Proving that bombarding the viewers of the year’s most-watched TV program with promotions for upcoming can programming can yield big ratings, NBC found itself in a strange position last night: At the top of the heap. King of the hill. A-No. …1. Tooooooop of the heeeeeeeap. And all it took was a bunch of people singing and constant reminders that, hey, look: SMASH.
With a big boost from Super Bowl XLVI, the time-slot debut of The Voice and the series première of Smash both led their time slots in total viewers and viewers in the coveted “adults 18-49” demographic—immediately reversing months of piss-poor ratings for NBC and providing a salve for the more recent licking the network’s Thursday-night shows received at the hands of the Univision telenovela El Talismán. (#ELTALISMÁN) Ha, not really: NBC has temporarily won the battle for Monday night, but it’s yet to win the war of rebuilding the embattled network’s viewership.
Further reasons for the folks at Comcast to hold off on replacing the NBC peacock with a phoenix: While The Voice bested all comers, Smash was only the second-highest rated scripted series of the night, unable to belt “Beautiful” loud enough to drown out the braying of CBS’ Two And A Half Men. (Three of The Eye’s four Monday-night sitcoms beat Smash in the demo, and the musical barely squeaked by Mike & Molly with a 3.8 rating.) There’s also the matter of its precipitous decline in viewership from its commanding lead-in, shedding nearly 7.8 million of The Voice’s viewers—or roughly six Gossip Girl audiences. According to the Los Angeles Times, Smash also lost one-fifth of its audience during the show’s second half-hour, presumably due to Debra Messing’s awful adoption subplot.
So while it might want to hold off on asking all its executives to build an altar to Katharine McPhee, having at least one show that found more eyeballs than any offering on CBS is good news for NBC. Maybe those execs should look into finding ways to incorporate high-tech swivel-chairs into all of its shows. Hell, they could install them in the Greendale library if that’s what it takes to get Community back on the air.
8 p.m.: The Bachelor (8.06 million viewers, 2.5 18-49)
9 p.m.: The Bachelor (8.43 million viewers, 2.6 18-49)
10 p.m.: Castle (8.72 million viewers, 2.0 18-49)
8 p.m.: How I Met Your Mother (9.99 million viewers, 4.0 18-49)
8:30 p.m.: 2 Broke Girls (11.42 million viewers, 4.3 18-49)
9 p.m.: Two And A Half Men (12.9 million viewers, 4.2 18-49)
9:30 p.m.: Mike & Molly (11.02 million viewers, 3.4 18-49)
10 p.m.: Hawaii Five-0 (9.8 million viewers, 2.7 18-49)
8 p.m.: House (7.16 million viewers, 2.4 18-49)
9 p.m.: Alcatraz (6.78 million viewers, 2.2 18-49)
8 p.m.: Gossip Girl (1.28 million viewers, 0.6 18-49)
9 p.m.: Hart Of Dixie (1.5 million viewers, 0.6 18-49)