What's Next for "Smash"? Three New Characters, At Least
By Kenneth Jones
The second season of the NBC musical drama series "Smash" will get at least three new faces, according to an industry casting notice. The 15-episode first season concluded May 14.
The network previously announced that the hour-long show's next season would be controlled by a new "showrunner," Josh Safran, replacing creator Theresa Rebeck. The new characters, at least this early in the pre-production for Season Two, are:
Courtney: A twentysomething African-American chorus member — "incredibly attractive and confident, but also open-minded and non-judgmental."
Danny: A twentysomething from Brooklyn — a straight guy, "sexy, charismatic and musically gifted, but also self-destructive and remote."
Joe: A "gay, very cute, incredibly open and optimistic" actor/singer/dancer from Brooklyn.
NBC and the producers of "Smash" are keeping story and music plans for the next season under wraps as of now, although it's been announced that shooting begins this summer in and around New York City toward a midseason launch of the next chapter of the scripted series about the making of a Broadway musical called Bombshell, about Marilyn Monroe. Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, 2012 Tony Award nominee Christian Borle, Anjelica Huston, Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty are among the series stars.
On May 22, EW.com reported that the Season One characters of Ellis, a villainous production assistant played by Jaime Cepero, and Dev, a mayoral press spokesman played by Raza Jaffrey, would not return as regulars next season.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James and Will Chase (who played the respective husband and lover of Messing's lyricist-librettist character, Julia) will not be back as regulars next season, but that Emory Cohen will return as Julia's son, Leo. No official casting announcement has been made by NBC.
Season Two will look at the show's Broadway preparation following the workshop and Boston tryout seen in Season One. Tony Award-winning Hairspray songwriters Marc Shaiman (composer and co-lyricist) and Scott Wittman (co-lyricist) pen the original musical numbers for the series and serve as executive producers.
The May 14 season-finale episode won only 5.96 million viewers in a tough 10 PM window opposite the season finale of "Hawaii Five-O" (CBS) and the premiere of "The Bachelorette" (ABC). The heavily-promoted series made its network debut Feb. 6, luring 11.5 million viewers for its premiere.
Columbia Records released the soundtrack from the series, "The Music of 'Smash' Season 1," on May 1.
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