*Not even the addition of Jennifer Hudson could lift NBC’s sophomore drama “Smash” to comfortable ratings.
Tuesday’s second-season premiere set series lows with 4.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That marked a 61% plummet from last February’s series opener, which aired behind “The Voice,” and a 25% from May’s finale, which drew 6 million. Among young adults, the drop was even steeper — 71% and 39%, respectively.
The network, riding high last fall with “Sunday Night Football” and “The Voice,” is now back in the ratings cellar, according to USA Today. With both shows off the schedule, the network has gone from first back to worst again among the young-adult audience it sells to advertisers. And its stable of replacement scripted programming has been DOA.
Meagan Good’s drama “Deception,” NBC’s knockoff of ABC’s “Revenge,” opened modestly as a replacement for “Revolution” on Monday nights, but has declined nearly every week, hitting a series-low 3.1 million viewers on Monday.
Last week, “Do No Harm,” a Jekyll-and-Hyde medical drama about a dual-personality surgeon and co-starring Phylicia Rashad, premiered with 3.1 million, the worst opening for a major-network drama series ever during a regular TV season. (The show did even worse than cellar-dwelling news magazine “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” which was bumped to Friday to make room, and is not expected to make it past this week.)
The ratings figures reflect same-day viewership only, and don’t factor in longer DVR delays. But the trend line is similar. In the four weeks since NBC’s NFL football coverage ended in early January, the network has averaged a fourth-place 5 million viewers, a figure that factors in the nearly 20 million who watched the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 13.
But last fall it was averaging 8.8 million, and ranked a strong second in total viewers. And among those young adults, its audience has been cut in half.