'Smash' ratings smushed!

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We thought our expectations were appropriately adjusted when we opened the ratings spreadsheet this morning.

We knew the return of NBC’s Smash on Tuesday wasn’t going to have nearly as big of an audience as the musical drama’s debut last year. The show’s first season premiere aired after The Voice and received heavy promotion during the network’s telecast of the Super Bowl the day before. We also knew that NBC has been struggling lately with some soft numbers, which tends to reduce the likelihood of any telecast doing well.

But yikes!

Smash came back to 4.5 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. The two-hour premiere was down 71 percent from the show’s debut last season and down 47 percent from NBC’s performance average in this time period so far this season. Smash ranked as the night’s lowest-rated show on a major broadcast network.

That isn’t hate-viewing Smash; that’s just not-viewing Smash.

The numbers follow a creative overhaul of the Steven Spielberg-produced show included changing showrunners and shaking up the cast. NBC was top ranked in the ratings this fall, but ever since The Voice went on winter hiatus and Sunday Night Football concluded, the broadcaster has seen its numbers drop sharply.

Over on ABC, both The Taste (up 13 percent) and The Bachelor (up 8 percent) posted gains. CBS’ NCIS and NCIS: LA were basically steady, while Vegas dipped (down 16 percent). Fox’s Mindy Project showed some growth — up 12 percent to post its biggest rating in four months. The rest of Fox’s comedy lineup was more-or-less flat. The CW’s Hart of Dixie went up a bi.

Full Chart:

 ADULT DEMO RANK ADULTS 18-49 RATING TOTAL VIEWERS (+000)
FOX 8:00P RAISING HOPE #7t 1.6 3,976
8:30P RAISING HOPE S #9t 1.5 3,599
9:00P NEW GIRL #4 2.5 4,809
9:30P MINDY PROJECT #5 1.9 3,599
ABC 8-9P TASTE #6 1.8 5,282
9-11P BACHELOR S #3 2.6 7,792
CBS 8-9P NCIS #1 3.7 21,487
9-10P NCIS:LA #2 3.1 16,570
10-11P VEGAS #7t 1.6 10,221
NBC 8-9P BETTY WHITE S #9t 1.5 5,972
9-11P SMASH P #11 1.1 4,468
CW 8-9P HART-DIXIE #12 0.6 1,436
9-10P EMILY OWENS #13 0.4 1,493
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