Saturday, June 23, 2012

NBC Streamlines 'Smash' Cast: Adds Jennifer Hudson As Series Reg!

While NBC's musical Smash has been renewed for a second season, it appears the network is calling for some major retooling to turn the promising series into a formidable hit. In fact, I wholly agree with the changes in store—except one. Because of the appointment of Josh Safran to turn the show inside out, it won't return until January 2012.

The biggest news is that Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will be joining former American Idol finalist Katharine McPhee in season two. Fuck, yeah! Her character will be named Veronica Moore, "someone who reached their Broadway dream but paid a price for it." Among the show's executive producers is Steven Spielberg, who also worked with Hudson in Dreamgirls. A match made in heaven, for sure.

Also joining the character list are two more newbies: "Danny, a straight, working-class Brooklynite in his mid-20s. He is sexy, charismatic and musically gifted, but also self-destructive and remote." And:  "Joe, a Brooklyn-born guy in his early to mid-20s. He is gay, very cute, incredibly open and optimistic."

Axed from Smash are the annoying character Ellis (Jaime Cepero), whose scheming assistant role seemed to pretty much irritate every fan of the show... Also out are McPhee’s boyfriend Dev (Raza),  and both Debra Messing's husband (Brian d’Arcy James) and lover Michael (Will Chase). Perfect: Who cares about the minutia of her personal life?

Obviously, the changes will allow Smash to focus on what it's all about: the conflict between characters building a Broadway show—and the music that comprises said show. Hit it! *