NBC's Broadway-themed drama "Smash" opened to good numbers Monday, airing behind the timeslot debut of "The Voice," which followed up its monster post-Super Bowl premiere one night earlier with very impressive numbers. The shows combined for easily the net's top non-sports scores this season.
It will take a while to see where both shows settle, but NBC has to be pleased with the launch of "Smash," which averaged a 3.8 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 11.5 million viewers overall, according to affiliate-based preliminary estimates from Nielsen. Though it fell off in its second half-hour as expected (from 4.2 to 3.4 in 18-49), "Smash" led its hour over competing dramas "Hawaii Five-0" on CBS (2.7/7 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) and "Castle" on ABC (2.0/5 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall).
"Smash" generated perhaps the best reviews of any drama this season. The show, whose exec producers include Steven Spielberg, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, stars Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston and Katharine McPhee
Meanwhile, "The Voice" (6.6/16 in 18-49, 17.9 million viewers overall) ruled its two-hour timeslot, easily surpassing its first-season highs last spring in both 18-49 (5.7/15) and total viewers (14.4 million). The NBC music competition opened within shouting distance of Fox's "American Idol," which kicked off its season last month with a 7.4/19 in 18-49 and 21.93 million viewers overall - low by its standards. NBC hasn't done better from 8 to 10 p.m. on Monday with regular series since 2004.