Home Celebrity TV: “Smash” Among Terrible Shows Finally Cancelled

“Smash,” one of the worst and most expensive TV series, is cancelled at last after two miserable seasons. Indeed, a huge chunk of broadcast prime time will be new this coming fall and winter–which is good news, because this has been a fallow time for television. NBC says goodbye to most of its roster including the perplexing “New Normal” and Matthew Perry’s “Go On.” CBS is finally axing “Rules of Engagement.” (No one even knew this show was still on the air–and for 7 seasons apparently). “CSI New York” is also gone after 9 seasons. (Was Gary Sinise still there?)

ABC is almost as stable as CBS, with lots of renewals. But NBC’s disasters include Brian Williams’ unwatched news show “Rock Center.” For some reason, NBC did renew “Community,” although without its creator Dan Harmon. NBC is losing both “The Office” and “30 Rock” to retirement. And while “The Voice” started strong this season, it’s now in declining health.

All the shows people talk about are on cable, from Mad Men and Walking Dead to Homeland to Game of Thrones to True Blood and Nurse Jackie. Now Netflix is making incursions with House of Cards, and Arrested Development, and Amazon is coming into the game. Cable TV seems to be about the actual shows. Broadcast TV is about the politics among executives. And I don’t think that’s going to change.

The biggest news: Robin Williams is coming to CBS in a series with Sarah Michelle Gellar. If Williams is allowed to be himself, then watch out. If the show fails, I do hope HBO or Showtime will step in right away with something for him. Williams is one of our real true comic geniuses. A buttoned down Robin Williams — Mork as Jessica Fletcher– is a terrifying thought.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
26 replies to this post
  1. Roger, the only thing you got right is that Smash was expensive.
    Awesome music, choreography, dancing and rhythm. Davenport, Hilty, McPhee and Borle topped off two memorable seasons.
    NBC got this one wrong; Smash would do better on cable. Hope someone has the
    smart to move Smash to cable. I’ll be waiting and watching.

  2. Smash was great. I am so sick of game shows, sports and reality shows, that Smash was a breath of fresh air. TV really has gotten so bad, I hardly ever watch anymore, but I looked forward to watching Smash. The music was great and the preformers were worthy of a Tony. I am really sad it is over.

  3. I have seen many Broadway shows, over many years. The singing, dancing and talent on Smash easily equaled a high quality Broadway show. After a really good show, people leave the theater singing the songs. The songs on Smash had that quality. The storyline was a good soap opera, but what’s wrong with that? Wouldn’t it be nice if another network brought it back?

  4. I’m obsessed with SMASH. It’s only one of two shows that I watch and I am so sad to hear it’s been cancelled. Maybe they should cancel some of the reality shows to make room for great shows like SMASH.

  5. Most of these comments reflect exactly how I’m feeling. I not a big TV watcher to begin with, but SMASH had incredible talent!!! I really don’t know what NBC is thinking about. Perhaps if “they” hadn’t frustrated viewers by changing the night and time it was on, many of us wouldn’t have missed episodes and had to eventually watch them “on demand”. In any case, I too, can only hope and pray that another network picks this show up!

  6. Smash was AWESOME. Smash actually appealed to people with a brain. Goes to show what the intellect of the country is. Please bring back real entertainment back to TV

  7. Unbelievable….cancelling a show of this caliber makes me wonder just who is watching network tv. I rarely watch NBC & now have another hour that I can watch ABC or read. Smash was a refreshing change from ridiculous reality shows that are no where close to any reality that I can relate to. I am thankful that everyone was given a happy ending. Shame on NBC for this decision!

  8. Can’t believe Smash is being cancelled!!! I don’t have time to watch much television, but I never missed Smash. Love all the characters, the singing, the dancing…can’t stand all the reality tv shows and Smash was fun & entertaining to watch.

  9. I absolutely loved and looked forward to Smash more than any other show…I also really like the Voice. TV ratings are judged by the lwest common denominator of people, unfortunately. If you know what that means, you probably liked Smash.

  10. Smash was actually a great show, with a fascinating take on broadway…paralleling the life of Kyle to the playwright of Rent…allowing fans of theatre to see behind the curtain and not having sappy, uncreative production numbers, songs with unforgettable melodies and lyrics in addition to the right cast to perform them. Shame on someone who would dare call it terrible, the wax in your ears and predictability of shows like Chicago Fire make “Smash” one in a million. It will be sorely missed, by those who appreciate a true performance, not those who hang on the words of Jersey Shore…

  11. I also agree that smash was a great show. very creative story line in an industry that is not touched on often. I missed much of the episodes this season due to the date change without notice. I dont believe the show got a fair chance because of the change. I even almost missed the finally tonight cause it changed again. I dont think networks care about what we the viewers think anymore. IT’s all politics. If they are smart they will take comments into consideration.

  12. NBC You are a bunch of idiots for cancelling this show. You moved this show to the worst night of tv on Saturdays where it was forgotten. This show was a great show about Broadway so now you decided to replace this with a bunch of junk show with no meaning or entertainment you are terrible for this.

  13. Smash was and is my favorite show of ALL time! It was the only thing I watched on TV other than Ellen. I was outraged when they changed the time without telling us. Smash had the sensational actors, music and dancing. It was not a terrible show, to me it was my fav. I am never watching anything on TV again. Smash lives on in my heart and I will never forget it. I hope another network adopts it!

  14. I loved Smash and I loved Monday Morning and now they’re history. If they can Chicago Fire, I’m going back to watching rented movies!

  15. I loved smash. You changed the night and never told anyone. No wonder no one watched it. Well I’m disappointed we were left hanging. You could have at least finished the story before cancelling.

  16. Congrats for calling Smash for the disastrous flop it was. It is so refreshing to read a little bit of truth instead of the usual “every s.how is a hit” nonsense we keep being fed by the press.

    NBC’s season has been beyond dreadful, with some nights falling into CW territory (the network people don’t even know exists) and they are right to kill most of their shows (they should have killed them all – why renew flop Community for a fifth low-rated season? They won’t be able to make the money back in syndication on a show nobody watches).

    ABC is very wrong not to have cleaned house as their season only looked OK in comparison to the train wrecks of NBC and FOX (and of course CW).

    CBS is struggling against itself and CSI NY for instance outperformed over 90% of the shows on the other networks, but they need real hits as the last hit coming from network TV was The Mentalist five years ago. Sadly, bringing back non-actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, a woman well-known to make audiences flee in horror is not the way to go. Why Robin Williams would condescend to appear opposite someone who cannot act and will destroy every scene she’s in is beyond understanding.

    Where I disagree with you is about cable shows. They’re not shows “everyone is talking about”. Only the press talks about them. Mad Men is a gigantic flop only buoyed by massive yearly PR campaigns. Nurse Jackie is a total flop with almost no audience etc…

  17. I don’t usually pay attention to reviews , this time i felt the need to reply. Smash was a good show. I think perhaps your not a fan of musicals. Some of us are. Maybe if I cross my arms ,fingers and toes another network will pick it up. I will hope and wish.

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