Entertainment

03.13.13

Get Out the Hook: NBC Yanks 'Smash,' Moves It to Saturdays

'Smash' was once heralded as a potential savior for ailing NBC. Now the network is banishing it to Saturday evenings.

Ouch.

The ratings have not been kind to Season 2 of NBC's musical-comedy Smash, which returned earlier this year to a distinct lack of fanfare from both critics and viewers, despite numerous behind the scenes changes and the departure of several characters (goodbye, Ellis!), as well as creator Theresa Rebeck.

But things are going to get tougher still for Smash, which will depart its Tuesdays at 10 p.m. timeslot, which was previously home this season to Parenthood.

Unlike the show's ficticious musical, Bombshell, Smash is not Broadway-bound, however, but rather destined for the graveyard shift of Saturdays at 9 p.m., beginning April 6, according to a press release put out on Wednesday by the network.

When Smash premiered in February 2012, it garnered positive reviews and launched with 11.44 million viewers tuning in to see whether ingenue Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) or jaded chorus girl Ivy (Megan Hilty) would be selected to play Marilyn Monroe in a musical biopic. But those numbers are now a distant memory: The March 5 episode of Smash attracted a shocking 2.68 million viewers, a loss of nearly 9 million viewers since its launch.

No surprise then that the show is heading to Saturdays, traditionally a dumping ground for underperforming shows to be unceremoniously burned off.

The move signals a distinct change of mood surrounding the promotion of the show, a passion project for NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, who originally developed the show at Showtime, his old stomping ground, before bringing it to NBC. While the network insists that the show "will air its entire season of 17 episodes," things aren't looking too good for Smash at the moment.

While it's perhaps too early to prognosticate about the 2013-14 season pickups, it's a pretty safe guess that, at this point, Smash is, well, smashed.