NBC Is Giving Up and Moving Smash to Saturdays

By Tim Surette

Mar 13, 2013

It's almost not even FUN to laugh at NBC's woes anymore. I mean, this is downright depressing. If NBC were your cat, you wouldn't even waste more time by taking it to a vet to have it euthanized, you'd just put its head in the doorway and slam the door three or four times. Throw in the towel! Call in the ref! Stop the fight! 

NBC made a slew of scheduling changes today, indicating that it finally realizes this season is a total disaster and the sooner it can rebuild, the better. The biggest of those changes is moving Smash, once the network's most promising new drama, to... SATURDAYS. Beginning April 6, Smash will take the weekend shift at 9pm. NBC says all episodes of the drama, which is currently in its second season, will air. Last night's episode continued the series' dismal performance, drawing 2.89 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the adult demo. The ratings for Season 2 have been the butt of many jokes in the business, and the likelihood of Smash getting a third season is about the same as that of me hitting a high note.

Go On, which started the season as one of the network's pleasant surprises, will get a two-week tryout on Thursdays after The Office on April 4 and April 11. This makes some sense, as Go On has always been a likely candidate to take over one of the Thursday-night spots being vacated by the The Office and 30 Rock. Good luck, Go On

The biggest winner in all this shuffling is the show that deserves it least, the Eva Longoria-produced dating reality show Ready for Love. The upcoming series, which follows three hot studs as professional matchmakers help them choose a lady from a pool of three dozen women, will debut on Tuesday, April 9, and get the plush post-The Voice slot that did wonders for Revolution and Go On. But this show will tank, and it will tank hard. And because it was supposed to air on Sundays, it won't have The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones to blame anymore. It's simply a really bad idea.

Other changes and announcements:

Celebrity Apprentice will expand to two hours starting April 14.

The New Normal's one-hour season finale will air April 2.

Whitney's one-hour season finale will air March 27. 

As disastrous as all this sounds, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT NBC NEEDS TO DO. Give up on this season. It has been a historically bad 2013 for the network, and the returns of The Voice and Revolution on March 25 aren't going to save it. Scorch the earth. Don't just pull out the table cloth, flip the whole damned table. Start new, start fresh. Completely change your strategy, NBC. Take some advice from The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman, who says this is an opportunity to shake up network television. The sad thing is that NBC's development slate looks pretty terrible, as usual, so NBC is at least a season-and-a-half away from putting some sort of rally together. The best the network can hope for is to hold onto any momentum it has with The Voice and Revolution and work off those to shows for next season. Until then, NBC brass should come up with a strategy and then do the exact opposite. 

Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • smbronde Apr 11, 2013

    It would be a shame if they'd cancel Smash! I absolutely love the music, the story and the actors. It's one of my favorite shows!

  • Legend2142 Apr 10, 2013

    Those of you saying NBC shows no loyalty haven't been paying attention. 30 Rock and Parks and Rec have had much longer runs than they deserve ratings wise. Also, Chuck got a last season and closure well after its ratings declined. Even Community's ratings do not support it lasting as long as it has. NBC has been a mess but I give them credit for viewer loyalty. They do not have a quick hook.

  • ElisabethMuld Apr 03, 2013

    I so wanted Smash to be great and amazing. The first season had many, many, MANY flaws, but at least it had some focus. The second season actually shows a lot of potential, but seems to have lost it's sense of purpose. I just want them to get their shit together and let Megan Hilty sing her heart out every single week! Sigh.

  • AlexEdwards1 Mar 22, 2013

    Seriosly all they need to do is refocus the show to just Bombshell, and drop the Hit List plot. I watched the show for the formation of a "Smash" not "A Mediocre Rent Rip-Off"

  • Baiken Mar 16, 2013

    This Show is So Gay... that's why !

    in fact... Where are all the lesbians ?

  • bobster_bsas Mar 16, 2013

    I liked Smash better last season, but it's still a show i enjoy, so that's sad. as for the other i don't care very much although i follow go on and like it as well

  • genzianella Mar 16, 2013

    the cat joke was really uncalled for!

  • KayWatkins Mar 16, 2013

    Too funny! The SECOND show that I gave up on that is now about to be erased! Ha! As of the episode before the latest one, I cancelled my series recording and now it's moving to Saturdays?! Yeah, bye bye Smash! I hope to see Megan Hilty on my tv screen again one day only because she's my girl crush but otherwise good riddance to this show!

  • Muderboy Mar 15, 2013

    I think NBC is simply the first victim of reality shows gumming up the works. If the networks all fall prey to this easy way to make money and keep cancelling worthwhile scripted shows without giving them the proper chance to gain an audience then they're all as doomed as mom and pop stores are against WalMart and the Internet. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten into a show only to have the rug pulled from under me and although I do give new shows a chance I'm getting more wary as time goes on. Once a show is cancelled it's dead and some are like losing a good friend. More and more shows fail each year and the crop of new ones to replace them is getting leaner and leaner with each new season.NBC might not recover and then who's next?

  • emmiegirl Mar 16, 2013

    I agree, the networks do fail epically when it comes to managing scripted series, but I think they still operate as if they are the only kids on the playground and the audience is somewhat captive, which we aren't. Even the History Channel is producing scripted drama now, and what's more, it's really, really good and they are setting and breaking their own ratings records. (For the record, I've not seen The Bible but did watch Hatfields & McCoys and Vikings.)

    The Old School 3 must adapt or perish. They need to reexamine the "season" model, airing patterns and how they interact with fans, especially in the sectors like sci-fi where they have burned audiences, and modify their behavior, adopting something like what AMC does for The Walking Dead. AMC supports TWD so much it gave audiences first a 30 minute live discussion forum and then an hour after each episode to discuss. Fans can connect by phone, email, text, Facebook, Twitter, simul-sync to the show and there is even an app where fans can Dead themselves and potentially be featured on the Talking Dead. That is serious, full network support. The Old School networks couldn't even contemplate taking such a risk as TWD, let alone giving any show that level of serious media penetration. I am not saying every scripted drama could pull off its own "Talking-" live wrap-up, but if AMC does it for BrBa I'll definitely be tuning in, and CBS could stretch their schedule with something like this for POI which I would go rabid fan girl over.

    I also think they should be more open-minded about transferring series to other interested networks the way NBC did with Southland to TNT or Netflix resurrecting Arrested Development. If another network resurrected say, Alphas, I would follow it with enthusiasm.

  • WavSlave Mar 15, 2013

    If Revololtion (not a typo) is one of NBC's sole remaining "hot properties," I'll save my tears for the collective intelligence of the American viewers rather than the network that foisted it on us.

  • Shawn Mar 16, 2013

    Gave up on that garbage after the third episode...don't know how it did as well as it did honestly. Plot is garbage, the acting horrid, and the show pathetic.

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