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Smash: Discussion Thread

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The early overnights for Monday...

We don't normally focus on the overnight metered market household ratings for the 56 largest market because you can't tell much from them. You can't tell what the adults 18-49 rating is or how many people watched and there is no way to figure that out from those numbers. Often there are shows with big household numbers that wind up doing badly with adults 18-49, and the reverse is also true.

But whatever the numbers we can tell that The Voice had a pretty great night and Smash had a good-to-great start and that in those 56 markets, NBC won every half hour of primetime in household viewing. The Voice pulled a 10.6/16 (household rating/share) from 8-10p and Smash scored a 7.7/13 at 10pm. Comparatively speaking that 7.7 was better than everything else on Monday night save the aforementioned The Voice, and CBS's Two and a Half Men (8.5/12).

For the half-hour watchers, the last half hour of The Voice drew an 11.1/16 and the first half hour of Smash scored an 8.3/13 and the second half hour dipped to 7.2/12.

Remember, all numbers above refer to household rating (not adults 18-49 rating) and you can't tell what the adults 18-49 rating is or how many people watched and there is no way to figure that out from those numbers. NBC looks to have done aiiiight though.

UPDATED NUMBERS:

The first Monday of February sweeps of course saw original programming on all of the broadcast networks. On the heels of a record breaking Super Bowl and great post-Super Bowl turnout for The Voice, would Monday's time period debut of The Voice and the premiere of Smash take a bite out of the competition's ratings? In a word, yes.

NBC won the night with adults 18-49 and total viewers with The Voice pulling a 6.6 adults 18-49 rating from 8-10p, 29% higher than last year's premiere. Smash debuted to a 3.8 adults 18-49 rating (the half hour breakout was a 4.2 dropping to a 3.4). For a hailstorm of bullets from NBC, click here.

CBS was second on the night with How I Met Your Mother down 0.4 from its last original to a 4.0 adults 18-49 rating. 2 Broke Girls was down 0.3 from its last original but was CBS's top performer (and the best 18-49 rating for a scripted show) with a 4.3 adults 18-49 rating. Two and a Half Men was down 0.4 from its last original to a season-low 4.2 adults 18-49 rating and Mike & Molly was also off four tenths with a season-low 3.4 adults 18-49 rating. Hawaii Five-0 was off a tenth to a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating.

The Bachelor's 2.6 adults 18-49 rating was even versus last week. Castle was down 5% to a season low-tying 2.0 adults 18-49 rating.

FOX shows took a hit with House down 17% to a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating and Alcatraz down 21% from last week to a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating.

Link to numbers for the night: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/02/07/tv-ratings-monday-nbc-has-a-big-voice-the-day-after-super-bowl-cbs-down-not-out-castle-sees-lows-big-drops-for-house-alcatraz/118898/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Tvbythenumbers+%28TVbytheNumbers%29

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GH I wanna love this! Not just be amused by the (well done) production numbers and good acting. It really is playing it too safe--it should have been on cable (but really--this is 10pm drama...)

For a 10pm drama, it honestly doesn't have any bite (the mean characters--Anjelica's husband who seems to exist just so he acan say something cliche and she can throw a drink on him and we applaud--and the smarmy director, who actually now doesn't even seem all that mean or all that complex). While backstage sagas usually are rife with bitchiness, there's always SOME of that in the theatre but so far all we seem to get is a few people being only kinda nice to the new girl (That's NOT a diss in the theatre world even in my limited experience). I don't know Theresa Rebeck's theatre and TV work at all from the past, but I know she's well regarded--so far her first two scripts make me wonder if she's ever met a line of cliched dialogue she didn't like.

Rebeck recently spoke about how they had to soften a lot of it when they changed it from a show aimed at Showtime to one for network TV. But surely it didn't have to feel quite this "nice" for a ten pm drama.

As cliched as it is I do enjoy the musical bits and some of the rehearsal/"making a musical" stuff (yes All That Jazz, amonst others, did it better, but). And I think the character combos and stories have potential but so far they seem to be dealing with cliche storylines, with cliche dialogue and most of these dilemnas get wrapped up in one episode (the husband decides he doesn't want to adopt if he has to wiat two more years, same episode he comes around, etc). But with all the faultsd, for me it goes by quickly and is enjoyable. I just wish it was more.

It's like the show can't decide if it wants to be Parenthood (an underated Herskovitz/Zwick style family drama with touches of soap by their protoge Jason Katims who handled Friday Night Lights, but as the New Yorker critic pointed out well that seemed to get cool cred for being in a sports milieu that the other shows don't), or if it wants to be a campy All About Eve soap. I think i should just go whole hog and do that--because between the fun, camp numbers, and the over the top caricature characters, stories about chinese adoption (unless there's a kidnapping) just fall flat.

New York Magazine's Vulture blog, which did the hysterical recap Bobster posted, also had their stage critic write about the pilot's musical numbers. The full post is HERE, but I found his comments on the Baseball Number spot on (and yes, I did love it--it was "absolutely perfect without being any good at all" which in itself is something I could celebrate, if the characters didn't then fawn and cry about wanting to make a musical that showed the world the person Marilyn truly was)

2. “The National Pastime”

Ivy, a curvaceous striver who’s survived innumerable chorus lines, is the bombshell; she’s competing to play Marilyn on the basis of her raw carnal drive. Which, the show seems to be subliminally telling us, also means she’s a Broadway-belt soprano, in marked contrast to her slender brunette rival Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee), who represents “love” (i.e., pop melisma soprano). To drive home that precious (and oh-so-American) sex-love divide, we’re given the only full original number of the pilot: an homage to, among other things, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Athletically choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, this massive musical gangbang (no exaggeration) features moves ranging from the Cunnilingus Lift-Spin to the Double Rumpy-Pumpy. Brilliantly filmed and edited, indefatigably hoofed by an incredible ensemble, “National Pastime” — where Marilyn apparently celebrates her first date with Joe DiMaggio by getting double-entendre-teamed by the entire Yankee squad — is, in the immortal words of Spice World, “absolutely perfect without really being any good at all.” After so many decades of camp, numbers like this (funny! sexy!) are increasingly hard for a Broadway show to bring off: The point, it seems, is not sex but a parody of sex. Which isn’t sexy. But it is impressive! Again, I’d love to know how it works within the show. When, like, there is a show. As for the studio execs no doubt quaking in their wingtips over whether all those bats and balls add up to something inescapably homoerotic, well, that I wouldn’t lose sleep over: All great American rituals are inescapably homoerotic, after all.

Excuse the long rant but I don't get to indulge my Broadway love on here much...

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I finally caught up on this show... It's ok, but I don't love it like I thought I would. I had no idea it would be so Marilyn Monroe-focused. For some reason that just seems more in your face than anything else. Also, the NYC outside directing is horrible. There was one long shot at Times Square where you could see Angelica Houston and another character walking and talking - and on the sides you could clearly see the public being roped off and everyone is staring and taking pictures of the scene as it's been filmed. That was bad!

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Yeah, I can't see this show being renewed.

As much as I enjoy Megan Hilty and forever stan for Anjelica Huston, they aren't enough for me to sit through a show that constantly espouses about the awesomeness of Marilyn Monroe (surely this show could've come up with a better Broadway show subject than the most overrated celebrity of all time?). I was hoping that the backstage drama would distract me from that, but so far, nothing's hooking me.

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It's an interesting comment and I'm drawn to the conflict between the two leads, but the first thing that really stands out to me is that a lot of the melodramatic dialogue is hardly better than that of a maligned daytime soap. I feel like Houston and Messing aren't being used to the best of their ability. Hilty is superbly selling crafty smile in your face theatre diva bitch. I think the bitchy gay dancer's line delivery is so annoying and he seems to be aping Michael Urie's Mark from Ugly Betty. I recognize all of these types and I think the actors do too and they're kind of playing into funny theatre inside jokes.

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Messing is so cold and neurotic - while I guess that may be true to life for this type of person, not sure why she is cast in a lead role on a drama that is already full of unlikeable people.

I think the show is extremely dated and yet believes it's very hip. For instance, all the talk about Marilyn Monroe, which seems like something from a bad 70's art film. Or the All About Eve guy, Ellis. I've heard, oh, it's all about Eve, how clever, is he gay, is he straight, how daring! etc. But I think most viewers will just think he's an annoying sh!t and want him off their screen.

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LOL, this is my first full ep, so Ellis, who just had one quick appearance, is some sort of All About Eve expert? Is he the dramaturd?

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LOL, this is my first full ep, so Ellis, who just had one quick appearance, is some sort of All About Eve expert? Is he the dramaturd?

Apparently so. He's supposed to be clawing his way up and using his sexuality and so on, although he was so pushy from the start it's not quite Eve-like. Casting an actor who reminds me of Baz from OLTL is kind of an odd choice.

here's an interview with him.

http://www.afterelton.com/tv/2012/02/smash-jamie-cepero-interview

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Or the All About Eve guy, Ellis. I've heard, oh, it's all about Eve, how clever, is he gay, is he straight, how daring! etc. But I think most viewers will just think he's an annoying sh!t and want him off their screen.

That's pretty much my feeling about him...

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This week's episode was by far the best. It felt like things actually happened, the Marilyn production number was also more interesting (I was kinda tired of repeatedly being told that Marilyn liked phalic baseball bats and sleeping her way to the top). It's interesting, while a respected playwright, and the creator, Theresa Rebeck's three episodes have been by far the worst. I hope they'll continue to go more soapy (even if parts like the kiss are still way too obvious) and quit trying to make a quality "serious drama" which seemed to really bring down the first episodes. While I don't expect a second season, I'm glad the ratings improved apparently:

According to published reports, NBC's SMASH, which aired its fifth episode last night, got a significant ratings boost with 7.9 million viewers (6.9 million last week). This gave the show a 17% improvement with a rating of 2.7.

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Watch 3 episodes.....and I'm done. It's too boring and none of the characters really interest me. Katharine McPhee's hotness is not enough for me to continue watching. I wasn't a broadway fan to begin with, but I gave it a shot.

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