There was a bit of Broadway in primetime last night with NBC’s Smash (1.1/3) returning for its second season. However, it was a hard landing for the musical drama: The two-hour premiere was down 71% from its Season 1 debut on February 6, 2012. That premiere got a 3.8/10 among adults 18-49. Granted, the show didn’t have the powerhouse lead-in of The Voice it had last year, nor the Super Bowl promotion, but it cratered to 4.47 million viewers from the 11.4 million who watched last year’s first episode. Hitting a series low, Smash was also down 39% from the 1.8 rating it got for its May 14 season finale.
Though it slipped 3% from last week, CBS’ NCIS (3.7/10) was still the most watched show of the night with 21.49 million viewers. The second most watched show, NCIS: LA (3.1/8), was flat with last week even though it garnered 16.57 million viewers. Vegas (1.6/4) on the other hand took a tumble, with the freshman Sin City drama down 16% from January 29’s show. With 16.092 million watching, CBS won the night among total viewers and among adults 18-49.
Before the Smash premiere, NBC kicked off the night with Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special (1.5/4). With 6 million viewers, it gave the network its best overall audience in the 8 PM Tuesday time slot since December 18, but it was down 44% from last year’s show on January 16, 2012. Now in its third week, ABC’s The Taste (1.8/5) saw an upward swing of 13% from last week. The cooking competition show was followed by a two-hour episode of The Bachelor (2.6/7), which bopped up 8% from Monday’s season-low broadcast.
Fox had back-to-back episodes of Raising Hope. The 8 PM (1.6/5) was down a tenth from last week’s show, while the 8:30 PM (1.5/4) was even with its January 29 broadcast. New Girl (2.5/7) was also even with last week, while The Mindy Project (1.9/5) was up 12%. With an audience of 3.6 million, Tuesday’s Mindy was the new series’ most-watched show since its second airing October 2. Hart Of Dixie (0.6/2) was up 20% from last week to match its season high on the CW. The season finale of Emily Owens MD (0.4/1) was up 9% from its January 29 show.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.