Hard Crash for NBC's Two-Hour Season Premiere of 'Smash' TVbytheNumbers

NBC’s ambitious two-hour rollout for the new season of its musical drama series “Smash” fell to earth with a loud bang Tuesday night, based on Nielsen overnights. reports that the broadcast mustered only a 1.1 average rating in the key 18-49 demo -- an all-time low for the series. That number is down a whopping 71% from the 3.8 average for the series premiere a year ago, when the show led out from “The Voice,” and down 39% from the season one finale back in May.

NBC wound up a distant fifth among broadcast networks for prime time overall, getting little help from “Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special,” which settled for a 1.5 average in viewers 18-49.

CBS won the night, paced by a 3.7 average for “NCIS” in the 18-49 demo -- the top number of the night, even though it was off 3% from a week ago. “NCIS: Los Angeles” held steady with a 3.1 and “Vegas” tumbled 16% to a 1.9.

ABC finished a respectable second overall, driven by a 2.6 average in 18-49 for its two-hour “The Bachelor,” up 8% from the previous night. “The Taste” inched up to a 1.8, rising 13% from last week.

Fox was paced by a 2.5 in viewers 18-49 for “New Girl,” down 4%, while “The Mindy Project” ticked up 12% to a 1.9. Back-to-back episodes of “Raising Hope” settled for a 1.6 and a 1.5, both down 6%.

For the night, CBS led the way with a 2.8 average rating in the 18-49 demo, followed by ABC (2.3 average), Fox (1.9), Univision (1.7) and NBC (1.2). CBS had a huge lead in total viewers, averaging 16.1 million to 7.0 million for ABC, 5.0 million for NBC, 4.0 million for Univision and 4.0 million for Fox.