"Smash" goes splat in the ratings

With great expectations following a retooling, NBC disappointed by its marquee drama's ratings disaster

By Daniel D'Addario

Published February 6, 2013 5:29PM (EST)

     (NBC/Craig Blankenhorn)
(NBC/Craig Blankenhorn)

All the retooling was for naught, it seems.

"Smash," the critically derided show that maintained a baseline decent audience last spring (composed of so-called hate-watchers), isn't even fun to hate anymore: Only 4.5 million viewers tuned in to last night's second-season premiere, with a teensy 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic.

The series was heavily promoted during last year's Super Bowl and began its life as a promising collaboration between new NBC president Robert Greenblatt and director Steven Spielberg. Show creator and playwright Theresa Rebeck departed last year after a power struggle with the network; new showrunner Joshua Safran (late of "Gossip Girl") gave the season premiere a more professional, less haphazard sheen.

NBC, which spent fall in recovery, buoyed by football, "The Voice" and new hit "Revolution" -- none of which is currently on the air  -- can only hope that "The Voice" can work its magic on the schedule when it returns.

Daniel D'Addario

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Joshua Safran Smash Steven Spielberg Super Bowl Television The Voice Theresa Rebeck