One week, the popular A.V. Club entertainment site gave the show an F for “The Phenomenon” episode in which the series regulars dealt with the sudden death of the character Kyle, the co-writer of “Hit List," the show’s Rent-like show-within-a-show musical. It was bad but not bad enough to deserve an F.
“Smash” was originally conceived as a cable show. But its big fan Bob Greenblatt brought it with him when he moved from Showtime to head up NBC and I can’t help wondering if it wouldn’t have been better to have left it behind. About 11.5 million viewers tuned in to see the first episode of "Smash;" 15 months later, only 2.4 million watched Sunday’s finale.
“Smash” may never have developed the cult status of “Mad Men” (only a handful of shows in the 70-year history of TV have done that) but, without the pressure to draw a mass audience, it might have had a chance to become the show that those of us who love theater could have loved. And it’s that lost opportunity that I now mourn the most.