It looks like the biggest bombshell to come out of NBC's "Smash" is its ratings hit.
The sophomore behind-the-scenes Broadway drama returned with a two-hour premiere Tuesday night -- and its reception fell way short of a standing ovation, averaging 4.5 million viewers and a 1.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic.
It took a 71% dive from its debut last year, which fetched a 3.8 rating (to be fair, it had made its bow with a strong lead-in from "The Voice"). The dip was less drastic -- but still significant-- when compared to its May season finale, down 39%. For even more context: its lead-in, "Betty White's Second Annual 90th Birthday Special," outperformed the heavily promoted drama, drawing 6 million viewers and a 1.5 rating in the demographic.
The series underwent a major overhaul following a shaky first season filled with over-the-top side plots and odd singing breaks. Showrunner Theresa Rebeck exited, replaced by former "Gossip Girl" executive producer Josh Safran. And a number of characters -- along with scarves worn by Debra Messing's character -- were dropped.