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

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?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. KathyNYC says:

    I would like to see more of the backstory of Nick the Bartender..with or without Eileen. He is one of the few characters who is still a mystery to me and I am interested to learn more about. And give Debra a decent storyline..but god, don’t let her be pregnant. What an unappealing predictable inane storyline that would be…mooning over Michael, that dog of a character. I want to see more of her husband Brian Darcy James. And you can never have too much Christian Borle.

  2. Temis says:

    Deck chairs on the Titanic time. Broadway vets would be far better cast members than American Idol alumni because the former know how to sing, and act, and project a character on stage or on screen. We need more Megan Hiltys and fewer Katharine McPhee’s. But the demands of drawing a fanbase will push more McPhee’s on the show. Meanwhile, the show will prove unsalvageable in any case. It’s the boss’ pet, so cancellation will be staved off till the end of the season. There will be no S3.

  3. Rick says:

    If you really want to see more of Brian Darcy James warch Sunday’s ep of The Big C on Showtime in which he appears butt naked.

  4. Karrie says:

    I’m betting that most of the ones that M.Sleazak suggested have not ever acted! Not only do they need to be able to sing but also ACT!

  5. Fran says:

    Not a big fan of Kat McPhee in Smash, but I do think there are some American Idol people who would do a decent job if hired. Plus, a lot of them have Broadway experience. Syesha Mercado is gorgeous, has an amazing voice and also knows how to act. I also like the suggestion of Puck from Glee (seeing that they really don’t make enough use of that actor!).

  6. Marsha says:

    Just an aside…….for all of you who have been complaining about how terrible Uma Thurman was as Rebecca, it was NOT Uma who was terrible! Rebecca was WRITTEN to perform terribly!!! How could you people not see that? I totally agree that the actor’s names are what will draw the audience; they need top actors AND singers! THE perfect male lead (and georgeous too) would be Jeremy Jordan! He would really bring something to Smash that ALL the female audience will just love!!

  7. Fabe says:

    I’m hoping since Josh ran Gossip Girl that he will be able to make the soapy storylines much better (if they have to do soapy!). I wish the episodes were more in line with the pilot’s tone and mood.

  8. I don’t watch American Idol so I don’t know if any contestant would be qualified to act, but why can’t they go with either actors who can sing or Broadway/musical theater people?

    It would be interesting to see the demographics of Smash viewers. How many are watching for Katharine McPhee? I’m definitely not. If they keep promoting her like she’s the best thing since sliced bread and/or bring in more people like her (and try to convince the audience that they are just amazing when they are not), I’ll stop watching. Ivy’s no angel but she has moments where you feel for her and other moments where you think she’s a bitch. Karen is just too “perfect” and it’s not believable at all.

  9. Denise Krivitsky says:

    Haley Reinhart!!!! She could come in as the real bad girl. And she has a fantastic voice and stage presence. That girl has amazing talent and her new album drops tomorrow!!!

  10. I think Katharine McPhee is doing well considering her little experience of acting before “Smash”. I actually want the ensemble (Dennis, Bobby, etc…) to play more important roles but with the new additions, that’s unlikely. And though I’m gay myself, I just hope that we’ll see less of Tom because I can’t warm up to him, he complains all the time & that annoys me. Anyway, I hope the show will get better. I like Season 1 although there are many flaws.

  11. russell says:

    When they had Tony Yazbeck on for two episodes as the Dimaggio replacement I though that is exactly who would be playing Dimaggio on broadway. Will Chase is a good actor but not remotely like Dimaggio

  12. SE says:

    NOOOO!!! Do not make a freaking habit of taking reality show losers and pretending their actors. Give us some unknown Broadway talents who deserve the spotlight because they can sing, act, and dance. There are not a lot of McPhees roaming around the reality circuit, and to be perfectly honest, the fact that she was on Idol makes me like her even less. More Broadway, less Reality TV!!!!

  13. star says:

    In an interview Kat McPhee suggested having Ryan Gosling on Smash…I say it would be interesting to have him as Danny lol

  14. JC says:

    Why are all Slezak’s suggestions people from Idol or The Voice? Just because those people can sing does not mean they can ACT.

  15. Izzie Duquette says:

    Does this mean I never have to see Bobby again? Also, that self-destructive guy better stay away from Ivy

  16. Shelli says:

    I luv would to see Danny becomes Karen’s luv interest. I don’t like her former poltic Dev,he’s a jerk. I hope Adam Lamburg’ll play Joe or get Clay Aiken play him,that would be hilrous.

  17. blair says:

    can we just take a moment to have a laugh about the fact that safran is adding a character called DANny mid 20s from brooklyn? when he got out of gossip girl exactly because he turned the show into the dan humphrey show and the audience hated it?
    it sounds hilarious to me, tbh.

  18. bfmama92 says:

    I like Tamyra Grey, Zach Levi and Mark Salling for the characters. I just hope the straight character isn’t for Karen (at least for the long haul). For me, Karen and Derek are IT (at some point I only watched the show for the music and their scenes together). Even if it doesn’t happen next season, the show needs to head in that direction. I do think they both need to “grow up” first though. I’m willing to wait (like with Bones, Castle, etc.). So, as long as the new show runner doesn’t screw up the inevitability of CartWills, I’m good.

  19. Jeannie says:

    Melinda Doolittle! I hope they take that suggestion and add her to Smash! I saw her onstage years ago at the lil Boiler Room theatre in Tennessee in Nunsense, she has a great voice!

  20. Standswithafist says:

    For the first role, Nikki M. James from Book of Mormon the Musical, hands down.

  21. beebeebee says:

    Megan is good but not right for Marilyn. Derek was right to pick Karen. Out of the 3 that played her, Karen was the best pick. Hilty is just too Broadway brassy. That is NOT what Marilyn was like. The only Idol that can sing AND act and has proven Broadway chops is Constantine. He’d fit in. But, overall, the scripts need to improve and the story lines need to become cohesive. I really hope it doesn’t become like GG. Yuck!

  22. Paul says:

    Sasha Allen should definitely be considered for the role of Courtney. She was in “CAMP” and is currently in the West End production of “HAIR”…now THAT’s a powerhouse voice

  23. Dkzigs says:

    Yeah, I’m not even a musical theater program and even I can admitt the best thing about Smash’s first season was Megan Hilty–it’s not about bring pop-culturally relevant/established, REAL broadway talent like that stands on it’s own, draws you in, and make their co-stars look sad by comparison…no matter how hard the network tries to prop them up.

  24. Dkzigs says:

    Yeah, I’m not even a musical theater person and even I can admitt the best thing about Smash’s first season was Megan Hilty–it’s not about bring pop-culturally relevant/established, REAL broadway talent like that stands on it’s own, draws you in, and make their co-stars look sad by comparison…no matter how hard the network tries to prop them up.

  25. BroadwayDiva says:

    I say Jussie Smollett for the role of Joe. He’s super cute, just starred as a gay character in a film called The Skinny, is a singer who sings his face off and comes from a talented family (his sister is Friday Night Lights acrtess Jurnee Smollett) He looks like he’s black or puerto Rican which comes perfectly being from brroklyn. I say enough already with the A.I. casting sessions. Kate is perfect. but not another.

    • SongzInTheKeyofLive says:

      That actually would be a really good casting. I enjoyed him in the skinny and he’s super likeable and can really sing.

  26. ar says:

    I agree with most of u. Glad to see Michael go, annoyed Safrans taking over. Glad Ellis is out. Kats performance was breathtaking, and obviously gave a different perspective to Marilyn Monroe, versus Sleezy Ivy, who clearly had borderline personality disorder Really sad about Dev :[ they should leave the show mostly as is, and decrease the stereotype of infidelity in this type of industry ad well as how sleeping around can potentially “get u the part”.. Tho Kate got it, she still had that element of want what u can’t have, which will entice some sort of sexual inappropriate relationship / scandal…

  27. justAnotherVoice says:

    Two words come to mind when I think of major talent that could rock the smash house with theatrics and character: ADAM LAMBERT

  28. Emily says:

    I’d like to make a motion that we go find some more BRITISH actors and actresses. Reason #1: They will all have sexy accents. Reason #2: ALL British actors started out acting on the stage, you know, in REAL theatre. It’s the only way to break into acting across the pond. Reason #3: You’d be surprised at how many of them have incredible singing voices. Reason #4: Did I mention the sexy accents?

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  30. Bee bee says:

    Put Adam lambert anywhere, he can out sing anyone! Until then , I won’t watch!

  31. Gatas Nuas says:

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