Nellie Andreeva

NBC has renewed midseason musical drama Smash for a second season. The initial second-season order is for 15 episodes, higher than the 13 episodes midseason show normally get in their first renewal. The move is not surprising given that fact that Smash was the highest-profile and most heavily promoted new NBC series this season, backed by an elaborate marketing campaign that some estimate cost as much as $25 million. With NBC’s top entertainment show, The Voice, as a lead-in, Smash ranks as the network’s highest-rated drama in adults 18-49 (2.6 rating) and total viewers (7.7 million). After a strong start the night after the Super Bowl, Smash dropped in the ratings but leveled off relatively quickly, staying above the 2 18-49 rating level with the help of its big lead-in. Smash, which posted a 2.3 demo rating Monday, chronicles the birth of a Broadway musical. Stemming from an idea from executive producer Steven Spielberg, the series stars Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Anjelica Huston, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee and Jack Davenport. Smash has been a passion project for NBC chief Bob Greenblatt and the first NBC series developed by him, something he did in his previous gig at Showtime. Smash, produced by Universal TV and DreamWorks TV, joins fellow freshman Grimm as the second NBC series to get an early pickup for next season. In addition to Spielberg, it is executive produced by creator Theresa Rebeck, David Marshall Grant, Craig Zadan & Neil Meron, Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey and Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman.

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