The second-season return of Smash on Feb. 5 was always going to be a tough sell. But ABC's decision to schedule a last-minute special Tuesday-night edition of The Bachelor against it helped to crush NBC's musical drama, which attracted just ...

The second-season return of Smash on Feb. 5 was always going to be a tough sell. But ABC's decision to schedule a last-minute special Tuesday-night edition of The Bachelor against it helped to crush NBC's musical drama, which attracted just 4.5 million viewers. Meanwhile, Sean Lowe and his roses brought in 7.9 million.

In this age of time-shifted and on-demand viewing, TV network scheduling seems like an antiquated idea. Yet as the networks fight over smaller pieces of the Nielsen ratings pie, scheduling - and the strategy behind how and when programs run - continues to play a critical role.



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