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Why NBC’s ‘Smash’ Survived Even Though It Flopped in the Live Ratings

Jun 25, 2012  •  Post A Comment

"Smash," which did not do well in the live, daily ratings on NBC, was renewed by the network for a second season because of the DVR, reports Bill Carter in The New York Times.

Says Carter in the article, "The bottom line was that ‘Smash,’ after weeks of deteriorating ratings, was a flop."

But then he adds, "Negative reports about the performance of ‘Smash’ generally took into account only how it had fared on the first nights that it was shown on NBC. As is now the case in prime time, however, a show’s true popularity can no longer be assessed by instant analysis," Carter writes.

"On average, ‘Smash’ added 2.5 million viewers over seven days of playback and averaged a 3.3 rating in the 18-49 category. No 10 p.m. network show did better in that category. Two CBS dramas, ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and ‘CSI,’ each scored a 3.3 also," Carter points out.

Given the viewers the show attracted over seven days, "Smash" deserved a second-season renewal, notes Brad Adgate, the head of research for Horizon Media, according to the story. Adgate said of “Smash’s” 3.3 in the key demo: “That’s a good number for a show in any time period. It’s especially good at 10 o’clock.”

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