3:47pm PT by Philiana Ng
NBC Moves 'Smash' to Saturdays
NBC has made a slew of scheduling changes for the coming weeks, as The Voice prepares its return.
The network said Wednesday that struggling sophomore drama Smash has been relegated to 9 p.m. Saturdays beginning April 6 and will continue to air in the slot until the 17-episode season ends.
The second-season premiere flopped in early February, averaging a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.5 million viewers, with its most recent episode drawing fewer than 3 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in same-day viewing.
In its place, NBC has slotted the unscripted relationship show Ready for Love from producer Eva Longoria on April 9 with a two-hour premiere beginning at 9 p.m. following The Voice, which launches season four March 25.
Freshman comedy Go On will receive the post-The Office slot, moving from 9 p.m. Tuesdays to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays on April 4 and 11, the latter of which will serve as the Matthew Perry starrer's season finale. The April 4 episode marks Perry's onscreen reunion with Friends co-star Courteney Cox. It should be noted that comedies 1600 Penn and Up All Night, which both have aired following The Office this season, have done modestly in the ratings.
Fellow rookie comedy The New Normal will air its one-hour season finale at 9 p.m. April 2, following The Voice. New Normal producers told The Hollywood Reporter that the season ender could double as a series finale.
Second-year comedy Whitney will end its season with a one-hour closer at 8 p.m. March 27.
The Celebrity Apprentice will expand to two hours beginning April 14 from 9-11 p.m. through the end of May. NBC is propping The Voice on Sundays with encore telecasts March 31 and April 7 from 7-10 p.m., leading into original episodes of Apprentice.
From the network's various moves, NBC is betting heavily on The Voice -- with a revamped judging lineup with the additions of Usher and Shakira -- to serve as a launching pad or lead-in for several scripted and unscripted efforts in an effort to boost viewership. NBC's top scripted drama, Revolution, will return the same night as The Voice.