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.