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Sour Smash: Second Season Premiere Produces Rancid Ratings

Posted In Products Review, Technology Reviews - By Mike on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 With No Comments »

While Smash fans from around the world were anxiously awaiting the premiere episode of the second season, it must have been a disappointment, to say the least, to learn that the ratings fell flat at a 1.1 rating among adults between 18 and 49, and an overall 4.5 million viewers.

New Season – New Lows

Smash promoted the debut of season 2 by plugging the new stars, new twists, and of course, continued drama, so it leaves one to wonder, why did the show fail to bring in the viewers? As a matter of fact, it was listed as Monday night’s lowest rated show on all of the broadcast networks. Truth be told, NBC’s overall ratings have dropped by 16 percent since the new year – with their latest introduction – Do No Harm, being the lowest rated premier in the modern history of television. Ouch. There are many possibilities to why Smash failed to perform, and here are a few ideas:

Season 2 Revamp

Like many shows that go into a second season, Smash was completely revamped in order to pull in a wider audience. With the addition of super star cast members that include Jennifer Hudson and Sean Hayes, one would think that the second season would be an instant success.

The problem with second season overhauls is that there is a tendency to become overzealous with the changes, and with Smash, these changes included new show runners, a variety of new cast members, and variations to the storyline. In season one, audiences cheered for Karen (Katharine McPhee), a small town girl chasing big dreams on Broadway. The storyline was simple and easy to follow, and the musical numbers were impressive, yet not over the top.

With the addition of a variety of celebrities, dramatic plot twists and new storylines, audience members may have decided that they were simply not interested in a brand new show with too many bells and whistles. Sometimes less is definitely more, and that may have been the case with Season 2.

An Overabundance of Musical Programs

With Glee, American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent, television viewers are literally being inundated by musical programming. When checking television schedules on sites like, viewers can find a multitude of musical shows scheduled within a few hours or a few days of one another. While these shows are certainly popular, especially for aspiring artists, they can be a bit overwhelming for the audience that is simply looking for a good comedy or drama series that tells an easy to follow story. Television programs compete with one another, and if one network sees that a competitor is bringing in amazing ratings with their musical program, naturally that network will strive to create one that’s even better. The problem with this is that when there is too much of a good thing, eventually even the pioneering programs fall flat.

Will Smash Make It?

After the terribly low rated premiere of Season 2, viewers are left to wonder if Smash will continue on for the entire season, or like many ill-fated shows, get cancelled abruptly. The verdict is not yet in, so Smash fans will simply have to wait and see. The nice aspect about Season 1 of Smash is that it was definitely a unique idea, and the story about a small town girl making her dreams come true was inspiring and special. Perhaps if Smash goes back to its roots, it will have a chance of bringing back the audience that loved it so much in the beginning.

Hugh Luman blogs about television programs ranging from dramas to sports for a selection of entertainment websites.

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