OK, here’s the thing about networks: they’re glad to tell you about their successes but they NEVER will admit failure. This is why they have such ridiculously glowing press releases issued for when a show gets renewed, but nary a peep when a show gets canceled… except if you read between the lines… which is exactly why you come here… so we can separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were.
“Hey… where’d my show go?”
Here’s how it works: when a show is canceled due to poor ratings (unless it’s a long-running show that’s just run its course) one of two things will occur. In the first scenario a press release focusing on schedule changes will be issued and buried in that release among other schedule changes will be a change indicating that the timeslot that “X” show was in has been filled with “Y” show with no mention of the previous existence of “X” show. This is similar to how Stalin dealt with political enemies; he erased them from existence.
Scenario two (what’s happened with Smash) also involves a
“Sorry, ‘Smash,’ but I can only keep this up for about 12 more weeks…”
schedule change press release but instead of erasing show “X” from existence from a timeslot, the announcement instead indicates that the show has been moved to Saturday nights. This approach is effectively scheduling a date to have your cat put down. Yeah, it’s still alive at this very moment but there is a very definite timer on that life… in this case, the remaining episodes of Smash‘s second and final season, beginning April 6th.
We (and when I say we, I mean every outlet that covers television) call it “Saturday burn-off.” The reason it’s called that is because networks don’t schedule standard first-run prime-time scripted shows on Saturday for the simple reason that no one watches television on Saturday night (well, at least no one in the coveted 18 – 49 demographic). Despite what anyone will tell you or what the wishful-thinking types over at the Huffington Post would like to suggest, it’s not a matter of the show technically NOT being canceled because the word “canceled” isn’t used, it’s a matter of semantics.
As noted, networks don’t admit failure so it’s rare that a series is ever actually announced as canceled with a press release but announcing a Saturday burn-off is code for: “no one is watching this show so we are airing all the remaining episodes on Saturday nights until they are all gone because it can’t do much worse on Saturday night than re-runs of She’s The Sheriff and then you’ll never see another episode again” or, in layman’s terms “it’s canceled.”
So, sorry, folks but Smash has been canceled. Oh, and by the way… if you want to know why Smash was really canceled as opposed to the nonsense showrunner Josh Safran suggested in the HuffPo piece about it being in a bad timeslot or not having The Voice to help it out, read our review from last year of Smash, here. It’s a harbinger for exactly why this show has failed.
Via Press Release:
NBC Schedule Changes
NBC has announced the following schedule changes:
Ready For Love
Will now air Tuesdays, beginning April 9 (9-11 p.m. ET) following “The Voice.”
Beginning April 14 (9-11 p.m ET) will be expanded to two hours through the end of May.
Will air encore episodes on Sunday, March 31 and Sunday, April 7 (7-10 p.m. ET), leading into original episodes of “The Celebrity Apprentice” (10-11 p.m. ET)
Moves to Thursdays on April 4 and April 11, which will be the season’s final episode. Both episodes will air at 9:30-10 p.m. ET following “The Office.”
The New Normal
One-hour season finale on Tuesday, April 2 (9-10 p.m. ET) following “The Voice.”
Moves to Saturdays at 9 p.m. beginning April 6 and will air its entire season of 17 episodes.
Will have a one-hour season finale on Wednesday, March 27 (8-9 p.m. ET).