The Day the Music Died

Smash crashes on reentry, drawing a 1.2 in the dollar demo

NBC’s Broadway baby last night toppled off the stage and into the orchestra pit, as Smash delivered disconcertingly tiny ratings.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the Season 2 premiere of the musical drama drew just 4.48 million viewers and a 1.2 in the 18-49 demo, marking a 68 percent decline from the 3.8 the show delivered in its Feb. 6, 2012, curtain raiser.

Overall deliveries were off 61 percent from the series premiere (11.5 million viewers).

Year-over-year comps are somewhat unfair, as Smash no longer enjoys the huge lead-in provided by The Voice. Last year’s opener was the beneficiary of The Voice’s audience of 17.8 million viewers/6.7 rating in the dollar demo.

Instead of getting a boost from one of the highest-rated shows on broadcast TV, Smash led out of Betty White’s Second Annual 90th Birthday Special. The one-hour curiosity drew 5.95 million viewers and a 1.4 in the demo, down 50 percent from the 2.8 served up by White’s first 90th birthday soiree.

The two-hour Smash premiere began hemorrhaging younger viewers from the get-go, falling from a 1.3 to a 1.1 in the second half hour. The final 30 minutes averaged a 1.0 rating. Overall deliveries slumped 26 percent from start to finish, as the 5.21 million viewers who tuned in at the top of the 9 p.m. hour dwindled to 3.96 million as the credits rolled.

Smash marks NBC’s fourth consecutive crash landing of the midseason period. After bowing Jan. 7 to 5.66 million viewers and a 2.0 rating, Deception on Monday night dropped to 3.08 million viewers and a 1.1. Also sucking wind are Do No Harm (3.12 million viewers, 0.9 rating on Jan. 31) and 1600 Penn (down to 3.28 million viewers and a 1.3 rating on Jan. 24).

Tuesday night was rough all the way around for NBC (1.3), which finished fifth in the demo behind CBS (2.8), ABC (2.3), Fox (1.9) and Univision (1.7).

Staggering stage left was the CW’s freshman dramedy Emily Owens, M.D., which closed up shop in front of 1.50 million diehards. The series finale averaged a 0.5 in the 18-34 demo.

Over the course of 13 episodes, Emily Owens, M.D. delivered an average 1.27 million viewers and a 0.4 in the demo.

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