Was NBC’s “SMASH” A Ratings Smash? And Will We See A “Marilyn” Musical on Broadway Now?

After much publicity and hype, NBC finally debuted what they hope will be a new jewel in their lineup... but was SMASH the ratings smash that the network hoped for?

After much publicity and hype, NBC finally debuted what they hope will be a new jewel in their lineup… but was SMASH the ratings smash that the network hoped for?

Scheduled immediately after NBC’s highest rated show of the moment, The Voice, the news is both good and bad. While The Voice grabbed 17.7 million viewers – making it the highest rated entertainment series for the network in more than four years - It also grew in viewers over the course of the show’s telecast – but for Smash it is a slightly different story.

Smash, however, which aired immediately following   The Voice isn’t quite yet the mega hit that the network may have hoped for, but shows tremendous promise. The musical-series, which chronicles the drama and competitiveness behind the production of a Broadway show, was the third-highest rated new drama debut of the season, and the total viewership trailed four other network shows – garnering 11.5 million viewers. 11.5 is a healthy number,  nothing to be ashamed of there…but it dropped viewership over the course of the hour – which is not a good sign of viewer interest.

All that said, the curtain is anything but shut on the series. The show will continue to benefit from the growth of The Voice’s audience over the course of the series. Smash also had offerered free online and on demand viewing of the premiere episode in the past few weeks – and while that was unlikely to have an enormous impact on the premiere numbers, it could help episode two sustain a greater live viewership for the new episode next week. (Smash is expected to have 15 episodes, coinciding to air after each episode of The Voice.)

Interestingly, a question that crossed my mind while I watched the show was – in a world where TV and Film quickly find themselves with Broadway adaptations – could the fictional “Marilyn”  musical being developed for Smash eventually make it to a Broadway stage someday? It turns out, Steven Spielberg, one of the Executive Producers on the show has not ruled that idea out. When the concept for the series began, the idea was that each season would follow one musical born and completed. From that moment, he reportedly entertained the idea that if one of the season’s productions seemed to have the traction, Spielberg would make it into an actual Broadway musical.

Time will tell… I for one hope the show finds (and keeps) its audience – right now it shows great promise and some creative writing, casting and production.

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1 Comment

  • I’m loving “Smash.” I think the plot is going to keep audience members on their toes, and the music, personally, keeps me coming back every week. Found a clip of McPhee totally owning Adele’s “Rumor Has It.” http://www.nbc.com/smash/video/rumor-has-it/1384854.

    There’s no doubt, this show is exploding with talent, so I’m excited for what’s around the bend in the season.

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