'Smash' scoop: The Jennifer Hudson premiere performance you DIDN'T see -- EXCLUSIVE

MARK PETERSON for EW

MARK PETERSON for EW

Did you watch NBC’s reboot of Smash last night? If you did, then you saw guest-star Jennifer Hudson’s first appearance as Broadway star Veronica “Ronnie” Moore (Hudson appears in 3 out of the first 4 Smash installments). Ronnie first appears in Beautiful, a Broadway show-within-Smash, and performs a rollicking swing number called “Mama Makes Three.” But that was not how producers initially intended to introduce Ronnie.

EW was on set in July for the original introductory Ronnie number called “Take a Picture…It Lasts Longer.” Hudson belts out the tune while dancing paparazzi swirl around her. Eventually she and her backup dancers drop their houndstooth overcoats and Hudson emerges in a glitzy gold fringe gown (see the above photo). The song. The setting. The costumes. It all seems very reminiscent of her most famous role to date, the one that won her the Academy Award. “This is such a Dreamgirls moment,” admitted Hudson in between breaks. “That is a very special moment and I haven’t had one since.”

So why did producers reshoot the scene months later in October? “We all realized that maybe that [original] introductory number did not service Veronica Moore’s arc as well as this,” explains executive producer Josh Safran, who says the original performance may still pop up in a future episode.  “We went back and retrofitted a musical that closely mirrored Ronnie’s emotional landscape with her mother.” In fact, Ronnie’s relationship with her own overbearing mother (played by Sheryl Lee Ralph) will be the focus of Smash‘s fourth episode.

Read more:
‘Smash’ ratings smushed!
‘Smash’ season premiere recap: Another Op’nin’, Another Show
‘Smash': Watch Jeremy Jordan serenade Katharine McPhee — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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