February 4, 2012

The Sked: The Voice & Smash Predictions for Monday after the Super Bowl

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>If you haven’t heard that NBC’s biggest hope for its lost season, Smash, premieres the Monday after the Super Bowl, you don’t watch television or listen to the radio or look at billboards or go online or read magazines.  The marketing for this show has been relentless.  The network is counting on an enormous Super Bowl rating (well over a 40 with adults 18-49) to bring The Voice back to life after the game ends.  Depending on the length of the post game show, The Voice could do close to a 16 rating or as low as a 12 rating if Bob Costas is wordy and interviews are plentiful.  (I am betting on the latter).

But the real excitement comes the next night, when The Voice settles into its new time period, and the second episode of the singing competition leads into the debut of Smash.  We are giving The Voice a 4.6 rating for Monday from 8-10 pm, a number similar to its first-season highs but not where we expect the show to be long term.  (More on that in a minute.)  At 9:30 we expect The Voice to peak at a 4.9 rating before it hands the mic over to Smash, which we are giving a 3.3 rating.  If the story ended there, NBC would probably be relatively satisfied (although given the marketing, much higher numbers are dancing in the heads of the network brass). 

     Monday, February 6, 2012
     NBC — Adults 18-49 Rating
     ShowBuzzDaily Forecast

     Program Rating
        8:00 The Voice  4.6
       10:00 Smash      3.3

     by half hour
        8:00 The Voice  4.2
        8:30 The Voice  4.4
        9:00 The Voice  4.7
        9:30 The Voice  4.9
       10:00 Smash      3.6
       10:30 Smash      3.0

The first thing to look for when the Monday ratings come in is the half-hour breakdown for Smash.  We are expecting a sizable (though not hideous) six-tenth drop at 10:30.

But the most important numbers will come in weeks two through four as the sampling process plays out and word of mouth works its magic.  We are forecasting that The Voice will settle into a more sustainable mid-3 rating (after the Super Bowl adjacency wears off) and Smash will head to around a 2 rating.  It should be a better 10 pm performer than Prime Suspect, The Firm, Playboy Club and Rock Center, but against more realistic yardsticks Smash will not be broad enough to generate more than mediocre ratings at the end of the day.       

             NBC Monday by Week
             ShowBuzzDaily Forecast

                            Week1  Week2  Week3  Week4
               The Voice     4.6    4.1    3.6    3.5
               Smash         3.3    2.7    2.2    1.9

What is your forecast?  Please use the comment section to list your week one program rating for The Voice and Smash, and add your predictions for later weeks if you wish.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."