A big-budgeted multiplatform marketing effort for "Smash," NBC's new workplace drama about producing a musical, delivered a good but not great performance on Monday night.
The hour-long show running at 10 p.m., after a two-hour edition of the "The Voice," posted a solid Nielsen preliminary 3.8 rating/10 share among 18-48 viewers -- easily beating CBS "Hawaii Five-0" and ABC's "Castle."
NBC spent heavily to market "Smash," using a lot of its own air time, as well as blanketing paid-media -- outdoor, radio and cable. An NBC executive said the paid-media campaign came in under $10 million -- which is a substantial marketing budget for a single network show.
NBC was careful to note the "Smash" performance was strong, considering the problem the 10 p.m. time period has had for all networks -- a time slot increasingly getting competition from DVR playback of network shows. It said "Smash" scored the highest 18-49 rating for any episode of a regular 10 p.m. drama on ABC, CBS or NBC on any night of the week so far this season.
For its part, "The Voice" -- coming off its very large 16.3 ratings performance among 18-49 viewers the day before after Super Bowl XLVI -- posted a strong 6.6/16 among 18-49 viewers and 17.7 million viewers in its regular time period. NBC said this was a 30% jump from last year's big 5.1 rating debut in season one.
NBC says "The Voice" did better than recent shows running in their regular time slot after their post-Super Bowl time slot airings. A year ago, Fox's "Glee" earned a 4.6 rating/13 share among 18-49 viewers and 11.6 million viewers overall. The year before, CBS' "Undercover Boss" took in a 5.2/13 and 15.5 million.
Overall, NBC pulled off a rare Monday night win, getting the better of usual Monday night winner CBS. NBC scored a 5.7/14 among 18-4 viewers; CBS, a 3.5/9; ABC, 2.4/6; Fox, 2.3/6; Univision, 1.6/4; and CW, 0.6/1.
CBS and ABC were not particularly hurt versus their last original episodes for their shows. But Fox lost major ground versus the week before -- with "House" nearly 20% down to a 2.4/6; and "Alcatraz" off 21% from last week's premiere to a 2.2/5.