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Smash returned with the start of its second season on NBC last night and the numbers for the musical drama's Season 2 debut were not good. Viewership appears to have hit a new low for the series. The decrease is more drastic when compared to the series' debut, but the Season 2 premiere also fell behind the first season finale in total viewers by more than a million.
Smash returned last night with a two-hour episode, which brought us back to the story of the cast and crew of a Broadway-bound (maybe) musical focused on Marilyn Monroe. 4.5 million total viewers tuned in for the premiere, with a 1.1/3 rating among the 18-49 audience. NBC found the bright side in this, noting that it's the network's top total-viewer result in the slot since January 8. The network also points out that, last season, Smash's original episodes added an average of 47% to these next-day "live plus same day" ratings in 18-49 when Nielsen reported "live plus seven day" results.
Holding the Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. spot moving forward, right now it's looking like Smash is starting to fall behind Parenthood's ratings in the time-slot, unless it can improve its ratings. And given the steady decline in the ratings since the series premiered last winter, it's hard to imagine we'll see any substantial growth anytime soon. It probably won't help that there's a gap between episodes coming up, with the State of the Union Address set to air next Tuesday night, and the next new episode of Smash not airing until February 19.
The series premiered last year to an audience of 11.44 million, but it had the benefit of a lead-in from The Voice. The singing competition series is between seasons right now, which is unfortunate for Smash, which can clearly use some music enthusiasts about now.
For those who did watch, you can read our breakdown of the first two episodes of Smash here.