NBC is renewing musical drama “Smash” for a second season, after the show has averaged 7.7 million viewers and a 2.6 18-49 demo rating.
“Smash” joins “Grimm” as the second new NBC drama to get a renewal this year.
But can fellow newbie “Awake” join their ranks?
It seems that renewals aren’t all about ratings anymore, as things like production cost, syndication probability, and streaming presence on multi-platforms are all becoming more important. “Awake” remains a toss-up on TV by the Numbers’ renewal/cancellation index, while it marked “Smash” as a sure thing, even before the announcement. Of course, the 18-49 demographic has more bearing in their index, but one might argue that the demo has more bearing on a show’s overall survival than total number of viewers.
Here are a few of the factors at play with “Awake” and “Smash”:
The time slot/competition. The 10 p.m. hour can be a tough one to break into, particularly up against stiff competition like CBS’ “The Mentalist” and “Hawaii Five-0” and ABC’s “Private Practice” and “Castle.”
Lead-in shows. “Smash” has powerhouse “The Voice” as a lead-in, clearly a bigger lead-in than the Thursday night comedies for “Awake.” Also, “The Voice” is potentially a better mesh with “Smash” audiences — or at least a more obvious one — than “The Office” and “Up All Night” are for “Awake.”
Approachability. “Glee,” “American Idol,” “The Voice” — musical shows, like “Smash,” are currently riding the wave and have proven chops. While “Awake” has been criticized for being too high concept. But does having a strong, likable lead (Jason Isaacs) to guide viewers through the potentially murky waters make up for that? Perhaps.
Do you think “Awake” will also be renewed? Are you excited that “Smash” will be back?