/// The Day the Music Died

February 6, 2013  |  Media Week

NBC’s Broadway baby last night toppled off the stage and into the orchestra pit, as Smash delivered disconcertingly tiny ratings. According to Nielsen fast national data, the Season 2 premiere of the musical drama drew just 4.47 million viewers and a 1.1 in the 18-49 demo, marking a 71 percent decline from the 3.8 the show delivered in its Feb. 6, 2012, curtain raiser. Overall deliveries were off 60 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 5.97 million viewers and a 1.5 in the demo, down 44 percent from the 2.8 served up by White’s first 90th birthday soiree. Smash effectively squandered 27 percent of an already tepid lead-in. 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).

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The Day the Music Died

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