'Smash' ratings off to solid start
February 7th, 2012
04:44 PM ET

'Smash' ratings off to solid start

NBC execs must be feeling some vindication for the relentless promotion they did for their midseason drama, "Smash."

Missed last night's episode? Check out the recap

The new series, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a Broadway musical starring "American Idol" runner-up Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston and Megan Hilty, was watched by 11.5 million in its post-"The Voice" time slot Monday.

With a 3.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the new show had the largest rating of any 10 p.m. drama this season.

However, as Entertainment Weekly notes, ratings fell off by the second half-hour, and while the series has certainly earned plenty of praise, some critics acknowledged that this was a gamble for NBC, and that "Smash" does have some problems.

Slate's critic was willing to pay $75 "for an orchestra seat to see the show-within-a-show," should "Smash's" Marilyn Monroe musical ever become a reality.

But, "the way things are going, I would pay $100 if the purchase exempted me from having to watch anymore of the show itself," the review continues. By the third and fourth episodes, "cartoon vibes and copious suds...creep over the series," wreaking havoc on Huston's character especially.

The Washington Post was upfront about "Smash's" shortcomings as well: Debra Messing's performance made the viewer "think of chenille throws and long naps," and then there's the issue with what the critic calls "hacky" dialogue.

While "Smash" "won't convert anyone to the [theater] lifestyle...it will intrigue those who are already deep in it," the WaPo says, concluding that the series may not be perfect, but it's not all bad, either.

The Atlantic had similar issues with "Smash's" dialogue, and pointed out that the show is "riddled with caricatures and cliches." And yet, "that's not to say there isn't promise."

"It's messy, cheesy and a bit of a letdown," the Atlantic says. "But it's more entertaining than it is disappointing."

From the looks of our Twitter feed, many of you would agree with that:

More than one person said they "loved it," while Natasha T. admitted she's hooked:

Cassandra Javier gave a nod to Katharine McPhee's performance of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" (which isn't a spoiler, considering it was heavily promoted):

And you also now know where to find Martin Bautista on Mondays:

What about for you? Did the pilot make you want to stick around for episode two?

Filed under: television

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. C

    Loved it !!!! At last something else to watch instead of all those dang reality shows. I'm sick of American Idol, GLee, Xfactor etc.... !!!! I Hope NBC gives it more than a shot....

    February 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LoJenk


    February 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Beka

    No!! Have no interest in it. Waste of money to start with.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. Emy

    If it comes down between watching this show or grouting your bathroom – I'd take the bathroom, hands down.

    February 8, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Frida

    Refreshing! Nice to see a program where people don't find/examine dead bodies, look for chintz or paint, or skulk about for slimy things in rivers.

    February 8, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. LAB

    @Dicky4'I see you're still at it ay?Why don't you go find something else to do punk?

    February 8, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Marry Me McPhee

    Katharine McPhee is the reason to watch this show. She's gorgeous, and sings like an angel. I'm a straight guy and can't say I'm interested in watching a show about putting on a Broadway production, but yeah, I watched, and will continue to watch. Though I might just DVR it and skip through the scenes she's not in. Also, Debra Messing is a brilliant comedic actress. Her talents are wasted in this show.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tom

    They got rid of community for garbage like this?

    February 8, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. Carolyn

    I loved McPhee, but then I thought she should have won AI. Not a fan of Debra Messing and this didn't change my opinion. I'll watch it because there's nothing else to watch on Monday night. All the good shows are on Tuesday and played against each other. Why don't the networks spread them out? I'll stay with SMASH because of McPhee. Actually I'd watch anything she was in as long as it isn't another one of those vampire shows. Hopefully, SMASH will pick it up and soon.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Barb

    It was frivolous and fun. Lighten up, sit back and enjoy some entertainment.

    February 8, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Garry

    I actually enjoyed it, yes, it got a bit slow in the second half but it still intrigued me enough to catch a few more episodes to see if the pace picks up. I did enjoy the music..gotta give it a B+.....

    February 8, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. gia

    The advertisment for this show was ridiculous. I had no interest in watching after seeing them advertise every 2 seconds. Katherine mcfee I couldnt stand her on idol, so I had no intentions of watching just for that reason. It wont last in my opinion

    February 8, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Zoe

    I dont think it matter how much they advertised this show, I was still not interested to see two wannabes trying to top Glee.It looked boring and just a spoof of Glee and Chicago, sorry not impressed.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brett

    Aside from giving Eric the Midget another reason to make love to his bed, there is no reason for this show to exist. It is pure dreck. This McPhee girl will be back to turning tricks once it's cancelled.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Veeee

    I'm so sorry I betrayed you "Castle" (on ABC). I'll be back with you next week, and I'll never leave you again!! (as I dry my tears)

    February 8, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  16. Mac

    It was so heavily promoted that I was disinterested weeks before its debut.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  17. carrieanne

    Its a loooong drawn out All That Jazz. They missed!

    February 8, 2012 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
  18. Mrs. T

    I couldn't understand why Debra Messings character wore a scarf to bed and then in every other scene. As if they are trying to hide the fact that Debra M has finally aged and got meat on her bones (big contrast from her scruyness on Will & Grace). It was exciting at first but after the second and third commercial break it was blah..blah..but it did make me want to go to see a musical on broadway. Other than that, who cares about Marilyn Monroe? I'm trying to figure out how they plan to extend this particular story line.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  19. Richard

    Wretchedly slow. If being in theater and living in NYC is as dull as this show portrays, then NBC's next "exciting" tv show needs to be about accountants in Des Moines.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Samer

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      March 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Name*Laquitta

    Missed it. Not mad about it!!

    February 7, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Sokman

    McPhee forgot to wear underwear under a slit too high dress on Idol once. Thats about the only thing that would get me to watch this rubbish

    February 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nina

      Women never forget their underwear they know exactly what they're doing.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  22. Max

    I enjoyed this show immensely. I am not a big TV buff, but when I see a show like I will tune in religiously. People who missed it last night missed out on a great debut.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Auth

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      March 14, 2012 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  23. larry

    Generic and boring and wont survive the season

    February 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  24. nancy

    I have no desire to watch this show. I hated katherine mcphee when she was on idol.......and have no desire to watch her now......add that to the fact that debra messing cheated on her husband and left him...........hope this travesty bombs within a month

    February 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Fabe

    Loved it. Watch it. Everybody.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  26. westward

    I fell asleep about half way through.

    B O R I N G!

    February 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  27. CLM

    Pretty cringe-inducing. Not "Glee" bad, but not enough to watch past the second commercial break.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lee

    This show is so original. I wonder why they didn't think of that first? Coughs a chorus line

    February 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Guest

    "Ill smash my balls on her chin" Is what I have to say on that
    And I mean that In a very offensive,degrading and Insulting way
    Possibly the worst way you could ever Interpret a comment like that
    "Pow!Right In the kisser!"

    February 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Debra E

    its like Groudhog Day , Twilight Zone & the making of Chicago. I cant imagine having to suffer through that every week. I expected a little more Fame/Glee.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |

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