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Sean Hayes is joining 'Smash'

It’s a Will & Grace reunion!

EW has confirmed that Sean Hayes will be appearing on Smash next season.

Hayes himself tweeted the news earlier today, writing, “I’m very excited to be guest-starring in a multi-episode arc on @NBCSmash this season. Back to Broadway…sort of. :)”

Hayes will portray “Terrence Falls, a comedic television and film star who is making his Broadway debut in the musical Liaisons, based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses.  Due to a series of comic circumstances, he becomes a major thorn in the side for Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) and other characters,” NBC said in a press release.

Hayes was most recently seen as Larry in the film version of The Three Stooges. In addition to his Emmy-award-winning portrayal of Jack McFarland on Will & Grace, Hayes was nominated for a 2011 Tony Award for his role in Promises, Promises.

Smash, which has been going through some major casting shake-ups, will begin airing its second season in January.

Read more:
‘Smash’ scoop: ‘Rescue Me’ actor is Debra Messing’s new love interest — EXCLUSIVE
‘Smash’ season 2: Megan Hilty teases new rivals!

'Smash' scoop: 'Rescue Me' actor is Debra Messing's new love interest -- EXCLUSIVE

With Debra Messing’s Smash character having smashed her marriage with an affair last season, who will woo Julia Houston’s heart next?

Actor Daniel Sunjata is joining the NBC musical drama’s second season in a recurring role playing Messing’s love interest.

Sunjata was a regular on FX’s Rescue Me, had an arc on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy last year and was also in this summer’s Dark Knight Rises.

In other Smash news, Karen is getting a new roommate for season two played by Krysta Rodriguez, and, of course, Jennifer Hudson is joining the cast as a Broadway star.

NBC is holding Smash until midseason as it polishes up some creative aspects of the series (yup, Ellis is leaving too) under new showrunner Josh Safran.

'Smash' season 2: Megan Hilty teases new rivals!

The cast of Smash is gearing up for their new season, but Megan Hilty is getting ready for a battle.

“In the first episode, you will be introduced to rivals of everything — including Bombshell,” she tells EW of the show’s second season. “There’s going to be a lot of new things this season.” Not the least of which is a new showrunner — former Gossip Girl head Joshua Safran, who will be replacing creator Theresa Rebeck. But the change up, including the previously announced departure of four cast members, hasn’t rattled the star.  “It’s something that’s inevitable in every business — especially ours. People come and people go. So while it’s really sad to lose some of my friends and not get to play with them every day. But I feel like I’m going to get to make a whole lot of new friends,” says Hilty, who tonight is hosting a dinner party with new and old cast members, sponsored by Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte. “It’s a really exciting time for Smash.”

Especially with an Oscar winner on board. Jennifer Hudson joins the cast this season in a recurring role as Broadway star Veronica Moore, and while Hilty has not yet been told of the dynamic between Ivy and Hudson’s character, she says with a laugh, “I can only assume that Ivy doesn’t like her.” “I’m kinda hoping for the first option because I would love to have a big, throw-down, angry duet,” she says. “That would be fantastic.” READ FULL STORY

'Smash' casting scoop: Meet Karen's spunky new roommate

NBC is firming up Smash 2.0. The musical drama is adding another character next season, giving Karen (Katharine McPhee) a roommate.

Broadway actress Krysta Rodriguez has joined the show as a series regular, playing Ana, Karen’s “fun and spunky new roommate” who’s also “an ensemble member in Broadway shows trying to make her mark.” Last season Karen lived with her boyfriend, Dev, one of several Smash characters expected to exit the show next season.

Rodriguez originated the role of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family musical and appeared in several other productions as well. She joins fellow Smash newcomer Jennifer Hudson, who’s being added for a multi-episode arc. Smash is returning to NBC midseason.

'America's Got Talent' ratings lower despite Howard Stern

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Surprise: NBC’s America’s Got Talent premiered lower in the ratings this year despite the high-profile addition of Howard Stern as the show’s new judge.

Monday’s two-hour Got Talent returned to 10.3 million viewers and a 3.6 rating, down 16 percent from last year. EW’s Ken Tucker suggested Stern’s performance was almost too nice.

Before everybody points fingers at Stern, however, here’s a big mitigating factor: Last year Got Talent premiered at the very end of May and was paired with The Voice. This year, Got Talent faced a full boat of competition from rival networks, so the talent competition might have returned lower in the ratings due to the scheduling change. NBC points out last night’s rating matches Got Talent‘s performance two years ago. At 10 p.m., NBC’s Smash (6.1 million, 1.8) finale was steady. [NBC, ABC and Fox's 2012-13 fall schedules posted here]. READ FULL STORY

Why NBC is holding 'Smash' for midseason

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NBC had some success launching freshman musical drama Smash in recent months. So why wait until midseason — 2013 — to bring back the show?

Jennifer Salke, president NBC Entertainment, gave EW.com the scoop. “New showrunner Josh Safran is coming in — he’s awesome,” she says. “And we wanted him to get a chance to own [it] and get in there and have an ownership stake in the show — not just put a gun to his head and [tell him], ‘You gotta get going!’ So we wanted him to be able to stand back and have a real creative discussion about what he wants the season to be and be a big part of that.”

Another factor, Salke says, is Smash will have fewer schedule disruptions airing after the first of the year. READ FULL STORY

Megan Hilty talks 'Smash' love triangle, season finale

Ahead of tonight’s Smash season finale, EW’s Lynette Rice spoke with Megan Hilty, the Broadway vet who plays Ivy in the freshman drama. Hilty teases about the downward spiral in Ivy’s relationship with Karen (Katherine McPhee), saying “I have no idea how we can be friends again,” after Dev (Raza Jaffrey) and Ivy’s secret rendezvous, and discusses her destructive relationship with the musical’s director, Derek (Jack Davenport). While Hilty says she hopes “Ivy gets it together a little bit” in season 2, she’s reveled in the drama of the first season. Hilty also shares her thoughts about new showrunner (Josh Safran) joining the team and talks about some of the music we’ll hear in tonight’s episode. Check out their conversation below:

READ FULL STORY

'Smash' finale preview: Who will go on stage as Marilyn? -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

SMASH-FINALE

In the theater, there are things you say… and things you don’t say. It’s “break a leg” not “good luck” and it’s NEVER “MacBeth.” So in the season finale of Smash, which airs next Monday, May 14, the cast and crew are whispering “break a leg” to each other as Marilyn takes the stage for the first time. Who is Marilyn — Ivy or Karen… or Uma, I mean Rebecca? Your guess is still as good as mine, but the clip below means at the very least the show will… go on.

READ FULL STORY

'Gossip Girl' boss is NBC's new 'Smash' showrunner

Who’s going to take over NBC’s Smash as showrunner for season two?

EW.com has learned the gig is going to Gossip Girl writer and executive producer Josh Safran.

Safran is expected to take over for Theresa Rebeck, the Broadway veteran who created Smash and shepherded the show’s debut season. After NBC gave the Monday night drama an early renewal, the announcement was made that Rebeck would step down from the top post amid viewer criticism about the creative direction of the show. She will remain an executive producer on the project.

On Gossip Girl, Safran has been with the soapy drama since the first season in 2007. Safran worked his was up from a consulting producer, to co-executive producer to an executive producer on the series. He beat out other candidates vying for the Smash gig, with sources saying the network was impressed by his vision for the show’s second season. Gossip Girl is expected to get renewed too, though some say there’s a chance The CW’s order might get billed as a final season.

'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Private Practice,' 'Good Wife,' 'Bones': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

It’s finale season, so much like in my personal life, I don’t have time for foreplay. (Dear God, I’m going to stop typing now.)

E-mail all requests to spoileroom@ew.com or find me on Twitter. See you next week — and hopefully by then I will have seen a professional about my severe case of word vomit.

READ FULL STORY

'Smash' exclusive: Uma Thurman hits the stage as Marilyn -- VIDEO

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We got a mere glimpse of Uma Thurman as Rebecca Duvall in this week’s Smash, but next week she takes the stage as the latest bombshell to channel Marilyn Monroe in, uh, Bombshell (side note: I still can’t believe that’s really going to be the title). Check out a preview clip below of ‘Dig Deep’ with Thurman singing — in her first musical role since her turn as Ulla in the 2005 film remake of The Producers.
READ FULL STORY

NBC renews 'Smash' for second season; showrunner to step down

NBC is doubling down on Smash.

The network just renewed the musical drama for a second season, but when it returns it will be under new leadership.

Deadline reports that current showrunner Theresa Rebeck, who also created the series, will step away from her day-to-day duties with the show after this season. (Showrunners — they’re dropping like flies!) She will continue to hold her position as an executive producer.

The ratings for Smash have been a bit modest lately, but overall have managed to boost the network’s Monday night time slot at 10 p.m. The show, which goes behind-the-scenes of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe, has averaged 7.7 million viewers and a 2.6 adult demo rating.

Along with Friday supernatural series Grimm, this marks the second freshman NBC drama to earn a renewal this year.

PREVIOUS: Midseason TV Death Watch: Bubble Show Edition

Tony-winner Bernadette Peters talks tonight's 'Smash' cameo

Smash watchers know that wannabe Broadway star Ivy (Megan Hilty) has issues. And not just the kind caused by last week’s mood swings, which were the side effects of her taking prednisone to heal her vocal chords. She’s competitive to a fault. But that’s understandable, seeing that she’s always lived in the shadow of her Tony-winning mom, Leigh Conroy, who shows up in tonight’s episode. Below the real-life multiple Tony-winner who portrays Leigh, Bernadette Peters, tells us what to expect.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was Ivy’s relationship to her mother when she was growing up?
BERNADETTE PETERS: I don’t think Leigh was around much. I think she loves Ivy very much, but she was working, so she had nannies taking care of her. And Ivy’s dad. So she never had that connection, that close bond, with her. Also, you’ll see that she’s big; she’s been working in the limelight her whole life. Everything revolved around her. Everything at home probably revolved around her, too, but I do think she loves her daughter very much.

What has she been up to the last several years?
Probably living in Westchester in a lovely house. I think the father does very well in finance, but her career has just sort of slowed down. And now she’s watching her daughter and becoming almost like a stage mother to her, encouraging and coaching her.

Why is she visiting Manhattan?
She came to see her daughter, who’s in the workshop, but it’s also her turf. She wanted to get a taste of it again, so she says, “I’m coming to rehearsal,” uninvited. She had that kind of confidence, that chutzpah. When she comes to the workshop, everybody stops and looks at her and the kids even ask her to sing.

There must be some significance to her singing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy, which is about Gypsy Rose Lee and her mother. 
Yes, it’s about a mother and daughter, it is their existing relationship. She treats her daughter the same, like an object. And, you know, once they ask her to sing, it’s all about her.

Does Leigh know that her daughter is having an affair with the workshop’s director, Derek (Jack Davenport)?  
No, she doesn’t. In fact, I’m trying to encourage her, to push them together, saying that he could really do a lot for her career. I don’t know that they’re already together.

Do you think Smash accurately depicts Broadway behind-the-scenes?
This is a drama and it’s heightened. So they’re taking the most dramatic scenarios, the worst scenarios that could happen, and making a storyline out of it. These things can happen and I think they always happen. I don’t know if they all happen [at the same time]. You have all these different types of personalities. There are definitely directors like Derek, who is all about himself. There are personalities that want to get ahead, that would do anything to get ahead, and you have people who throw monkey wrenches in. And you have people having affairs, definitely.

You’re returning for the finale, correct? Under what circumstances?
I am. The show’s going to go on that night, so she comes to see the show, basically. But I don’t want to give anything away.

Read more:
Nick Jonas on his ‘Smash’ cameo
Ken Tucker on ‘Smash’s importance to NBC
‘Smash’ scoop

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