The curtain closes on another SMASH
It is always disappointing when the curtain comes down for a final time on a well-written and performed show. On Broadway, this feeling is always accompanied by the anticipation for the new show that will take its place, but unfortunately this can’t be said for NBC’s SMASH which was recently cancelled after its second season. However, despite this disappointment, this show was rather influential in the general marketing of Broadway.
The influence of any national television platform, let alone one on the big American television networks, cannot be diminished. Whether it is a series of advertisements, a segment on a talk show or a story on a news broadcast, they all hold a great influence when they can be broadcast to such a large and far-reaching audience.
In the case of SMASH, they were able to garner all of these television platforms. Talk show segments with the stars of the show, stories on entertainment news broadcasts, weekly series of advertisements and, of course, one hour each week when the actual episodes were broadcast.
While it may not have been a tremendous success, it certainly played an important role in the promotion of Broadway.
Through the promotion of the television show, audiences were also (unconsciously) receiving promotion about Broadway. But the advantage of these forms of promotion was that their reach far surpassed that of the theatre community. By broadcasting SMASH on a mainstream network, it created theatre fans who previously had little desire to see a production or did not have access to any high-quality professional theatre productions.
It also played the role of creating mainstream stars out of actors who had previously only appeared on stage, such as Megan Hilty and Christian Borle. Hopefully we will see them again on television where they can further promote the theatrical entertainment medium and encourage even larger audiences for theatre productions.
So while SMASH didn’t make it through, hopefully this television production has encouraged people to plan a trip to see a show at their state’s touring theatres or, even better, plan a trip to a theatre hub somewhere in the world to take part in a live performance.
As SMASH rests in peace, let’s not forget the contribution that it has had for promoting the Broadway community and cross our fingers that NBC or another network gives a theatre-inspired show another chance in the future!
You know what they always say – ‘Leave ’em with a Big Finish’. Well so did SMASH: