Tuesday Ratings: Smash Falls Dramatically

Uh oh. The series premiere of Smash TANKED in the ratings last night. Honestly, while it looks like season 2 will be an improvement over season 1, once a show has entered the hate-watching stage, it’s hard to redeem. See: Glee. Plus, a two hour premiere was two much. You’ll notice the ratings dip each half hour.

With The Voice no longer its lead in, the show will continue to struggle.

Check out the sad details below.

VIA TVByTheNumbers

The two hour season premiere of Smash scored a series low 1.1 adults 18-49 rating down a staggering 71 percent from a 3.8 for the series premiere on February 6, 2012 (following The Voice) and down 39 percent from a 1.8 for the first season finale on May 14.


CBS NCIS 3.7/10 21.49
ABC The Taste 1.8/5 5.28
FOX Raising Hope 1.6/5 3.98
NBC Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special 1.5/4 5.97
CW Hart Of Dixie 0.6/2 1.44


FOX Raising Hope 1.5/4 4.60


CBS NCIS: Los Angeles 3.1/8 16.57
ABC The Bachelor (9-11PM) 2.6/7 7.79
FOX New Girl 2.5/7 4.81
NBC Smash (9-11PM) -Season Premiere 1.1/3 4.47
CW Emily Owens M.D. – Series Finale 0.4/1 1.49


FOX The Mindy Project 1.9/5 3.60


CBS Vegas 1.6/4 10.22

Half hour breakdown from Marc Berman

8:00 p.m.

ABC – The Taste
Viewers: 5.19 million (#3), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#2)

Viewers: 21.15 million (#1), A18-49: 3.6/11 (#1)

NBC – Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special
Viewers: 5.94 million (#2), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#4)

Fox – Raising Hope
Viewers: 3.98 million (#4), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#3)

CW – Hart of Dixie
Viewers: 1.52 million (#5), A18-49: 0.6/ 2 (#5)


8:30 p.m.

ABC – The Taste
Viewers: 5.38 million (#3), A18-49: 1.9/ 5 (#2)

Viewers: 21.82 million (#1), A18-49: 3.7/10 (#1)

NBC – Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special
Viewers: 6.00 million (#2), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#3t)

Fox – Raising Hope
Viewers: 3.60 million (#4), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#t)

CW – Hart of Dixie
Viewers: 1.35 million (#5), A18-49: 0.6/ 2 (#5)


9:00 p.m.

ABC – The Bachelor
Viewers: 7.45 million (#2), A18-49: 2.5/ 7 (#2t)

CBS – NCIS: Los Angeles
Viewers: 16.98 million (#1), A18-49: 3.1/ 8 (#1)

NBC – Smash (season premiere)
Viewers: 5.21 million (#3), A18-49: 1.3/ 3 (#4)

Fox – New Girl
Viewers: 4.81 million (#4), A18-49: 2.5/ 7 (#2t)

CW – Emily Owens, M.D. (series finale)
Viewers: 1.48 million (#5), A18-49: 0.5/ 1 (#5)


9:30 p.m.

ABC – The Bachelor
Viewers: 7.94 million (#2), A18-49: 2.7/ 7 (#2)

CBS – NCIS: Los Angeles
Viewers: 16.16 million (#1), A18-49: 3.0/ 8 (#1)

NBC – Smash (season premiere)
Viewers: 4.48 million (#3), A18-49: 1.1/ 3 (#4)

Fox – The Mindy Project
Viewers: 3.60 million (#4), A18-49: 1.9/ 5 (#3)

CW – Emily Owens, M.D. (series finale)
Viewers: 1.51 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


10:00 p.m.

ABC – The Bachelor
Viewers: 7.92 million (#2), A18-49: 2.7/ 7 (#1)

CBS – Vegas
Viewers: 10.69 million (#1), A18-49: 1.7/ 4 (#2)

NBC – Smash (season premiere)
Viewers: 4.22 million (#3), A18-49: 1.1/ 3 (#3)


10:30 p.m.

ABC – The Bachelor
Viewers: 7.86 million (#2), A18-49: 2.6/ 8 (#1)

CBS – Vegas
Viewers: 9.75 million (#1), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#2)

NBC – Smash (season premiere)
Viewers: 3.96 million (#3), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#3)

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

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  • sporkle

    OUCH. That’s really unfortunate. Hopefully things will look up as the season progresses – I still think there’s real promise in the concept of the show. 

  • http://twitter.com/MikhailXO MichaelG (MikhailXO)

    How long can a show with such poor quality writing, no plausible/believable story line, and a mediocre star as its ‘anchor’ actually last?  

  • curly_yenta

    At this rate, I bet they cancel it mid season, if not earlier. 

  • calliebeckett

    Apparently there was a lot of “hate-watching”…

  • http://twitter.com/tukicarreno Tuki

    Oh no! Pls don´t cancel this show! It´s one of my guilty pleasures!
    Plus it was a great premiere!
    It´s not competing against The Bachelor and NCIS anymore so I think it will be ok once it settles at the 10pm slot on Tuesdays.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matteo-Rodrigo/1340430528 Matteo Rodrigo

    The shows dead. I watched but honestly didn’t find the show very interesting or engaging..JHud showed she’s a star and made mcphee look small. But also she’s not gonna give then the ratings bump

  • girlygirltoo

    I still don’t know why NBC gave this show a 2nd season. The ratings last year were pretty bad. It doesn’t help a show when the main character (Kat’s) is played by the weakest actor in the cast, either, even if she has a great voice.

  • fantoo1

    Yikes that’s not good at all. I’m sure when the Voice premieres as a lead in, it will get better. I’m actually somewhat surprised it’s this low. I saw a lot of people talk about it on twitter.

  • nyc57

    I should be a fan.I love All About Eve and books about the theater,Act One etc, but I found the show confusing last year the few times I tried it.Seemed like there were too many characters and plot lines.I thought they should have made the McPhee character a villain,like Eve.Maybe that would have helped.I didn’t hate it but I just didn’t find it compelling,so i stopped watching.Plus,I love Vegas. 

  • b_james

    I feel like ratings will go up next week when it’s not competing against The bachelor.  ABC was really smart to air an extra night of it this week to steal any of NBC’s thunder it had.

  • http://twitter.com/MikhailXO MichaelG (MikhailXO)

    But “apparently” not enough of it…

  • mjsbigblog

    Next week, Smash will be pre-empted for the president’s State of the Union address. Not a good thing for ratings.

    When it returns, it takes the 10 pm slot. “The New Normal” and its mediocre ratings will be the Smash lead in, not The Voice which airs from 8-9 on Tuesdays.

    Smash is going to have a tough time being renewed for a 3rd season.

  • Larc

    It´s not competing against The Bachelor and NCIS anymore so I think it will be ok once it settles at the 10pm slot on Tuesdays.

    True, but 10 to 11 was its weaker hour last night.  Viewers were bailing out as the show progressed.

  • mjsbigblog

    Viewers bailing on the show? Also not a good sign.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Sorry the see the low ratings since NBC has shelled out big bucks with numerous guest stars & promo both seasons.

  • WestiesRule

    Oh poop…. I love this show… it’s like a Broadway soap opera with a great cast. I don’t know why so many have to be harsh about it.

  • elliegrll

    When a show loses viewers at the rate that Smash did during its first season, it is pretty much impossible to get those or new viewers to watch.  It doesn’t help that most of the press that the show receives is mostly negative.  That’s not something that will lead to new viewers giving the show a chance.

  • Goodvibes27

    I started watching Smash last season but by episode 4, I completely lost interest. Broadway is a niche culture and just cannot hold a mainstream interest. On the other hand, I did not start out watching “Nashville”, but accidentally caught a rerun of the first episode and immediately got hooked.

  • http://twitter.com/desireechick Kesia Monteith

    WOW! This is painful! Yikes, sorry for Smash. Hard for me to see this show lasting any longer…

    Here’s my problem. Karen is suppose to be the underdog. But she gets damn near everything she wants. It’s Ivy who is always losing out to her. So shouldn’t we feel sorry for Ivy? Makes no sense, and I think the audience is having hard time with that as well.  

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    That half hour breakdown is not a good sign at all. 

    This might not get to finish out the season. If it does, it may be because it’s on NBC and hey have nothing else.

  • potatorocks

    Oh darn.   I loved the idea of this show much more than I loved the show itself last season.   It is a great premise and I am kinda angry they blew it again.  Kat should have had a lower profile role that built with the story line once she proved she could command the art form.     Oh well.  It will be a long time before we see another show about Broadway and the theatre. 

  • justhoo1

    I hope it will get a chance. It is on a new night that CBS generally owns. I like the changes that have been made this season.

  • artemis112

    Chris Harrison just tweeted that last night’s special Tuesday showing of The Bachelor was this season’s highest rated episode-if ABC was trying to strike a blow to NBC’s Smash, they succeeded, unfortunately.

    I love the theater and Broadway, but I agree that Nashville has more characters and storylines that will make viewers want to tune in and see what happens next.

  • shell29

    I was kind of surprised they renewed it for another season too but I figured with all the hype and everything NBC wasn’t willing to pull the plug too quickly. I think they might let the season run its course but with ratings like these this show is toast.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    #1 Betty White was the lead-in….why?  She only attracts octogenarians.  #2, Kat McPhee is not compelling as the star.  #3 NBC did a big rollout and a lot of Promo for the show, maybe it should have debuted on another night? .  #4, I watched it on hulu — are they considering those who watched it online or just at home?  But I agree with MJ – UH OH.

  • Niall

    If the premise of the show was Karen as the spoiled golden child who gets everything and scrappy underdog Ivy was the one we were supposed to root for, it would be a different show. As someone already astutely pointed out, having “underdog” Karen always win undermines the entire premise of the show.

    Plus, McPhee is a weaker actress than Hilty, Messing, and about half a dozen other actors on the show. Yet, the show is built around her character’s journey. I like Katharine but her character is Spielberg’s blind spot and the entire show has suffered as a result.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    @ matteao — Jhud is only doing 5 episodes.  She’s not a regular.

    @ Shell: I was kind of surprised they renewed it for another season too.
    ^^ It’s A Spielberg production, NBC is not going to go against Spielberg so fast.
    @ Keisha: Here’s my problem. Karen is suppose to be the underdog. But she gets damn near everything she wants. It’s Ivy who is always losing out to her. So shouldn’t we feel sorry for Ivy? Makes no sense, and I think the audience is having hard time with that as well.
    ^^ Agree, but I don’t think Kat Mcphee is a big enough actress to carry this show. At the most, she should be a background dancer or singer, not the star. Something about the way she acts, limplike, maybe it’s the way her character is written. Can’t put my finger on it.

  • http://twitter.com/dam744 Damien Roberts

    LOL It lost nearly half a million viewers every half-hour.

  • twodollars

    I think the show learned the wrong lessons from Season 1. In my opinion, the show slows to a crawl with any scene involving Tom, Julia or Eileen. I would have changed the show’s focus to be on Karen, Ivy, the back-up dancers and their friends trying to become stars. They are going to do some of that with the Derek, Karen and the 2 guys show, but the whole Bombshell piece is dull as hell and needs to go.

  • potatorocks

    I believe Betty White has a very large following among the gay community.

  • http://twitter.com/newbornstarr Wally.

    I’m a big Katharine McPhee fan, but this show is not for me. I still want it do well however, for her. Think this show should’ve been on HBO or Showtime.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X3EBGLZMUFDHE2PTJBT266WO74 Andy

    Who are watching Smash? I bet not the young adaut but mature audience who appreciate dramas and broadway musicals. When you look at the line-up from other networks, Smash is competing for the same demographics that CBS NCIS franchise are catering to.  Unfortunately, NCIS is much more established (even though NCIS LA is much weaker than the lead-in NCIS). Withour a strong lead in like The Voice, Smash do not have a chance. I am hoping NBC be patient and give Smash some time to grow.

  • suenigma

    I really don’t like either Debra Messing’s character or her acting in this show, which is odd, because I have always liked her in previous projects. While Nashville took a while to grow on me I am now quite involved in it and the characters are compelling in a soapy way, whereas this show is one hot mess, for me. Sad, because I was really rooting for it.

  • Eileen99

    Too bad.  I made a point of watching it last night even though I’d missed a lot of episodes last year & wasn’t sure I’d be able to pick it up again without being lost.  
    I enjoyed it & thought it was fun.  It doesn’t bother me at all that Kat is supposedly a weak link because I enjoy it for the fun musical numbers.  I’ll be sorry if it’s cancelled, because there really isn’t anything like it on TV & I’m so over Glee.

  • Maya100

    The problem has been obvious since season one.  

    The show’s premise is that a new star is born.  But everyone watching knows the “star” playing this star would never actually be cast in anything over Hilty or 99% of the other performers on the show.  So, every time she beats others to roles, it destroys any credibility the show has and makes it sort of a joke.

    I like Katherine McPhee, but she is so miscast in this that it’s kind of ridiculous to try to watch it.  It makes me root even harder for Ivy, who never wins, so what’s the point?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    This from Huffpost:
    “It’s a make it or break it time for “Smash,” a favorite of NBC executives. NBC’s other midseason drama entry, “Do No Harm,” premiered to record low ratings on Thursday, Jan. 31. The series had 3.1 million viewers. The Peacock network is struggling without its two fall hits, “The Voice” and “revolution.”

  • Banished

    I actually didn’t realize it was 2 hours and only watched from 10. Thought it was good, but was obviously confused having missed the 1st hour. Definitely improved from last year. Hope NBC gives it a full season. Just read an article in my local Pittsburgh paper pointing out all of the Pittsburgh ties the cast has. Three CMU grads, Christian B., Megan H., Leslie O, as well as two natives, Christian and the new character that plays the gay co- writer to the jerky lyricist.

  • Larc

    Nearly everybody who has a scene with Kat upstages her.  I noticed last night that Andy Mientus, who plays Danny’s partner Kyle, stole every scene he had with her.  And he’s more or less a bit player.

  • RockiDreams

    I enjoy the show for the most part but incredibly bored with the dreary writing team of Tom and Julia.  They are a big fat bore and the entire Marilyn thing needs to go away.  I was more interested in the new music and characters.  They can get rid of screecher Hudson too, she added nothing and there was no point to her character at all.  The most unbelievable part of the show for me was Ivy’s apology.  No way did I believe she was sorry.  Whatever the case, as long as it is on I will watch and one reason I watch is for Kat. 

  • EvenMoreron

    The show’s best aspect is definitely the tension between Karen and Ivy, and both actresses portrayed that well in the first 2 episodes.  Katherine McPhee is hit or miss.  The chemistry between Karen and Derek is hot, but the moments with Jimmy were borderline awful.  It’s easy to place blame on Kat, but even Anjelica Houston and Debra Messing seem a little off.  Tom and Julia definitely slow down whatever momentum there is in any scene.  I have a feeling they want to make season 2 slower paced and more character driven, but it may not be fast enough for people to keep watching.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V3JX273C3GNY57DKUFDBISIVJM Fran

    I sort of barely made it thru last year’s shows. Thought this was better, much better anytime it was about anybody that had a day job. Maybe ‘Smash’ is really the new play from the wanna bees and not ‘Bombshell’?   

  • milwlovesadam

    I really like this show, and hope it is given a chance. But, Megan Hilty is such a star and so supremely talented that having her cast as the underdog makes no sense at all. Also, I do love Debra Messing in general, but, unless she has some singing to belt out , or can play piano believably instead of being shot from the other side of the piano, she is also miscast. I am looking forward to her reunion with Sean Hayes, and to guest appearances from Bernadette Peters ( YAY ) and Liza with a Z ( YAY ).

    Kat McPhee is so understated and such a weak actor it is almost painful to watch. It’s like she’s in a high school play and the rest of the cast is on Broadway. She can sing, but please.

  • Chris

    What’s with the lyric problems and “I never heard of that song before?”

    Once in a lifetime shot, they mangle One Direction?  Good call sending them home.

  • Tera2

    I hope its ratings pick up.   I like Smash and I prefer it over Glee.  I enjoyed it last night, and I liked it last season too.  And its good to see Katharine McPhee have a show and Jennifer Hudson guest star.  Jennifer was my favorite her season, and Katharine was my 2nd favorite behind Chris Daughtry her season.

  • Chris


  • sweetmusic

    A lot of people hate the pseudo-sophistication, the put-downs of small-town America by dumb Hollywood writers who haven’t a clue about people who live in the real world. The show stinks.

  • poipugirl

    Wasn’t last year’s Smash premiere strong because The Voice followed the Super Bowl and Smash was promoted heavily along with The Voice?  Both commercials made the shows look promising.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I remember The Voice was a hit last year!

  • poipugirl

    I don’t care for any of Eileen’s scenes.  Her hair still bugs me.  I wanted more dancing and singing and rehearsing on the Broadway stage!

    Ivy’s solo was awesome.  Any of Jennifer’s performances were really great too!  Proud of Jennifer and Katherine, both AI alums, singing together on the show!  :)

  • durbesque

    If Karen were being played by a real actress, I think the writers would give her some juicy material.  A soap holds the viewer on the strength of the acting and the chemistry between the actors.  Two hours of soap with no chemistry explains the half-hour dwindlings.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7XWQYID5YZWLTPFE5RUAO5RZAU David??[08-09????]

    I still believe in it. I enjoyed the show very much

  • yclept

    NBC will give it a chance, because they have nothing (right now) to replace it with.   But a show with these ratings that is nowhere near the number of episodes needed for a syndication deal is dead.  

  • Allison

    I like that Smash exists. It’s something different from all those procedurals I don’t watch.