefully this gurantees a fifth season for Parenthood.

    • BL says:

      With DNH flopping and Deception fading, I can’t see this not happening.

    • Nero theTVFiddler says:

      Agree – I think Parenthood should be fine and will be renewed – at least for another abbreviated order. I actually think NBC would like to renew Parenthood for a full 22, but cost may be a factor. Large cast, etc. Nevertheless, I think Parenthood will definitely be back for next season 2013.

  3. Dan says:

    How were all-around ratings last night? I thought it was a pretty dead night of TV otherwise, so I thought it would do better. But to be fair, you should note the lead-in was Betty White’s 2nd 90th Birthday show, can’t imagine the demo carryover was high there.

  4. Gripper says:

    Are you sure it got a 1.8 in the demo, other sources saying 1.1

  5. Mail says:

    I watched it two weeks ago online. Didn’t know they were showing an extra hour yesterday. Oops.

  6. B says:

    Wow so shocked wow not

  7. Tran says:

    I think the entire CBS Tuesday night line-up destroy the two hour season premiere of Smash except for NCIS.

  8. Tran says:

    NBC better renew Parenthood for a fifth season sooner rather than later.

  9. Lauren says:

    Last season was such a hot mess, I’m sure many people did not tune in again.

    • Deena says:

      Exactly. I stopped watching half way through season 1 and even all the changes were not enough motivation to get me to watch again. I love a lot of the new actors they picked up but it was just so bad I feel like I don’t want to invest myself in it again.

  10. Stacey says:

    Wow. When it was a 1.8, I though bad. But a 1.1. That is horrific. It won’t be coming back! Parenthood just booked a new season.

  11. Andrea says:

    I liked Smash last night, never thought it would go that low already.

  12. KSM says:

    I was going to give Smash another chance when they got rid of Ellis… but then I read that they didn’t really get rid of Ellis. So forget that. I also have never liked the girl from American Idol.

    • Erin says:

      I haven’t watched it yet. Did they not actually get rid of him? I thought it was for sure he wasn’t coming back.

      • Snsetblaze says:

        I think he’s coming in for a guest shot … probably to show what happened to his character. They showed what happened to Dev, Michael and Frank (and by extension Leo). My guess is he’s behind Eileen’s troubles and he works for Eileen’s ex.

    • gregk says:

      Katharine McPhee (the girl from American Idol) is the only reason I watch. She looked gorgeous and love her voice.

    • kavyn says:

      God forbid a show has a character you don’t like.

  13. Superhero says:

    So this is DOA, and Parenthood is now even more certain to be renewed than it already was. Less Smash + more Parenthood = win for fans of quality television.

    • ben says:

      I don’t see why one has to fail to provide the other with success. I like both, and would gladly have them both back. Not that I’m arguing Smash is quality television, mind… but it is relatively unique television. There are plenty of other shows on NBC which couldn’t be called quality television either which I find far less entertaining then Smash.

    • Mike says:

      This is coming from someone who doesn’t even like Smash, but it is still of a higher quality than all the rehashed procedural a on television that get 20+ million a week.

  14. Jason says:

    OMG…how could Smash have such low ratings?…I’m in utter shock. WOW….

  15. Donna says:

    Can we please put a fork in ALL these boring musical-themed shows? American Idol, The Voice, Nashville, Glee… NO MAS.

    • Joe says:

      I vote we put a fork in Donna instead.

    • ben says:

      Join the list of people who want to put a fork in all procedurals, all reality tv etc etc. If you don’t enjoy something, don’t watch it. But don’t malign an entire genre just because it’s not for you.

    • Luli101 says:

      Really…Nashville?? It is not even in the same genre as American Idol or The Voice. It is nothing like Glee. It is a fantastic show and there are plenty of other shows that don’t have any music in them if it offends you. Nashville is unique and I would rather have the option of it than not!

  16. Hipper says:

    Wow… and they promoted the heck out of ‘Smash’ too.

  17. Mike says:

    I wonder what they’ll do with Smash, since I’m sure there will be weeks when it gets The Voice lead in, which hopefully will help build an established audience, I would say that’s the shows only hope.

  18. tee says:

    I thought the TASTE was far more interesting yesterday

    • Terry says:

      I quite enjoyed the taste. And it was just the right amount, one hour, once a week. I can’t stand these reality shows that are two hours long, twice a week, it’s too much.

  19. dan says:

    Can we find a way to somehow blame this on Ellis?

  20. lame says:

    NCIS dropped to 21.49 mil. viewers, every other show would die for half that number fans!
    They are the 8,000 lb gorilla of the industry, no other series is even in the same ballpark!

  21. Babybop says:

    Yay for Raising Hope and Mindy Project!

  22. Carola says:

    Wow. How can Smash had such a low rating? It was a great premiere!
    I really hope the reatings go up next week when it stabilizes on the timeslot. The Bachelor might have been a factor.
    Still hoping it hangs in there… I wanna see the whole season 2.

    • dan says:

      Smash isn’t on next week. The next episode is 2/19 as per last night’s preview package. And if the ratings for that outing don’t improve, my guess is we’ll be watching the rest of the episodes during the summer or online only. Too bad because last night’s two episodes were definitely an improvement over last year’s debacle. Not perfect, but better and showing promise.

  23. Drew says:

    Smash isn’t even on next week, is it? I remember reading that it wasn’t and thinking what bad scheduling that was. Hard to build momentum if that is true.

    And for those wondering, Ellis was nowhere to be seen, aside from the “previously on…”

    • HeatherC says:

      Next week is the State of the Union address so yeah, everything is sure to be preempted next week. Kudos to ABC for recognizing this early and pushing Body of Proof’s debut back to the 19th so it avoids the interruption. =)

  24. marc says:

    So let me get this straight – NBC president Robert Greenblatt fires season 1 showrunner, part of the cast and most of the writers and Smash season 2 premiere get the WORST ratings the series has ever gotten! Most of the blame has to be placed at NBC’s feet, but Josh Safran, the writer who ruined Gossip Girl must be blamed too. NBC is a joke!

    • ben says:

      The average, non-TVLine punter would have no idea about all the changes. They will have returned (or not) based on how they felt about season 1, most likely, and whether they could be bothered watching more.

  25. Steven says:

    Smash Crash. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving show.

  26. Germaine says:

    Watched Smash last season and found that I really didn’t like any of the characters. Just couldn’t get involved in the storyline so wasn’t interested in watching it this season. I do love JHudson and if she could remain a permanent character with a starring role I might change my mind.

  27. Chloe says:

    I’ll probably watch it on OnDemand over the weekend, but I wasn’t going to miss NCIS:LA or the 10PM rebroadcast of Pretty Little Liars for it.

  28. Amy says:

    Last season’s plot points being all over the place and the long time span before it premiered again no doubt played a huge role in the drop. (I know, stating the obvious.) But truly, I’m excited for the new season. The premiere alone already shows much more cohesion than all of last season.

  29. Bev says:

    I’m actually really surprised by how low the demo rating is. Actual viewing figures not so much. Being against The Bachelor definitely didn’t help give they have the same audience, but I still didn’t think it’d be that low. And I really enjoyed the first 2 eps as well. A real improvement and a promising start. It’s a shame s1 really destroyed its hopes this season. Damn you Rebeck, lol!

  30. K says:

    Does THE VOICE usually air its finale on Mondays or Tuesdays? If NBC was smart they would air final competition round of THE VOICE spring on Monday for REVOLUTION finale, then 2-hour results show on Tuesday for SMASH season 2 finale.

  31. Brandon says:

    Well played, ABC.

  32. Boiler says:

    Come on people lets stop watching the food competitions!!!

    • Boiler says:

      Also I don’t personally watch Smash but what is with the negativity. Feel like Glee, Nashville (both of which I watch) and Smash unfairly criticized.

  33. Tracy says:

    I just cancelled cable and will be watching online when it is available. But what do they expect? They took the show off the air for a year and didn’t release the DVD until last month with no summer reruns! Plus, their aired the first hour online – I don’t think people even knew there was a second hour pending! Americans have a short attention span! Plus, people want to see Derek and Karen and instead they bring on the new guy who looks like Oscar the Grouch brought to life – UGH!

  34. ollie says:

    Yay about hart of dixie and raising hope #s

  35. Chris says:

    But its a GOLDEN GLOBE nominated show!! haha. I am still a huge fan, but haven’t seen the 2nd half of last night’s episode yet since I watched the first half online weeks ago.

    • REALLY??? You really had to go there??? The only reasons SMASH got nominated were because Golden Globe airs on NBC and SPIELBERG is one of its EPs … CREATIVELY, There’s no reason the show should be nominated IN ANY WAY, I can’t even believe people would consider SMASH Season 1 as an award worthy show in any way ;)

  36. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know why they waited so long to bring Smash back and when their highest rated shows are off the air. They should have aired it in the fall. That being said I thought it was terrific and much better than season 1!

  37. Prue says:

    Wherever Joshua Safran goes, cancelation follows…(RIP GG)

  38. The Beach says:

    So a cheap-to-make show like The Taste pulled in more people and a better demo than expensive Smash, Yikes…that’s gotta hurt.

  39. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I was only watching Justified last night. Which was a truly fantastic episode, the best of the season. The whole hour crackled with energy, action, and humor. “I don’t like your plan, Raylan!” Walton Goggins was on fire last night. All his lines were so good. And Patton Oswalt returned! And they had a Deadwood return between Timothy Olyphant and Gerald McRaney (big jerk George Hearst himself)! We really need to get Ian McShane, William Sanderson, Brad Dourif, John Hawkes, and Garret Dillahunt on the show.

  40. Shaun says:

    Man,I thought that they were only showing 1 episode yesterday so I didn’t see the second half.Really bad promotion of it and I don’t think online sources covered that it was a 2hr premiere.Alot of folks probably saw the 1st ep online few weeks ago,then had no idea a second ep was on after.

  41. Katie says:

    Jeremy Jordan is probably regretting leaving Broadway as a star to be a failed television nobody in a dreadfully written role. Yes, he has an amazing singing voice but everything else about his character was garbage. He needs to go back to the stage NOW. It’s beyond embarrassing.

  42. Joe says:

    I’m devastated. Smash has issues, but the premiere was so promising. The music is so wonderful. The show is just good campy fun. Then I see all of the people watching the moronic procedural garbage on CBS and it makes you realize there is no place for creativity left on Network tv. I wish Smash had stayed on Showtime where it belonged.

    • Mike says:

      Don’t worry too much, odds are rating may improve, not only will it have better lead ins once voice returns, but It will never be up against the bachelor again. This show won’t get pulled, but enjoy it while it lasts.

    • Steven says:

      “Promising?” Did you miss that goofy Would I Lie To You sequence?

  43. Joe says:

    Smash being that bad will help Body of Proof numbers ( hope their revamp don’t suck )

  44. Chicago Dan says:

    Further proof that entertainments site, like TVLine (not the only one), maybe should stop p**mping these flop shows – like they are big. Examples include, Smashed, Glee, 30 Rock, Go On, Nashville. Revenge is also falling into that category. The shows are far from creative genius and certainly haven’t pulled the ratings.

    • layla says:

      Glee isn’t a flop it was huge in the 18-34 demo it’s just aging. Sites like this are concerned with page hits and unique viewers. Sometimes low rated shows have intense fandoms that generate a lot of online interest (see Chuck and Fringe).

  45. Samantha says:

    I enjoyed Smash last season but honestly they took too long to bring it back. I had pretty much forgotten about it

  46. Jim says:

    Smash had a weak premiere because it was such a hot mess last year. No one should be surprised; nor should it be used to judge the new season and creative team. It’s just going to take a while for people to catch on. It was great last night, best I’ve seen of it. If that trend continues, hopefully the audience will find it.

  47. CMCV says:

    I did like Smash last night, however, there was so much going on, I felt like they were trying to gert as much in the show as possible, so things were alittle bunched together, I think, also it was so long for it to come back I think that they may have something to do with the ratings for last night, we’ll wsee how it goes in the next few weeks

  48. dee says:

    happy for hart of dixie!

    • ChrisGa says:

      Yeah, I guess not-bad-for-the-CW numbers is okay but ya gotta be concerned when the show that follows it has better ratings and has itself already been cancelled(already miss Emily Owens:( ). Still, I hope it survives because it started to find it’s way middle of last season and this year has been very good(and they need to make Kaitlyn Black a regular because Annabeth is all kinds of AWESOME).

  49. Jade says:

    I really enjoyed SMASH last season but for some reason I’m just not that interested to watch anymore. Other than Katherine McPhee who is so talented I find the rest of the cast to be very unlikeable and pretty boring. Maybe ill catch it on demand when more episodes are available but for now I’m over it.

  50. Rob H says:

    Can we all please PRAY that Community does so much better on Thursday than Smash did last night!?!?! I don’t think I can take NBC canceling their best and smartest comedy. I can only hope that if they do cancel it (which they shouldn’t) that another station picks it up, much like TBS did with CourgarTown.

    • Eric says:

      It’s extremely unlikely that it will get better ratings than Smash, but as its a sitcom with far lower production costs (and it’s much closer to reaching that magic syndication number), I’d still say Cmmunity has a better shot at being renewed. And I sure hope it does, as I’m a huge fan. Besides, we’ve already made it to season four, so why not make it to six seasons and a movie?

      • Rob H says:

        I agree that it is unlikely that it will get better ratings, but sometimes I like to live in an Abed-like world of fantasy. Honestly, though, my biggest concern isn’t with ratings so much as it is with NBC reshuffling a lot of things with the show, mainly Dan Harmon. I worry for the show’s quality without him.

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