Ratings Slump Pushes ‘Smash’ to Saturday Nights
NBC has announced that “Smash” will move from its Tuesday night timeslot to Saturdays for the remainder of the show’s second season starting April 6.
The show’s ratings have been struggling since it returned for its second season, and NBC will replace it with the new reality dating show “Ready For Love.”
Though the network released no other announcement about the future of the show, news outlets are already saying that the move to Saturday will essentially end the shows run. Or, as the New York Times puts it, “Saturday night is now where networks send failing shows to die.”
The show was one of the most talked about series to debut in early 2012 thanks to an extensive advertising campaign and the presence of Steven Spielberg as an executive producer. The show also boasted several well-known stars including Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston and Katharine McPhee.
The show revolves around characters creating a new fictional Broadway musical called “Bombshell.” Early episodes of the show were particularly praised by critics and viewers alike – especially the pilot – but both groups seemed to have continually been losing faith in the show as the first and second seasons continued.
Before the series ever began, New York magazine reported that Spielberg’s original idea was to have each season of the show feature the creation of a new Broadway musical. The idea was that if any of them seemed stage worthy, Spielberg would produce it himself on Broadway.
But as it happened, the show continued to center on “Bombshell,” and instead of focusing on the musical it “deteriorated into soapy plots that undermined the strength of the original songs composed for the show.” That last quote (also from the Times) may be a little harsh on the show according to its fans, but it is certain that original showrunner Theresa Rebeck was replaced for the second season, and the focus of the show has somewhat shifted.
The New York Times article also points out that the show was highly expensive to produce, costing NBC about $4.2 million per episode.