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'Smash' Ratings: Season 2 Premiere Bombs

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SMASH RATINGS
"Smash" returns low in Season 2 premiere ratings. | NBC

The "Smash" ratings are in ... and it could be lights out for the Broadway musical drama.

The second season of "Smash" premiered to very low numbers. Early Nielsen reports have the the two-hour premiere at 4.5 million viewers and a 1.1 rating the coveted 18-49 demographic.

Season 1 premiered to 11.4 million viewers and a 3.8 rating in February 2012. After dipping in the wake of its widely-watched premiere, "Smash" stabilized around the 6 million viewer mark, adding more when DVR playback was factored in. The Season 1 finale of "Smash" had about 6 million viewers and a 1.8 rating. During Season 1, "Smash" aired on Mondays at 10 p.m. EST following "The Voice."

Season 2 premiered following NBC's second birthday special honoring "Hot In Cleveland" star Betty White, which bested "Smash" with 5.97 million viewers and 1.5 in the key demo.

After strong early reviews, "Smash" began to lose favor with critics and its audience during its first season. Season 2 sees a new showrunner, new characters, the exit of many hated Season 1 faces and the launch of a new, younger musical. The Huffington Post's Maureen Ryan said the producers listened to viewer gripes, but we should "[b]e careful what you wish for."

"'Smash' 2.0 is tidier; it's 'better,' I suppose, from an organizational perspective," Ryan wrote in her Season 2 review. "It does away with the show's most groan-inducing characters and it introduces a rival musical that deflects a certain amount of attention away from "Bombshell," the increasingly tired Marilyn Monroe vehicle that still occupies center stage."

It's a make it or break it time for "Smash," a favorite of NBC executives. NBC's other midseason drama entry, "Do No Harm," premiered to record low ratings on Thursday, Jan. 31. The series had 3.1 million viewers. The Peacock network is struggling without its two fall hits, "The Voice" and "Revolution."

"Smash" airs Tuesdays, 10 p.m. EST on NBC.

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