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Though NBC has had high expectations for the show for months thanks to a shaken-up cast and storyline, not even the network could’ve expected ratings to be this low.

Smash’s season two premiere was watched by 4.5 million viewers and had a 1.1 rating among adults in the all-important 18 – 49 age range last night. That’s a 71% decrease from last year’s series premiere.

Why the lower ratings? Many think Smash went off the rails towards the end of the season one. Moreover, the promotional campaign was significantly smaller than season one’s. This year it did not have a lead-in from NBC’s popular singing competition The Voice and did not get Super Bowl advertising.

Viewer reaction in our article about last night’s episode is largely positive, and we provided a recap of storyline events. One event that occurred last night: The role of Marilyn seems to be now up in the air, as Ivy was able to get to the gala in time, while Karen’s phone was completely off. Was this just an easy way to write Karen off for drama’s purposes, or did Ivy deserve this second chance?

The show is performing roughly 40% lower than other television shows do for NBC in the same time period, which will surely make the network cringe. Can some more promotion save the show this season?

Smash aired two episodes back to back last night to celebrate the season premiere. Episode three will debut Tuesday, February 19 at 9 PM ET.

Thanks to EW for the stats.

  • Sara

    I didnt even know it was on, and I usually never miss a premiere. I blame insufficient marketing 100%.

  • http://twitter.com/Dillon_Mays Dillon Mays

    I’m honestly not surprised, but I do like the show. But if this keeps up, this may be the last season :(

    • http://hypable.com John Thrasher

      These are on par with Smash’s normal ratings. The comparison is over last year’s premiere which had 2 SUPER HUGE lead-ins. Nothing to worry about regarding a potential 3rd season just yet.

      • http://twitter.com/Dillon_Mays Dillon Mays

        Yeah. But I don’t think it will last much longer sadly, unless they do something big.

      • Chaz

        There is ALOT to worry about. A 1.1 is terrible. It’s the lowest rated show besides reality and comedy on NBC. It won’t be renewed for season 3 unless it goes back to a 1.8 rating or above. Honestly, if NBC isn’t having their scheduling team rework Smash’s timeslot and announces it before next weekend, it’s gone. Get people to watch.

  • Shelby Walker

    I was finishing Merlin last night, but I recorded Smash. I guess now I wish I had sat down for the two hours to watch it.

  • nova

    I don’t understand how networks decide their scheduling. How can they think its a good idea to put a show on for one week at 9, keep it off the air for a week, and then put it back on at 10 (which, according to NBC’s website, is Smash’s air time from this point out, not 9).

    • Chaz

      Actually, they aren’t keeping it “off air”, Obummer’s State of the Union is next Tuesday. I don’t understand, though, why they premiered it last night. They could have waited two more weeks. What bugs me the MOST isn’t that the show is on at 10PM. It’s that it is on AFTER their comedies. Which means: their comedies get the bump in ratings and Smash doesn’t. I hope NBC can move Smash so it can get the bump and post Voice spot. Their reasoning though, for airing it this week was probably because of February Sweeps. If Smash can get back to 1.8 or above, I would say it has some hope of getting renewed. If not, this is the last season.

  • ProfessorP

    The first hour of the premiere was available online weeks ago – this could have decreased the number of live viewers.

  • http://twitter.com/LiamFloyd Liam Floyd

    This is what the problem is with mid-winter premieres. Especially when this show hasn’t been on for a year. I fully expect the same thing to happen to Community tomorrow night, sadly. I love both shows but all the hype is gone for casual audiences.

  • Chaz

    I hope NBC will move Smash to 9PM on Tuesdays following The Voice. Rock Center seems good for the 10PM hour.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Lulu1 Lupita

    I saw all of season one and was planning on watching season two up until yesterday. I remembered that I hate watched all of season one & I dont feel like watching another season just because I don’t have anything else to watch on a particular day. These ratings are crazy low but I just hope that for the sake of those people who do love the show it doesnt get cancelled.

  • http://twitter.com/Merina2 Merina

    ‘Smash’ has plenty of fans here in England, but we’re unable to watch it live! Do you have any suggestions as to how we could overcome this problem? I assume watching an illegal stream online won’t help the ratings…gargh, this is infuriating, not being able to help!

    Really, really hope this show isn’t cancelled.

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