Exclusive: Smash Shakes Up Cast, Adding Three New Regulars for Season 2

Get More: Casting News, Exclusive

katharine mcphee smashThe ensemble for Bombshell, Smash‘s musical-within-a-show, is set to swell based on these casting calls for not one or two but three new series regulars being added for Season 2.

For starters, NBC’s musical drama is looking to cast the role of Courtney, an African-American chorus member in her mid- to late-20s who packs a powerhouse voice. She is described as “incredibly attractive and confident, but also open-minded and non-judgmental.” In keeping with the series’ “introduction” of American Idol finalist Kat McPhee as Karen, TVLine’s Michael Slezak suggests Idol alumni Syesha Mercado or Melinda Doolittle for this gig, giving the edge to the latter and her stronger pipes.

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Also on board for Season 2 is the character of Danny, a straight, working class fella in his mid-20s and from Brooklyn. He is summed up as “sexy, charismatic and musically gifted, but also self-destructive and remote.” Applicants must have the skills to sing in a rock and/or soul voice. For Danny, Slezak suggests The Voice’s Chris Cauley or Idol‘s Matt Giraud.

Lastly, there is Joe, a Brooklyn-born gent who is in his early to mid-20s and is “gay, very cute, incredibly open and optimistic.” Slezak likes Idol Season 10 alum Stefano Langone for this one.

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Production on Season 2 of Smash – now shepherded by new showrunner Josh Safran (Gossip Girl) — is set to begin in July, despite the show being announced as a midseason entry.

Do you have any musically gifted casting suggestions for the above roles? And who if anyone do you think can/will be cut to make room for the newbies?



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Comments (192)

  • I know the Idol love runs deep with Slezak but Matt Giraud and Stefano Langone – no please!!

    Comment by Colleen – May 21, 2012 08:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • although Constantine might work for the role of Danny….

      Comment by allie08 – May 21, 2012 09:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Oh, yeah. He would work.

        Comment by Harmony – May 21, 2012 07:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • How about getting actual BROADWAY performers… you know, people who have been singing AND acting for large portions of their lives???

          Comment by KevyB – May 22, 2012 04:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Constantine Maroulis performed in Rock of Ages on Broadway as the lead role Drew, earning him a Tony nod. I saw him perform in the national tour and he was INCREDIBLE. He has terrific stage presence, likability, and an amazingly well-trained voice

            Comment by Meredith – May 22, 2012 09:57 AM PDT  
          • Now that makes sence!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Comment by Pat – May 22, 2012 08:16 PM PDT  
          • Constantine’s degree from BoCo was in MT. He’s been acting for years.

            Comment by Jackson – May 23, 2012 07:00 PM PDT  
  • Looking forward to smash returning for an even better season!

    Comment by Lindsey – May 21, 2012 08:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It couldn’t be worse…

      Comment by dan – May 21, 2012 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • lol we’ll see.

        Comment by danielle – May 21, 2012 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was hoping this article was announcing that the Ensemble Gang was getting promoted because they provided most of the bright spots in the less than great episodes this season. I hope we get to see more of them in Season 2.

      Comment by Zayne – May 21, 2012 01:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That’s what I was thinking. I love the ensemble, they deserve to be upgraded over some newbies.

        Comment by Lauren – May 22, 2012 04:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m guessing Michael is out

    Comment by Allison – May 21, 2012 08:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Why do you think that?

      Comment by vissy – May 21, 2012 08:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Not at all, there’s maybe new regulars but that doesn’t mean he’s gone, there has NO REASON for him to be gone of the show at this point…. Michael is back

      Comment by lily – May 21, 2012 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I hope not. Whether people like Michael or not, I think we can all agree that an actual Broadway veteran like Will Chase would be much more suited for this show than 50 American Idol contestants.

      Comment by danielle – May 21, 2012 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Will Chase might be more suited – I have seen him perform live in NY and he does have an amazing voice. He sings some of the Smash songs extremely well. That said, for one thing, he is absolutely nothing like Joe DiMaggio and totally miscast IMO. Michael/Will is slick and sophisticated and Joe was a tall appealing but somewhat goofy looking baseball player who was anything but. Secondly, Will’s stage charisma does not shine through on screen and he is not at all appealing to me and to many others (no disrespect to those who disagree). Add that to the idea that the character of Michael is a sleeze, and I wouldn’t miss him if he did not come back.

        Comment by KathyNYC – May 21, 2012 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Will Chase was amazing in Miss Saigon in NYC and every production he’s been in.
          Remember one of his earlier shows in Chicago…he is an excellent actor and singer
          and must comment, they need to create a role with stage charisma for Will for season 2.
          Won’t be the same without hearing and seeing him.

          Comment by Peggy Carson – May 30, 2012 04:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I am hoping he is. Michael is in such a dud of a storyine and he is bringing “Julia” down to the predicable brainless.

      Comment by KathyNYC – May 21, 2012 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If by Michael you mean Will Chase, yes, he’s out. As is Brian D’Arcy James. Will is a talented MT actor but he was pretty bad in Smash.

      Comment by Jackson – May 23, 2012 06:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I predict cancellation mid-season 2

    Comment by PutAforkINit – May 21, 2012 08:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Get Tamyra Gray in there! She has done quite a bit of acting on Broadway and on Television and fits the description of incredibly attractive and a powerhouse voice. Easy call…

    Comment by chrisjroof – May 21, 2012 08:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes please!!!!!!

      Comment by Randi – May 21, 2012 08:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • ^^ Best idea I’ve heard for this show!

      Comment by Matt – May 21, 2012 09:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • First name that came to mind when I read that description! Tamyra!!!

      Comment by john t. – May 21, 2012 09:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • First person I thought of, too! I hate Smash, but I’d give it another shot if Tamayra joined the cast!

        Comment by Jeff – May 21, 2012 09:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Why do you read about SMASH if you hate it? Makes no sense! IF I hate something I stay far away from it! DUH get your priorities straight

          Comment by LePrimm (@LePrimm) – May 22, 2012 03:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YES!!!!!!! Tamyra Gray popped into my head IMMEDIATELY. With her voice, she’d be incredible. For the guys, I look at the guys from previous seasons of “So You Think You Can Dance”. There are so many talented dancers out there & so few jobs!!!!

      Comment by FavoriteActress – May 21, 2012 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • what a great idea! She would be perfect! BTW, my friend saw her at a food truck in Santa Monica back in April.

      Comment by kris – May 21, 2012 12:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good idea!

      Comment by LLL – May 21, 2012 12:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • +1

      Comment by Shaun – May 21, 2012 02:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree, Tamyra Gray!

        Comment by Ewa – May 21, 2012 08:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hate change, I don’t want new regulars, I am already scared of Safran as it is, I don’t want new elements that could potentially ruining the show!

    Comment by vissy – May 21, 2012 08:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The show needs to be fixed or it’ll be gone before the end of Season 2. So much potential, but so many inconsistencies, dropped plotlines, stupid “twists” (which were telegraphed weeks in advance), and a contest set up between two main characters that was so heavy handed in favor of one that anybody who was surprised by the finale wasn’t paying attention. Give Ivy her sanity back, let Karen work for her fame instead of having it handed to her on a silver platter, drop Julia’s family (and PLEASE do not have her be pregnant), give Tom more to do, make Derek somewhat human, restore Eilene’s braincells (but keep her with Nick the bartender), and send Ellis under the nearest city bus. If the new regulars can bring sanity and consistency to this show then it may actually live up to its title; the framework is there, the new showrunner just needs to set it on the right track.

      Comment by dan – May 21, 2012 10:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I think the show should hire you, Dan. Every point you made was spot on!

        Comment by TheBeach – May 21, 2012 11:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I totally agree with you, you made a great analysis of what is “wrong” with the show and that is exactly why I don’t want new additions to the cast, they need to fix and develop the characters they have if they want to make it to season 3.

        Comment by vissy – May 21, 2012 12:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • this is a great blueprint for improving this show and capitalizing on its potential. along with more tom i would like more sam.

        Comment by murley – May 21, 2012 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Dan you should be one of the show’s writers! You know exactly what to do to make the show a success! Apply for the job! I’m serious.
        Good luck Smash, you could be sooooo amazing to watch.

        Comment by Pat Wilson – May 22, 2012 08:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Since we are looking at AI contestants, I think Gina Glocksen from season 6 would be perfect in show, She is a triple threat-singer, dancer and actor. She is genuine and the camera loves her.

        Comment by mo – June 18, 2012 10:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Dan, you have summed up the characters’ faults perfectly. I agree with Pat Wilson, you should be involved in writing on the show; you’ve pinpointed its flaws with razor-sharp precision.

        I don’t watch any soaps or light entertainment comps (X-Factor bleurgghh) so was unaware of Kat’s AI provenance. I’ve got to say, in my opinion, despite the incredibly high calibre of singer/dancers, some of whom I’d love to see more of, Kat just outshines them (although considering she’s playing a lead, this is meant to be the case.) But regarding her fitness to play the role, as someone else mentioned, stage acting and stage musicals are a completely different ball game to performing on screen. Kat has got it *on screen* when it comes to the routines, you just can’t take your eyes off her. And I love her voice. Don’t care what genre it’s considered to be in by anyone, that is a fantastic voice, it melts my heart.

        If we’re talking purely acting skills, then no-one can match Anjelica but then she’s been an acting goddess for decades and I blooming love her in *everything* I’ve ever seen her in.

        To me, Will’s routines looked to me like they’d have been dynamite on stage but lost something on screen; however my real problem with his character was the depth of sleaziness the writing team gave him which I felt was overkill.

        So agree with making Derek more human. Jack Davenport is one of my favourite actors since seeing him in both This Life and Coupling over here in the UK, and I love his portrayal of Derek, but I keep wishing, like you Dan, that the writing team would make Derek more human. I realise this show is meant to be fairly light and tongue in cheek – we’re not talking Thomas Hardy in terms of character depiction – but the best characters in any medium reflect real human beings, who are all made up of a combination of goodness and badness, strengths and weaknesses.

        I still think, despite these small gripes, it is a *great* show and I absolutely *love* it. Congrats to all involved and I hope it’s taken up for a third season :)

        Comment by judecalverttoulmin – January 9, 2013 03:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Do all of the suggestions have to be from reality tv singing shows?

    Comment by mickbricks – May 21, 2012 08:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sure, instead of looking for Broadway people add more talent show have-beens with questionable acting talents to join McPhee in the mediocre pop-singing alternate Broadway world this show has created.

    Comment by Taylah – May 21, 2012 08:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed! In the REAL world, Megan Hilty would’ve kicked Kat McPhee’s ass for the Marilyn role.

      Comment by Kacie – May 21, 2012 08:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I couldn’t agree more. I hate how we are supposed to root for the clearly inferior Karen.

        Comment by Lea – May 21, 2012 09:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • And I hate that people are oblivious to the casting of both roles to be equal but different. I suppose that people are going to have their biaes, but it’s kinda pathetic that they can’t separate their personal *taste* for a unbiases evaluation. Clearly both Hilty and McPhee are incredibly talented and each bringing valuable things to the role that the other does not.

          Comment by tarc – May 21, 2012 11:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • THANK YOU. Sheesh. I’m so sick of this ‘In the REAL world, Ivy would get it blah blah” crap. No. Not even remotely, because it depends SOLELY on the director’s vision. In this director’s vision, the quieter, softer aspects of Marilyn’s personality were more important – and if that is accepted as a given (as it must be – you can’t just “wish” you had a different show, LOL – we get what we’re given) then clearly Karen was the correct choice. Casting in theater often (maybe even usually) comes down to this ephemeral factor – who “fits” the vision better? Who matches what the director sees? In that vein, Derek’s “hallucinations” (while a bit literally translated to the small screen) are the key to Karen’s casting. Ivy would make a fabulous Marilyn, IF Derek’s vision were of the sex-kitten, gregarious, “public” persona Marilyn projected. But it wasn’t. Nothing more to discuss, really. That’s what makes casting decisions so heartbreaking in some respects for actors – we can’t control what the director “sees” for the part, so at some level, it doesn’t matter *how* great our audition was. That’s frustrating. But it’s reality.

            Comment by Annie – May 21, 2012 12:53 PM PDT  
      • and in the real world hilty’s character would be dead to the broadway world after heaven on earth, hence no marilyn for ivy lyn. hahahahahaha

        Comment by miso soup – May 21, 2012 09:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • In the REAL world, KAT McPhee kicked Megan Hilty’s ass! Look at the iTunes songs at whose are selling more — KAT’s are! Who gained more FB, twitter, etc fans — KAT did!

        Comment by marta – May 21, 2012 01:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Totally agree. Before McPhee was on Idol she had been on stage. I saw her in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir in NoHo and she was wonderful, very talented and seemed on her way to Broadway. So instead of Broadway, she went Hollywood which most Broadway actors aspire to do after Broadway, Matthew Morrison, Kristen Chenowith, etc,,,,,,

          Comment by Susan Doyle Bunatta – May 22, 2012 06:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Exactly what I was thinking. Where is Jonathan Groff on this list… hmmm. There have got to be more talented people out there than American Idol rejects.

      Comment by Lauren Kirsch – May 21, 2012 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The first person I thought of for either of the male roles was Jonathan Groff. And if Mark Salling isn’t returning as Puck on Glee next season,throw him in the mix.

        As for Zachary Levi, while I love him and listen to that song from Tangled all the time, he is in a pilot that got picked up for the fall.

        Comment by Robyn – May 21, 2012 10:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • No, it didn’t. His pilot was passed over.

          Comment by r0ckmypants – May 21, 2012 11:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I don’t know how old he actually is, but Jonathan Groff looks like he’s 40 years old.

        Comment by dee – May 21, 2012 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YES. A+.

      Comment by danielle – May 21, 2012 12:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree! you really said what was on my mind as I read that article!

      Comment by rubytu – May 21, 2012 06:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why all the American Idols how about people who are really in the business of musical theater? How bought Lexi Lawson of “IN THE HEIGHTS” as Courtney.

    Comment by Kq – May 21, 2012 08:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • exactly!!!!!

      Comment by rubytu – May 21, 2012 06:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Funny that you suggest Lexi Lawson. Prior to her time on the Rent tour, she was primarily a singer and had auditioned for American Idol! I had friends on that tour and sharing drinks after a show one night, I recall her asking a castmate, somewhat jokingly, if he could give her acting lessons.

      Comment by Jackson – May 23, 2012 06:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Thats impossible- She has been acting since she was 7. Look on her website

        Comment by hypw – September 18, 2012 11:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish they’d consider Zachary Levi for either role to show off his musical theater background.

    Comment by dkd – May 21, 2012 08:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was thinking about trying to fit in Zach Levi too!

      Comment by may – May 21, 2012 08:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I have been pulling for Levi to be on the show for months. He would be a good DiMaggio.

      Comment by Drew – May 21, 2012 08:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • OMG I would die! That would be so great!

      Comment by CJ – May 21, 2012 09:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • …and he’s sung with McPhee before.

      Comment by dkd – May 21, 2012 10:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Bring Zachary Levi on the show and put him with Karen

      Comment by yes – May 21, 2012 12:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Get out of my brain.

      Glad to see I’m not the only one who thought of Zachary Levi when reading those descriptions. He’s expressed interest in Broadway and he’s an NBC TV vet already, not to mention having a song with McPhee. Would love to see him do it!

      Comment by Chris – May 21, 2012 02:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow, no more reality TV people. Though I’ll make an exception for Tamyra Gray. Girl is that good. Hope they look more into the Broadway community in casting these.

    Comment by RyanT – May 21, 2012 08:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Personally I LOVE melinda doolittle (stopped watching idol when she didn’t make the final 2) so I would be ecstatic if she was on the show!

      Comment by M – May 21, 2012 09:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How about we use Musical Theatre actors? We already have one person from American Idol who can barely act and unfortunately she’s playing Marilyn. We don’t need any more.

    Comment by Jamie – May 21, 2012 08:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For the black girl. I want the one who was kickedout in AI then auditioned to the voice….if they want slender I want naima adedapo, I think she can act..

    Comment by bytes – May 21, 2012 08:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Her name is Frenchie Davis.

      Comment by LLL – May 21, 2012 12:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Um,there’s alot of dancing….she’s too heavy I think.

      Comment by Shaun – May 21, 2012 02:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Danny is clearly going to be Karen’s new love interest. So long Dev!!

    Please Slezak never mention Smash and Matt Giraud in the same sentence again!

    Comment by smashtastic – May 21, 2012 08:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think Karen will dally with Derrick (for a while at least)…

      Comment by JACK – May 21, 2012 08:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Personally from his character description, I instantly thought he’d be a love interest for Ivy. Considering her relationship with Derek is over she doesn’t really have any other straight male options (I doubt anything will happen with Dev again).

      Comment by Paige – May 21, 2012 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How come everyone comes from Brooklyn? There are other boroughs in NY with talented folk, you know! Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, anyone? Or go to the “other” boroughs: Westchester, Long Island.

    Comment by mdaily – May 21, 2012 08:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Go, Long Island. Birthplace of Billy Crystal and the Baldwin brothers.

      Comment by dkd – May 21, 2012 09:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would rather see Ellis go bye bye and Thorston Kaye’s charater get promoted to series regular.

    Comment by starmaiden – May 21, 2012 08:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, please!! More Nick the Bartender.

      Comment by Katbert – May 21, 2012 09:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d go for that, but I want him to have a new love interest. I’m not interested in him in another season as Anjelica Huston’s boyfriend.

      Comment by Elim – May 21, 2012 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Noooo! I don´t want Danny for Karen.. I want Karen and Derek to get together.
    Oh bummer.

    Comment by Titina – May 21, 2012 08:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with those who feel that they should cast from the pool of talented NY theater actors, rather than contestants from singing competition reality shows.

    Comment by John – May 21, 2012 08:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Karen will dally with Derrick (for a while at least)

    Comment by JACK – May 21, 2012 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Remember this is one person’s suggestion for roles. As much as Michael Slezak is obsessed with AI, he (thankfully) doesn’t make the casting decisions. And this is a tvline article, so they are going to get the opinion from one of their own. It just happened to be someone who can’t see outside the world of Idol.

    Comment by sweetgirl – May 21, 2012 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Melinda Doolittle? Maybe if they were looking for someone to play “falsely humble” or “incredulous,” but “confident”? No way.

    Comment by Seanti – May 21, 2012 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ummm… leave Melinda alone!! She can do anything and is wonderful!

      Comment by Denise – May 21, 2012 09:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I semi-agree with the confidence thing but falsely humble? Boy have you got that one wrong…

      Comment by misha – May 21, 2012 09:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Anyone who thinks that Melinda Doolittle is not istill self-effacing and overly humble has not seen her since American Idol. She has blossomed in a magnificent way and would make a stellar addition to the past of Smash.

      Comment by Roxyz – May 21, 2012 10:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Oops make that CAST of Smash.

        Comment by Roxyz – May 21, 2012 10:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While having Broadway types on the show is fun, the emphasis really needs to be on television acting. The two are very different crafts and having a great stage actor doing their stage acting on tv is just painful to watch. Stage is all about big, while tv is all about small and detailed.

    So, only hire musical theater types if they can actually do TV acting as well.

    Comment by Drew – May 21, 2012 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • HELLO? What about some Will Chase series regular action? Any news?

    Comment by Kelly – May 21, 2012 08:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • THIS.

      Comment by vissy – May 21, 2012 09:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Why?

        Comment by Kelly – May 21, 2012 09:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I agree that will chase needs to be made a regular!

          Comment by vissy – May 21, 2012 12:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Will Chase will not be on the show in Season 2.

            Comment by Jackson – May 23, 2012 07:04 PM PDT  
          • I know, it sucks :(

            Comment by vissy – May 24, 2012 10:59 AM PDT  
    • I like Will Chase, but his character was beyond creepy, and must be banished immediately. I know he just had a bad experience on network TV with “A Gifted Man,” but Patrick Wilson would make a smashing new Dimaggio, wouldn’t he? (Trivia: Will Chase replaced Patrick Wilson in the role of Jerry in “The Full Monty” on Broadway.)

      Comment by dee – May 21, 2012 11:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • agreed, i’ve seen will chase on broadway (roger in rent!) and he is extremely talented but I just find his character to be creepy and stalkerish and unfortunately the stalker role on smash has already gone to ellis

        Comment by jenna – May 21, 2012 07:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YEEEEEEEEES why he’s not promoted as regular? Will Chase better be back next season

      Comment by Angel – May 21, 2012 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anyone think Lambert for the role of Joe??

    Comment by Alicia – May 21, 2012 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • American Idol? How about New York theatre? How about Patina Miller.

    Comment by Julia – May 21, 2012 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good suggestion! She can act in a confident role against well-known actors/characters (she played Erica’s producer on “All My Children”) and her Tony nomination for “Sister Act” proves she can sing. I’m just wondering if she’ll be involved with the “Sister Act” national tour that kicks off later this year.

      Comment by dan – May 21, 2012 11:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just cos Kat McPhee was from Idol doesn’t mean everyone else needs to aswell! I guess this means they won’t be making creepy Michael a regular anymore, and please let them just put Dev out of his misery and send him to Washington already! I hope Karen will befriend Courtney. Without Dev she is literally friendless in NY. Sad! They should have made Bobby a series regular :(

    Comment by smashy – May 21, 2012 09:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d prefer actual Broadway talent for this show. Give me Louis Hobson or Cheyenne Jackson or Jen Damiano or Meghann Fahey. I don’t want “Smash” to become a place for fallen “Idols.” Then again, I’d also love to see Amber Riley from “Glee” get a time to shine in something else.

    Comment by Frederica – May 21, 2012 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have only one suggestion…request…idea…whatever.
    Let Tom sing more! He’s the best character on the show!

    Comment by Broadwayfan – May 21, 2012 09:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yes! Christian Borle has such a great voice, as does Brian D’Arcy James!! As long as it doesn’t come across as too forced, find another way for Frank to sing!!

      Comment by Maggie – May 21, 2012 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • This, this, a thousand times THIS!

        These two are tragically underused.

        Comment by dee – May 21, 2012 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • no

      Comment by x – May 21, 2012 12:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes! Turn the show over to the actual Broadway stars. Boot all American Idol fakers off the show and for spud’s sake, don’t bring any more into the mix.

      Comment by Temis – May 21, 2012 01:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You take her out of the show, and 3/4 of the fans are gone!

        Comment by marta – May 21, 2012 01:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Barely anyone is watching the show anymore because she’s doing such a terrible job. The critics are ripping her apart. They should have given the part to Laura Osnes, like they nearly did. It would actually make sense if her and Megan Hilty are supposed to compete. McPhee is so AVERAGE compared to Hilty.

          Comment by Jamie – May 22, 2012 05:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I think the majority of viewers prefer McPhee to Hilty, perhaps for the wrong reasons, but you take McPhee out and SMASH closes out of town, so to speak. McPhee’s voice far exceeds “average” and she has a presence about her that relates to folks outside of New York and other urban areas. Hilty is certainly talented, but her persona on the show is not particularly warm and fuzzy and after all, when all is said and done, the advertisers care about the audience numbers and demographics…not which actress has the most experience…also, I think McPhee has held her own in both the singing and acting aspect of the show. Although I can certainly understand insiders bemoaning what might be considered “unrealistic” portrayals of the process of getting a show to Broadway…most viewers do not…and they like the popular songs intermixed with the show numbers…just sayin’

            Comment by geauxgrrl – May 22, 2012 09:44 AM PDT  
          • Yes, Laura Osnes who is where she is today largely due to a reality show!

            Comment by Jackson – May 23, 2012 07:07 PM PDT  
    • YES, YES, YES. Please let the TONY AWARD WINNING STAGE ACTOR sing more on the show about the musical. He’s brilliant, attractive, and has a kick-ass voice to top it off. Did I mention he’s good looking?

      Comment by Emily – June 13, 2012 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There is only speculation to say that Michael will be gone…why is everyone jumping the gun? Am I missing something?

    Comment by Kelly – May 21, 2012 09:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “Michael”, Will Chase isn’t even a regular. Debra Messing is. I think you’ve seen all of him you’re going to see. Time for Debra Messing plot to go in a different direction. I like Will Chase; have seen him onstage. But I would imagine this new showrunner, off of “Gossip Girl”, AND with the casting for roles announced, is probably going to focus on younger characters, i.e., 18-25 or so. Will Chase, IRL, is probably close to 40. What would really be great is for him to get his own show.

      Comment by Pat Graney – May 21, 2012 03:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Stefano Long…….they think HE’s hot? meh, not so much

    Comment by Curt – May 21, 2012 09:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why is everyone dissing AI contestants? Remember Constantine Maroulis killed Rock of Ages (Tony Nominee) and is now headlining Jekyll & Hyde. So if there are charismatic AI’s I’m not against it. Though I do support using some more people from Broadway.

    BTW Matt Giraud is actually a good choice – he is Mr. Personality Plus in concerts & performing and would do well on TV.

    Comment by JAO – May 21, 2012 09:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • But Constantine Maroulis always WAS a stage actor, who used American Idol to further his Broadway aspirations. Worked brilliantly, too.

      Comment by dee – May 21, 2012 12:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Because Katharine McPhee has demonstrated what’s wrong with hiring AI vets to pretend to be Broadway stars. They can’t act and they don’t have star power. They look sad in comparison with real stars like Hilty and Borle.

      Comment by Temis – May 21, 2012 01:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think because it wouldn’t make Smash original. It would become an extension of AI. McPhee looks like she made it outside of idol, but if you put every other idol on there, it takes away from her success in my opinion. you start making it all about AI, then the show loses it’s fizz.

      Comment by em – May 22, 2012 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For some reason (Chris) Daughtry’s face popped in my head for casting Danny. He’s definitely got the rock props and proved big time on Idol that he can sing a variety of genres. Don’t know if acting is in Daughtry’s wheelhouse, but he sure would be a crowd pleaser when he’s on stage. Does anyone else think he also has a little bit of the swagger of Donny Wahlberg? And blah to the suggestion of Melinda Doolittle – great voice but bad fit for Smash.

    Comment by Linderella – May 21, 2012 09:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • yah lets keep adding reality show people that cant act. maybe after Marlyn they can do a broadway verison of from Justin to Kelly that will fix this show!

    Comment by ggny – May 21, 2012 09:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I recently saw Justin Guarini in “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” in Atlanta. I have to say that he was quite good!

      Comment by Eileen – May 21, 2012 10:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I would have never believed Donnie Wahlberg could act after NKOTB until I saw a little HBO mini-series called Band of Brothers and he was amazing. Not all of the singers in the entertainment business or on TV singing competitions are one trick ponies. I think there’s an adage somewhere that says you can teach a singer to act but you can’t teach an actor to sing. Think of all the movies where the singing voices were dubbed because the “star” couldn’t sing her way out of a paper bag such as Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. If someone who competed The Voice, American Idol, or The X Factor has the right stuff for the part they should be considered like anyone else.

      Comment by Linderella – May 21, 2012 09:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ummm is this really a shakeup? Give us some real intel–like who’s NOT coming back! I’d like to say see ya later to Ellis and Dev in particular. Both characters have been cornered by their story lines with no way out.

    Comment by Marco – May 21, 2012 09:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thoughts exactly. If they plan to keep characters that everyone wants out of the show for good (Ellis, Dev and Leo) than adding 3 more to already overstuffed cast won`t do any good to anyone. So someone`s gotta go.

      Comment by diane – May 21, 2012 04:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Dev, Ellis, Frank, and Michael will not be back for Season 2.

      Comment by Jackson – May 23, 2012 07:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • love you Slezak but ALL of your suggestions are horrible casting choices for Smash.

    Comment by allie08 – May 21, 2012 09:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How about aWill Eids? He’s done a lot of Broadway showsand needs national exposure. Bring back Michael Mayer to direct so there’s a real Broadway director making casting decisions

    Comment by steve – May 21, 2012 10:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d like to see Diana DeGarmo join SMASH! She’s done quite a bit of musical theatre and she’s got an incredible voice! Also, Danny Gokey would be a great pick! He’s very cute, incredibly likeable and he can sing!

    I don’t care who they add though as long as Karen stays Marilyn and they finally put she and Derrick together! The chemistry between those two is incredible!!!

    Comment by Lori – May 21, 2012 10:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’ll be forced to stick hot pokers in my eyeballs if Danny Gokey ever appeared on my TV regularly again. Ick.

      Comment by dee – May 21, 2012 12:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please no Glee or Idol people! Find some unknowns! Also, no names because most actors/actresses will be like Uma Thurman and not really be able to sing! Plus, I like some of the chorus that SMASH has – why not give them more to do? Why do we need new hires? I love SMASH and hate Gossip Girl – I hope the new showrunner doesn’t ruin SMASH!

    Comment by Tracy – May 21, 2012 10:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Uma Thurman was paaaaainful. Much better to hire some Broadway star and have her play the role of a big movie star. If needed, have her start out with shaky pipes (singing below her ability) and then develop into a strong singer. This will 1) spare the audience the pain of listening to substandard singing in multiple episodes and 2) not make everyone look like morons for not realizing that Rebecca would sink the show. Apparently Ellis is the brains of the bunch, how terrifying is that!

      Comment by Temis – May 21, 2012 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Staten Island, the forgotten borough, would be great, especially since the scenes that were supposed to be Boston were actually shot on Staten Island at the St. George theatre.

    Comment by Robyn – May 21, 2012 10:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thinking about my post…I do have concerns about the GG showrunner making the show a younger, hipper trashier version of itself that will not work with the Broadway format. If you watch SMASH please tell me if you have the same concerns, also how old are you and do you like GG.

    I’m 47 and I don’t watch GG.

    Comment by Tracy – May 21, 2012 10:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I second that. I hope the show doesn’t turn out like GG… I’m 22 and watched the first two seasons of GG and it was never that good to begin with but then it became worse…not my cup of tea. I love SMASH and I’m really scared about this change of showrunner. Also I wish they would hire more Broadway actors and not Idol rejects. McPhee is a good pop singer but nowhere near Hilty’s talent as a singer and an actor in my opinion.

      Comment by Manny – May 21, 2012 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Exactly! What’s wrong with this show is that it’s implausible that Karen could compete with Ivy. Karen can sing but she is self-evidently not a star like Ivy is. No big surprise, since Ivy’s “day job” IS being a Broadway star. Katharine McPhee could not carry a Broadway musical like Megan Hilty does. But some showrunner from the CW isn’t going to understand why that mismatch is undermining the show’s credibility. If he starts in on the stunt-casting, it’s all over. Then the show is just repeating the Rebecca mistake, but in real life. It’s all too meta for me.

        Comment by Temis – May 21, 2012 01:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Yes! Thank you! I agree with everything you just said…McPhee is good but I don’t really believe in her acting compared to Hilty but I knew the season would eventually end with Karen picked for Marilyn because frankly Derek seemed to be infatuated with her since the start but I still was upset they didn’t pick Ivy… I don’t know in what parallel universe would Karen be picked over Ivy…no credibility whatsoever. And I’m afraid the new showrunner might bring the level of credibility even lower than it is now for next season.

          Comment by Manny – May 21, 2012 02:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why not just upgrade the ensemble characters? I’d love to see more of Bobby, Jessica and Dennis. New characters are nice but I’d much rather get to know the other members more first.

    Comment by Paige – May 21, 2012 10:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t believe how many people are slamming American Idol..this show has discovered a lot of great talent…that may not have been discovered. Not everyone is from NYC..There are some people on the other side of the country..you snobs from NYC! Broadway is great, but so is entertainment on television for us people not so blessed as NYC. I have never had the pleasure of going to Broadway…because it’s sooooooo far away! Not having a lot of disposable income to fly across country at the drop of a hat. Not living the high life, just an ordinary person..I love American Idol! I have faithfully watched from the beginning..and I have just as much opinion as you New Yorker’s! I also, love Smash and I think Katherine McPhee is doing a great job and she has an awesome voice! I saw Megan Hilty on the New Years Eve special on tv and she didn’t sing well..she was off tune and flat…I thought to myself..she is a Broadway star..ok..she was not good…hope she just had a bad night. I also think Zack Levi would be a great idea for one of the characters! I miss seeing him since his show, Chuck was cancelled. He sings really well! So please try to think of others besides yourselves in NYC….United States includes many States such as Nebraska, Colorado, California and Idaho. Not all is in NYC! I think Megan Hilty is pretty good cast as Ivy…she is a very self-centered focused only on getting what she wants no matter who she needs to step on…let’s sleep with the director..that should get me the lead! But, unfortunately she slept with Derek..he isn’t what you call loyal!

    Comment by Jojo – May 21, 2012 10:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Firstly, when Megan Hilty sang for New Years Eve, it was really cold and she managed to get through the song despite that. It wasn’t her best of course, but she was always great on Broadway. Also she’s not from NYC and she’s done a lot of musical theater shows in L.A., in fact she doesn’t even like NYC… I suggest you should do a bit of research on Hilty instead of criticizing her based on the only performance you’ve seen her do.
      I’ve gotta say, I have nothing against American Idol, it does open the door for many great performers and I do like Katherine McPhee but her voice is more suited for pop while Megan Hilty’s is completely Broadway, overall she has more control, vibrato and power to her voice.
      And…If you think that Ivy slept with Derek only so she could get the lead, then you didn’t understand anything about her character, try watching her scenes more carefully…

      Comment by Manny – May 21, 2012 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank you Jojo very well put. There are some very talented people all over the country. A I, is but one of the resources for talent available. There is also The Voice, America Has Talent, etc. My point, as was yours, I’m sure was that NYC is not the only place in the country to obtain characters for the show. Just because people tend to flock to NYC to be “discovered,” that dosen’t mean it is the only place to retrieve talented people.

      Comment by Dan – May 21, 2012 11:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh for God’s sake, where do you think these talented people in New York COME from? Hint: It’s NOT JUST NEW YORK! They DO come from all over the country! They end up in New York because that’s where the work is! Don’t be stupid! And if you’re making a show about BROADWAY PERFORMERS, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to choose BROADWAY PERFORMERS when you shoot the show in New York.

      Comment by dee – May 21, 2012 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m not from NYC. I’m from California but even at the distance of 3000 miles I can tell why Megan Hilty is a big Broadway star and Katharine McPhee will never be. Hilty can act and has star power. Those are essential qualities that AI does not select for. Broadway is not just about singing. They are performers, not studio musicians.

      Comment by Temis – May 21, 2012 01:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan.

    Comment by Jo Ann – May 21, 2012 10:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree! Jeremy Jordan would be fabulous on Smash! His voice is amazing and he acts beautifully! He’s definitely the guy!!

      Comment by Marsha – May 21, 2012 03:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If they’re adding three new characters they really need to get rid of Dev, Frank, Leo and Terrible Ellis.

    Comment by Jenny – May 21, 2012 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dear MATT,
    Might we suggest some BROADWAY STARS for these new roles rather than reality nobodys who disappeared when their respective seasons of Idol and The Voice ended?!

    Therefore:
    Courtney: Nikki M. James
    Danny: Jeremy Jordan
    Joe: Matt Doyle

    Comment by K – May 21, 2012 11:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If the show wants to maintain its NATIONAL ratings or even build on them, they should bring in someone with an established fanbase that’s national and not just people known to the Broadway world.

      At least one of these roles should go to someone people outside of NY have heard of.

      Comment by dkd – May 21, 2012 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Okay, so they should pander to people who don’t understand what it takes to be a Broadway star at the expense of what shreds of credibility this show has left? Not to mention the irony of what you are suggesting – Rebecca was BAD because she was a pandering example of stunt casting,, or didn’t you get that part? Well, I doubt S2 will represent some big ratings turnaround. There will be no S3, so if the show is going to go down, it might as well go down like the Hindenburg.

        Comment by Temis – May 21, 2012 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I almost wonder if they are going to “open” another show, maybe for Ivy. Don’t know how many more original songs they can add to Marilyn and really, I don’t need to hear any more covers.
    It seems pretty clear the show will have to go “beyond Marilyn” to open up story lines (and give the cast more people to hook up with).

    Comment by danoregon – May 21, 2012 11:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t know if he’s got the acting chops, but as far as versatility amongst AI, I would cast David Cook for Danny in a heartbeat. I just remember how blown away I was by his performance of Phantom during Sir ALW week.

    Comment by BrazenSongBird – May 21, 2012 11:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How about hiring some of the incredibly talented kids who gradhate from MT programs? They’ve studied and worked hard to hone their skills and deserve to be considered. I’m really tired of folks thinking that manufactured personas from crap like American Idol are what “musical theater” is about.

    Comment by Suzanne – May 21, 2012 11:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why should they cast former reality-competition show also-rans? There are plenty of talented, unknown, struggling actors and actresses out there who would be better fits than people who tried getting famous through elaborate televised karaoke contests.

    Comment by B – May 21, 2012 12:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Because, as cruel a reality as it is, show business is primarily that, a business. The AI alumni bring just enough notoreity, but are relatively inexpensive to use. Look at how Smash has been cast: you have a few “big” name stars playing the supporting acting roles and an AI alum and a broadway star carrying the show. Do you honestly believe that Megan Hilty would have been able to draw those ratings by herself? No. People tuned in to see what Kat McPhee was up to. And see Debra Messing again. And see Angelica Huston (and later Uma Thurman) on tv period! It may not be fair, and believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of it, but it’s a truth about the business of show business.

      Comment by BrazenSongBird – May 21, 2012 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • F***, thought they were firing Ellis

    Comment by Raineri – May 21, 2012 12:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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