Jeremy Jordan, a 2012 Tony Award nominee for Newsies, will play a Brooklyn-born singer and the new love-interest of Karen ( Katharine McPhee); Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson (" Dreamgirls") will have a multi-episode arc as a Tony Award-winning Broadway diva.
Also slated to make appearances are Rent star Daphne Rubin-Vega, Tony winner Liza Minnelli, " Hairspray" star Nikki Blonsky, Jesse L. Martin ( Rent), Tony nominee Sean Hayes ( Promises, Promises), and Andy Mientus of Off-Broadway's Carrie.
Upcoming episodes of "Smash" also promise Tony winner Bernadette Peters premiering a brand-new tune by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. It will have orchestrations by Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick.
For the series' second season, Josh Safran succeeds Theresa Rebeck ( Seminar) as showrunner — the person in charge of all aspects of the story. Tony Award winners Shaiman and Wittman, and Tony nominees Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are among the show's executive producers.