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Tag: Smash (11-20 of 26)

PopWatch Planner: The Oscars, 'Downton Abbey,' and the Independent Spirit Awards

Could there be something happening next Sunday that we’re excited about? Hmm… Hmm… maybe something we’ve had two covers of, have seen all the movies for, and have debated and debated for months now? Yes, of course the Oscars are next weekend, but first up is this week’s exciting season finale of Downton Abbey, followed by the narrowed-down field on American Idol, Dark Skies opening in theaters, and more. Have a great week!
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We've heard this somewhere before. Why do 'Smash' and 'Glee' keep overlapping? -- VIDEO

Smash has done it again (no, not in the ratings, let’s forget about those for a minute) —we’re talking about using songs that sound pretty familiar — mainly because they’ve been on a different musical TV show, Glee, as recently as the current season.

During its two-hour premiere Tuesday night,  Ivy (Megan Hilty) covered Crowded House’s 1986 hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over” as a faraway-look-in-her-eye ballad of resilience. Except that Glee already covered the song, as a cheer-us-up chorus of resilience — and beanies.

This isn’t all that surprising: Before Smash’s debut in 2011, producer Craig Zadan said at NBC Press Tour, “I don’t think any of us feel our show is like Glee, but we feel grateful to Glee for opening that door,” — creating space for more TV musical shows. Last night’s episode certainly isn’t the first time Smash has followed in Glee‘s footsteps: In the pilot, Smash had Karen (Katherine McPhee) singing “Beautiful,” which Mercedes (Amber Riley) sang on Glee all the way back in season 1.

But there’s more! “Over the Rainbow” and “Shake It Out” have been covered by both shows. Perhaps the overlap in last night’s episode was only all the more striking since Smash has prided itself leading up to last night’s season premiere on a second-season renaissance with a new showrunner and some major cast changes.

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Russell Brand gets cheeky with Katharine McPhee on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' -- VIDEO

Poor Katharine McPhee did not know what she was in for when she went on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote Smash last night. But she handled a flirty Russell Brand like a champ!

When McPhee came out on stage, Brand wouldn’t move from the guest chair, so she sat down on his lap. Then Brand got a little touchy-feely. Watch the awkwardness below: READ FULL STORY

Golden Globes: Who will win in the TV categories? Polls!

Just because most people don’t do a Golden Globes pool doesn’t mean you can’t predict if Homeland will build on its Emmy domination. Let’s take the 11 TV categories to a vote. Remember, this is who you think will win, not necessarily who you want to win.  READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: Inside the making (and remaking) of NBC's 'Smash'

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The show that everyone wanted to love — and everyone loved to hate — is back. And guess what? It’s good. This week, Entertainment Weekly gets an exclusive inside look at NBC’s ambitious overhaul of their musical drama, Smash. (Click here to buy the issue.) There’s a lot riding on it for a lot of people, first and foremost the show’s 10(!) executive producers, including Hollywood’s biggest director, Steven Spielberg; Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (the Oscar-winning Chicago); and Tony-winning composing team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray). This impressive pedigree made Smash the most high-profile premiere of 2012, and the series started strong with a stellar pilot, which followed the team behind a new Marilyn Monroe musical called Bombshell, including the two starlets vying for the lead, Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty). Then several things went wrong. Like Ellis (Jaime Cepero), the sweater-vested sexually ambiguous assistant to Broadway producer Eileen (Anjelica Huston). Or the wardrobe of Bombshell‘s lyricist, Julia (Debra Messing), which featured a collection of distractingly large — and ugly — scarves. “I thought it was really shocking, that it offended some people to their bone,” says Messing. “There were some virulent things written about these scarves.” Jokes Hilty, “Who knew that Debra Messing’s scarves would become a drinking game? When I heard that, I was like, Really?”

New showrunner Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl) got the gig after selling NBC on his plan for the new Smash: More star power (Jennifer Hudson! Liza Minnelli!), more ambitious plotting, more original music (including tunes from a new Rent-esque project called Hit List), and absolutely no more scarves. Judging by the first three episodes, Safran has given Smash some much-needed mood stabilizers to eradicate its whiplash tone and character shifts, and the new players — like bad boy songwriter Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan), a love interest for Karen, and Broadway superstar Veronica Moore (guest star Hudson) — bring fresh energy to the storytelling. Basically, this season could be retitled Smash 2.0: Go Big or Go Home.  “Some things you’ll fail with because being audacious doesn’t always fly,” says NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. “But I think we have to be audacious or we’re dead.”

Watch footage of EW’s cover shoot below with stars Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty alongside Smash newcomer Jennifer Hudson, who appears in three episodes this season. READ FULL STORY

'Smash': Extended preview promises bigger, better, guest-starrier season 2 -- VIDEO

After its first season wrapped, Smash — a flashy Broadway spectacle that drew rapturous reviews for its first few episodes, then, um, less rapturous reviews as the show went on — was treated to some major revamping. (Cue Dreamgirls‘ “I Am Changing.”) Showrunner Theresa Rebeck was replaced by Gossip Girl executive producer Josh Safran; characters including Terrible Ellis and Once-Dreamy Dev were given the boot; there was talk of improved serialized storytelling and less emphasis on the dreary subplots that once dragged the show down.

Have all those alterations led to a Smash that’ll truly sizzle in season 2? It’s tough to tell from this super-sized, suspiciously scarfless preview — Katharine McPhee’s Karen still seems a little blank, and Megan Hilty’s confident Ivy has apparently been reduced to a moony-eyed, gape-mouthed second banana.

But at least we do know that every performer who can carry a tune seems to have found a home in Smash‘s extended ensemble. Jennifer Hudson! Sean Hayes! Jesse L. Martin! That cute guy from Newsies! And don’t forget Liza Minnelli, as if you could — she’ll stop by in February, though the preview makes it seem as though Ivy will be channeling Sally Bowles at some point as well. (As usual, all the music sounds phenomenal; maybe Smash should just become a concert series?)

Don’t take my word for it, Smashochists — fade in on the preview below.

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The 'Project Runway' season finale judge will be...

Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

It’s official: Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson will judge this season’s Project Runway finale, InStyle reports.

The news was announced at this morning’s Project Runway runway show. “Fashion is such a means of expressing yourself and letting your personality shine through your clothes,” she told InStyle.

The actress has multiple projects on her plate. She just finished filming a multi-episode guest appearance on Smash, launched her first QVC collection yesterday at Fashion Night Out, and will star in the upcoming indie drama The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. How does she find the time?

Read more:
Life sentence in Jennifer Hudson family slayings
Casting Net: Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks sign on for ‘Inevitable Defeat.’ Plus: Kellan Lutz, Camilla Belle to play straight lovers in a gay world
‘Smash’ season 2: Megan Hilty teases new rivals!

Season Finale Awards: Vote now!

The polls are officially open in our third annual readers’ choice Season Finale Awards. Now through Monday, vote for your favorites — or least favorites — in 20 categories. We’ll crown the winners Tuesday. READ FULL STORY

'Smash' finale react: Did [SPOILER] just pull a Marilyn?! Did you see it coming?

[Friends, beware: If you haven't watched the Smash season finale, please step away from your computer. I suppose you could also just close this tab...but my order is much more dramatic, and therefore more Smash-appropriate. In any case: Spoilers follow. You've been warned.]

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'Smash': Are you hate-watching it? Or do you still have hope for an improved Season 2?

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If there’s one thing critics enjoy more than rhapsodizing about something they love, it’s gleefully picking apart something they despise. And this season, the hottest punching bag on TV is Smash — a backstage drama that went from NBC’s Great White Hope to a total mess in about four episodes flat.

The same writers who once praised Smash‘s pilot are still watching the show — but instead of extolling its virtues, they’re writing with relish about how fascinatingly awful it’s become. And even though I haven’t been as hard on the series as some of my ink-soaked colleagues, my weekly Smash recaps include their share of snarky, frustrated jabs. The clunky dialogue, the nonsensical plot twists, the infuriating romantic entanglements, the slow but steady deification of Karen “Iowa” Cartwright — all of it combined makes the devoted Smash viewer feel like an Ivy-style masochist.

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