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November 26, 2014

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Uma Thurman Joins 'Smash'

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 8th 2011 7:15PM
Uma Thurman'Smash' has booked film star Uma Thurman for a multi-episode guest arc.

The midseason drama -- about the creation of a Broadway musical based on Marilyn Monroe's life -- has cast Thurman as a "famous and somewhat difficult movie star" who flirts with the idea of starring in the theater production. EW reports Thurman will appear in five episodes of the much-anticipated NBC series.

Thurman is best known for starring in Quentin Tarantino's big screen projects like the 'Kill Bill' franchise and 'Pulp Fiction,' which scored her an Oscar nomination, but she's not altogether new to TV. Her last small-screen cameo was in the 2008 TV movie 'A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa' and, before that, she won a Golden Globe for her work in 2002's 'Hysterical Blindness.'

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'Smash' Heading to Broadway?

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 6th 2011 7:30PM
Smash Heading to Broadway?Could NBC's 'Smash,' a new series about the creation of a Marilyn Monroe musical, make the transition to a real Broadway show?

"It could," Marc Shaiman, composer and co-lyricist, told Broadway.com. "It would need reshaping, because what we're writing for the TV show is very specific to each episode; it's always shadowing or mirroring what's happening to the characters."

'Smash' features original songs and covers throughout each episode -- the first episode has Katharine McPhee belting out a rendition of Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful' -- as the characters develop a Broadway musical based on the life of film icon Marilyn Monroe. Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston and Megan Hilty also star in the midseason drama.

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'Smash': Katharine McPhee Covers Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful' (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 23rd 2011 11:20AM
Katharine McPhee Smash Beautiful CoverThe 'Smash' goodies keep on coming! Hot on the heels of the new poster art, NBC has released the first official music video from the series, featuring Katharine McPhee covering Christina Aguilera's hit song 'Beautiful.'

In the pilot episode, McPhee's character Karen Cartwright auditions for a role in the new Marilyn Monroe musical with the song.

In addition to original shots, the video also features new footage from the show.

Watch the video below. 'Smash' premieres Mon., Feb. 6, 10PM ET on NBC.

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'Smash' Exclusive First Look: Is This the Show That Will Save NBC?

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 21st 2011 10:00AM
It's no secret that things have been tricky lately for the Peacock Network. Some of its returning shows have been struggling in the ratings and none of its new fall offerings have been breakout hits.

That may be about to change: NBC debuts 'Smash' Feb. 6, and many critics who've seen it (including me) think it's one of the strongest new shows of the season. Below, Aol TV has an exclusive first look at the 'Smash' key art, which features former 'American Idol' contestant Katharine McPhee atop a pile of scheming Broadway strivers.

You're probably wondering if 'Smash' is merely a 'Glee' ripoff set on Broadway. Of course, it makes sense for 'Glee' to come up when discussing 'Smash,' but the latter show is different (and possibly better) in several respects.

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NBC Announces 2012 Midseason Schedule

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 14th 2011 6:21PM
NBC Midseason ScheduleNBC is doing a big midseason shuffle, putting '30 Rock' in the 'Community' timeslot, a move that could spell the end for the quirky cult-hit comedy. What else is changing? Well, quite a bit.

'30 Rock' returns to the Peacock on Thurs., Jan. 12 at 8PM ET, knocking 'Community' off NBC's schedule completely. New drama 'The Firm' takes the Thursdays, 10PM ET slot now held by 'Prime Suspect' and 'Whitney' swaps time slots with 'Up All Night.'

'Smash' hits NBC on Mon., Feb. 6 at 10PM ET, moving 'Rock Center' to Wednesdays at 9PM ET. However, those aren't the only changes. Check out the full schedule below for all the details.

NBC made no mention of 'Community,' 'Prime Suspect,' 'Awake,' 'Bent,' Betty White's 'Off Their Rockers' or 'BFFs' in their announcement. Per Vulture: NBC says 'Community' will return to the schedule, but no date has been given.

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Nick Jonas, Bernadette Peters Book 'Smash' Roles

by Chris Harnick, posted Oct 6th 2011 11:30AM
Nick Jonas, Bernadette Peters Book 'Smash' RolesMonths before the premiere, NBC's 'Smash' has added two big names to its already impressive roster. Broadway-bound Nick Jonas and stage legend Bernadette Peters will guest star on the midseason musical drama.

According to NBC, the actors won't be playing themselves. However, they will be singing in their episodes.

Jonas will play Lyle West, a hot sitcom star who started his career as a child actor on Broadway. The show that gave him his start was written by Tom (Christian Borle) and directed by Derek (Jack Davenport).

Peters will play Leigh Conroy, Ivy's (Megan Hilty) mother. Peters' character is a Tony award-winning actress who is now living vicariously through her daughter.

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Will Arnett Returning to '30 Rock,' Bravo Says No NJ 'Housewives' Were Fired & More TV Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Oct 4th 2011 3:35PM
Will ArnettWill Arnett is keeping very busy. In addition to starring on NBC's 'Up All Night' and the newly announced 'Arrested Development' revival, TVLine reports Arnett will return to '30 Rock.'

No date for Arnett's return to the series has been given, but '30 Rock' has just begun production on Season 6. It's currently slated for a midseason debut.

To date, Arnett has been nominated for three Emmys for his role as Jack's (Alec Baldwin) nemesis Devin Banks.

In other casting news ...

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Are Networks Saving the Best New Shows for Midseason?

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 13th 2011 9:00AM
Terra NovaHere we are: Fall TV premiere week.

There are some exciting shows slated for fall, including 'Person of Interest' (CBS' Michael Emerson-Jim Caviezel procedural with a twist), 'Up All Night' (NBC's relatable new comedy starring Will Arnett, Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph), 'Pan Am' (ABC's swinging '60s drama set in the world of mile-high espionage), 'Secret Circle' ('The Vampire Diaries' boss Kevin Williamson's answer to witches) and 'Terra Nova' (Fox's ambitious time-travel dinosaur drama, pictured), just to name a few.

But some of the most buzzed-about shows are being held for January 2012 and beyond, and we're not the only ones taking note.

We gathered a group of esteemed critics to pick their favorite new dramas and comedies -- check out all our videos here -- and the conversation changed completely when we opened the selection up to include midseason offerings as well.

So, as much as people are probably over this common fill-in-the-blank statement, I'm saying it: This year, midseason is definitely the new fall. Check it out ...

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'My Boys' Star Joins 'Dexter,' Broadway Actors Flock to 'Smash,' 'A Gifted Man' & More Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 30th 2011 10:30AM
Jordana Spiro'My Boys' star Jordana Spiro has landed a recurring role on 'Dexter.'

Spiro, who was last seen guest-starring on NBC's 'Harry's Law,' will appear late in the season. According to TVLine, she'll play an acolyte of Colin Hanks' and Edward James Olmos' characters.

In the new season, Hanks plays a student of Olmos's religion professor. The two embark on a murderous path based on religious ideology.

'Dexter' Season 6 premieres Sun., Oct. 2 at 9PM on Showtime.

In other casting news ...

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Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Best New Drama (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Aug 23rd 2011 12:00PM
Welcome to Part 2 of our critics roundtable debate, all about the best new dramas of the upcoming 2011-2012 TV season. Which new shows made the list? You'll have to watch and see ...

Here's a little backstory: during the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, I gathered a group of my fellow critics and turned on the cameras while we talked all about the best and worst of fall TV.

Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Best New Comedy

I've split our chat into five insightful videos, and we'll be posting a new one here on AOL TV everyday this week -- best new comedy and best new drama (watch both below), worst new show (Wednesday), star we're happiest to see on TV (Thursday) and returning show we're most excited for (Friday) -- so keep checking back for more.

Right now, join me and HitFix.com's Alan Sepinwall, Melanie McFarland from IMDb TV, Damian Holbrook of TV Guide Magazine and AOL TV's own Mo Ryan to get our honest take on today's topic: Best new drama.

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TCA Report: NBC Exec Talks 'Smash' Debut, 'The Voice' Return & 'Playboy' Controversy

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 1st 2011 3:00PM
Smash, NBCTalking to critics at the Television Critics Association press tour Monday, new NBC entertainment president Robert Greenblatt took the right tack: He modestly called attention to the network's few bright spots, he didn't assert that the network would roar back this fall, and most importantly, he had Joel McHale from 'Community' relentlessly mock the Peacock Network well before Greenblatt even took the stage.

It was a wise move, and a way of acknowledging NBC's many problems without turning the Greenblatt session into an inquisition about the last decade of shoddy, brain-melting mismanagement at NBC. Well played, sir.

Some news came out of the session: Greenblatt said the second season of 'The Voice' will premiere Feb. 5, after the Super Bowl. The next episode of the singing contest will air Feb. 6, which is the same night that NBC's well-received mid-season pilot 'Smash' will premiere.

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'Smash' Scoop! Expect More Dylan & Becky Ann Baker

by Chris Harnick, posted Jun 30th 2011 8:00PM
Dylan and Becky Ann BakerEven though we have months -- and I mean several long months -- to go before NBC's 'Smash' debuts in 2012, that hasn't stopped the fevered anticipation for the new musical series.

Starring Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston, the Steven Spielberg-produced drama has gotten a ton of early buzz from the industry and press -- including yours truly and just about the entire AOL TV staff -- and just received a special preview during 'The Voice' finale.

I caught up with Dylan and Becky Ann Baker at the premiere of DirecTV's 'Damages,' which Dylan stars in this season, and couldn't resist asking the real-life married couple about their role as mom and dad to McPhee's aspiring Broadway star Karen.

The duo have a brief dinner scene in the pilot with McPhee and her TV boyfriend, played by Raza Jaffrey, but that won't be the last viewers see of them.

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NBC Pilots Snap Judgments: Our First Reactions to the New Shows

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jun 16th 2011 12:00PM
NBC Pilots: Smash, Grimm & Up All NightWe've seen the network's new fall pilots, and while they're not for review (things often change drastically before the shows are set to premiere), we do want to share our first reactions with you.

This is designed to get you excited for some new shows ... and to warn you to curb your enthusiasm for others. Just keep in mind that we'll have full reviews of the final pilots closer to airdate in the fall or midseason. For now, here are our snap judgments of all of NBC's new shows for the 2011-2012 TV season. (Read up and watch previews here)

There are nine new scripted shows -- the good (we want 'Smash' now!), bad (the 'Grimm' headline writes itself) and holy-hell-remember-how-funny-Will-Arnett-is ('Up All Night' is a delight) -- and plenty of varying opinions from Mo Ryan, Maggie Furlong, Jean Bentley, Chris Harnick, Alex Moaba and Laura Prudom.

Here's how we're breaking these down:
Watch It - awesome show, can't wait for more
Skip It - it's either horrible or just totally not their thing
DVR It - there's potential, will give it a second chance

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NBC to Release 'Smash' Soundtrack Album, Star Katharine McPhee Signs Record Deal

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jun 10th 2011 7:50AM
Katharine McPhee'Smash' hasn't even aired yet, but there's already an album in the works. It's been announced that Columbia Records has won the rights to the music from NBC's upcoming midseason musical drama series.

The music will include covers of existing hits plus original songs composed by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the team behind 'Hairspray' and 'Catch Me If You Can.'

It was also announced that 'Smash' star and former 'American Idol' finalist Katharine McPhee, has signed a solo recording deal with Columbia Records. She previously recorded for RCA and Verve Forecast.

Speaking about the deal, Robert Greenblatt, Chairman NBC Entertainment, said "A musical series should naturally be accompanied by a soundtrack deal, and NBC is very excited to be working with the best. Our Columbia Records partners will guide the soundtrack of 'Smash' into a big component of the show's success. The music will be a driving force ... and we couldn't have asked for better expertise and strategy than this company will provide."

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NBC Stars Preview New Shows at Upfronts 2011 (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted May 16th 2011 7:45PM
SmashNBC wants you, dear readers and viewers, to know that they are different. This is a new NBC, filled with period dramas, concept shows and the return of the multi-camera sitcom.

AOL TV hit the red carpet of NBC's 2011 Upfront Presentation to get the dish on how these new shows will help shape NBC straight from the stars themselves.

What's new? More comedies! Edgier dramas! The network is touting brand new shows with fresh concepts and old favorite stars.

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