"Smash" Season Two Will Feature a Rival Musical, Additional Songwriters
By Kenneth Jones
Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, revealed in an interview with Variety that the second season of the TV series "Smash" will have theatre songs by songwriters other than Tony Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Expect a second musical to surface in the new season of the musical drama created by Broadway's Theresa Rebeck (Seminar, Mauritius) and now shepherded by Joshua Safran ("Gossip Girl"). At the end of Season One of the scripted series about the making of a Broadway musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe, the musical Bombshell was poised to begin performances on Broadway after a rocky workshop period and out of-town tryout.
Greenblatt told the trade that executive producers Shaiman and Wittman are looking for composers and lyricists to write new tunes for the second season (but presumably not for Bombshell, for which Shaiman & Wittman penned numbers).
Reportedly, a rival musical will emerge to give Bombshell some competition (shades of Once versus Newsies or Avenue Q versus Wicked), with some of Bombshell's personnel jumping ship for the other title.
It was announced on June 26 that theatre actor Andy Mientus would play the role of "Kyle," a musical writer, in the coming season.
NBC has not officially announced a return date or timeslot for Season Two, except to say that it will return in mid-season. Shooting begins in and around New York City this summer.
Variety reported that composer/co-lyricist Shaiman and lyricist Wittman (Broadway's Catch Me If You Can and Hairspray) are seeking songwriters who have theatre chops but no exposure yet on Broadway. Greenblatt told the trade, "I love the idea that out of this show we'll be able to give some new composers a huge break. We thought it was a great way to open up the sound of our show, too."
"Smash," will again star Emmy Award winner Debra Messing ("Will & Grace"), Oscar winner Anjelica Huston ("Prizzi's Honor"), Jack Davenport ("Pirates of the Caribbean" films), 2012 Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Legally Blonde the Musical, Peter and the Starcatcher), Katharine McPhee ("American Idol") and Megan Hilty (9 to 5: The Musical).
From Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television, "Smash" came from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Spielberg ("ER," "Schindler's List"). The series' executive producers also include Joshua Safran ("Gossip Girl"), who is new to the second season; Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning "Chicago," "Hairspray" and Broadway's recent Promises, Promises and How to Succeed…); Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey ("United States of Tara," "The Borgias"); and Tony and Grammy Award winners Shaiman and Wittman; and Rebeck.
Miss episodes in the first season? NBC is offering them free online at the official website of "Smash."
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