The first season of Smash was often a fever dream-mess with bizarre forays into karaoke bar baby showers and elaborate Bollywood musical sequences. Viewers turned from loving to watch to loving it to hate-watch it, taking to twitter and social media each week to dissect the craziness. Well, Smashionistas, executive producer Steven Spielberg, who initially came up with the concept for Smash and pitched it to NBC’s Bob Greenblatt when he was at Showtime, had zero idea that this had become a phenomenon and even led to a popular New Yorker piece by TV critic Emily Nussbaum. “No I didn’t,” admits the Lincoln director, who actually watched Smash dailies on the set of his Daniel Day-Lewis epic. “Well here’s what’s great about Smash: it’s not a procedural. It’s not medical. It’s not cops. It’s not legal eagles. It isn’t a sitcom. So it does defy what is commercial and popular today. But that’s what Bob Greenblatt wanted to do when he came in and was offered NBC. He wanted to take his cable sensibility and bring it to network television and I think he’s succeeding admirably.”
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EW takes you through the 10 best and 5 worst television episodes of 2012. See them all below!
1. Game of Thrones, ”Blackwater” — May 27, HBO
Season 2’s climactic Battle of the Blackwater wins because HBO allowed producers the time and cash to stage a massive land-and-sea confrontation. Thus, this was an episode of rousing heroism, chilling cowardice, gory action, and one giant green explosion that went ”FOOOOOM!” The most ingenious part? It made us care about the warriors on both sides. Staging that battle in viewers’ hearts was the episode’s most successful wartime victory of all. –James Hibberd
There is a lot of excitement surrounding Smash‘s nomination at the Golden Globes. “Everyone who is involved with Smash, whether on the outskirts or at the epicenter, is thrilled and dancing in the aisles this morning on this wonderful news,” Steven Spielberg, executive producer of the show, said in a statement.
Smash songwriters and executive producers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman were especially thrilled. The pair were on their way to upstate New York — “to write another 200 songs for Smash,” jokes Wittman — this morning when their phones began buzzing.
“Me — being Jewish — I just assumed, ‘Uh oh. There’s some bad news. What are all these e-mails?'” says Shaiman with a laugh.
It was anything but bad news. The two learned that the show, which begins its second season in February, was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Comedy or Musical Television Series category. (See the full list of nominees here.)
In a quick chat with EW, the two talk about the big — and unexpected — honor and very mildly tease a bit about what fans can expect in the second season. READ FULL STORY
'Smash': Behind the scenes of season 2 with Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
NBC’s Smash returns for its second season on Feb. 5 with a slew of new faces, including Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson playing Broadway star Veronica Moore. “Ronnie Moore is pretty much what Ivy and Karen hope to be,” says executive producer Joshua Safran, in his first interview since about season 2. “She’s sort of the best-case scenario — she’s a multiple Tony Winner. She offers Karen this advice of, ‘Making it is one thing and staying there is another.'”
EW has an exclusive first look behind the scenes of season two of Smash. Watch it below. READ FULL STORY
Forget Glee’s covers. In 2012, it was all about the original musical numbers on Smash. Whether the performances were fully-staged show-within-a-show hits for the fake Marilyn Monroe musical, or fantasy numbers that brought out the emotions of the characters, we couldn’t stop humming along — or hitting replay. Here, Joshua Bergasse, who won an Emmy this year for his choreography on the show, takes us inside one of the most talked-about musical moments of the drama’s freshman season: A Bollywood-style fantasy sequence that featured the whole cast. “One funny story about the Bollywood number was with the marigolds, right before they fall down before the final chorus,” he begins. “When we did it the first time, nobody took the cue to throw the marigolds. So like two came down. They just floated down, then a couple more, then a couple more, it was really very sad,” he says, laughing. “The whole crew cracked up. It was funny because we had thousands of marigolds. People had handfuls, and there was, like, 10 on the ground.”
For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage. READ FULL STORY
'Smash' scoop: New showrunner Joshua Safran breaks silence on revamped season 2, 'There's no bowling alley sing-alongs' -- EXCLUSIVE
The first season of NBC’s Smash was full of much-discussed moments, including a truly loony Bollywood fantasy dance number and a musical number set in a bowling alley. Well, Smash fans, don’t expect these flourishes when season two of the Broadway drama premieres on February 5 at 9pm. “There’s no bowling alley sing-alongs,” executive producer Joshua Safran tells EW in his first interview since replacing creator Theresa Rebeck as showrunner of the series last spring. “There are fantasy sequences, but so far not on the level of the Bollywood cover.”
Smash creator and former showrunner Theresa Rebeck has broken her silence about her departure from the NBC drama.
In an interview with the New York Observer, Rebeck, whose exit from the freshman program was announced in March, admits she struggled with the lack of creative control, saying in part: “One of the points of contention last year was that the network thinks they have the right to say to the writer of the show, ‘We don’t want her to do this. We want her to do this’…And I would sometimes say back to them, ‘She would never do that.’ And they’d look at me like I was crazy, and I’d be like, ‘Nope, it’s not crazy, it’s just who the character is.’ You have to respect who the character is.”
READ FULL STORY
Season two of NBC’s Smash continues to bring out the big guns in order to lure more viewers: EW has learned that icon Liza Minnelli will appear as herself in the second season, set to begin airing in February 2013; Minnelli’s episode is titled “The Surprise Party” and will air sometime in the spring. The actress will sing an original song, penned by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman, alongside series star Christian Borle who plays Broadway composer Tom.
The second season of Smash is shaping up to be full of musically talented guest-stars like Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes, and Jesse L. Martin. Now, EW has learned that Martin’s former Rent co-star Daphne Rubin-Vega will also be appearing on season 2 of NBC’s musical drama. The actress, who played Mimi in the original Broadway production of Rent, will play a Broadway publicist on the series. Sadly, she and Martin don’t have scenes together, nor will she be singing.
The second season of Smash returns in early 2013.
‘Smash’ season 1 DVD release date revealed — EXCLUSIVE
‘Smash’ scoop: ‘Rescue Me’ actor is Debra Messing’s new love interest — EXCLUSIVE
‘Smash’ scoop: Ellis and Dev are leaving the show! — EXCLUSIVE
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NBC’s behind-the-scenes Broadway drama Smash will come out on DVD January 8, 2013 — just in time to catch up with Karen, Ivy, Julia, and Tom before they return for the mid-season show’s revamped sophomore effort. The DVD version will also feature a gag reel, a behind-the-scenes feature with songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and additional deleted and extended scenes from the first season.
Check out the trailer for the DVD and the box art below:
The diva is back in town!
Bernadette Peters is returning to Smash this season, EW has confirmed.
The Broadway legend will reprise her role as Ivy’s mother, Leigh Conroy. There were no other additional details at this time. Vulture first reported the news.
Peters is hardly the only famous face showing up when Smash returns midseason. As EW previously reported, Sean Hayes, Jennifer Hudson, Jesse L. Martin, and many others are also joining the show.
Good morning, NBC.
Nikki Blonsky will be guesting on Smash this season, a rep for the show confirmed to EW. It’s not known at this time how many episodes she’ll appear in or what her role will be.
News broke earlier today when Wesley Taylor, who’ll also be on Smash this season, tweeted a photo of the Hairspray leading lady on set.
Ivy will have some serious competition to be Bombshell’s star this season: In addition to Blonsky, Sean Hayes, Jennifer Hudson and Jesse L. Martin will also appear on the second season of the musical drama. No word on whether they will perform a Bollywood number.
Smash returns to NBC midseason.
Jesse L. Martin is heading back to the Peacock network.
The Law & Order alum is set to recur on NBC’s Smash, playing Scott Welker, an artistic director who has ties to other characters. Deadline, who first reported the news, adds that his character may also become “involved” with Julia (Debra Messing).
Martin, a former Broadway performer, joins a growing list of season 2 guest stars, which includes Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes, and Daniel Sunjata.
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