Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) makes a return to comedy this fall in Sean Saves The World. Whether he saves the world remains to be seen. For right now, he’s saving one of his former Smash co-stars from the unemployment line. Sadly, the new gig is a double-edge sword. Good news is any paying gig is a good gig. Bad news, it’s a comedy on NBC which means no one will probably watch it and most likely get canceled. Hayes’ sitcom is a strong contender to be offed early.
On his new show, Hayes’ character attempts to both parent the teenage daughter who just moved in and appease a temperamental new boss. This Smash alum will play Liz, the best friend and co-worker of Sean’s. In the pilot, Lindsay Sloane played the part, but is now being replaced. Find out by whom below.
It was all razzle and dazzle last night in New York City for the Tony Awards. Neil Patrick Harris returned for a fourth time to host the annual event celebrating the best on Broadway. Leading the pack was the Cyndi Lauper-Harvey Fierstein collaboration Kinky Boots which walked away with six awards, including best musical, best original score (Lauper) and best leading man (Billy Porter).
Speaking of Porter, his win was part of a historic night for African-American actors, who took three out of the four acting awards. Patina Miller and Cicely Tyson won for Pippin and The Trip to Bountiful respectively. Tyson returned to Broadway after a 30 year absence. It was the 79-year-old’s first Tony win. Not only did she look fantastic, but she delivered an elegantly poised heartwarming speech. Love this woman.
Other big winners of the night were Matilda the Musical and Pippin which won four awards apiece. Christopher Durang’s comical Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the best play Tony.
As you would expect, the telecast featured some amazing musical numbers. This year’s batch included ones from Motown the Musical, Bring It On The Musical, Pippin, Matilda The Musical and of course Kinky Boots to name a few. The cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella performed “Impossible.” As good as that number was, the song (for me) will forever be associated with Brandy and Whitney Houston. Loved their duet on the Disney musical from eons ago.
The highlight for me though was one that featured actors from recently canceled NBC shows performing with Harris. Andrew Rannells (The New Normal), Laura Benanti (Go On) and Megan Hilty (Smash) hilariously sang/talked about their failed Hollywood projects. Definitely a must-see. Check out all the memorable performances from last night below.
Smash is pretty much the equivalent of Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking. It’s only a matter of time til NBC puts it out of its misery. They might as well make it official. The peacock network banished the musical to Saturday nights and the show’s stars including Debra Messing have started landing roles in pilots.
The eventual cancellation of Smash won’t be due to lack of effort. New showrunner Josh Safran certainly pulled out all the stops for Season 2. He wrote off several hated characters, most notably Ellis (Jaime Cepero), and gave Julia (Debra Messing) a brand new scarf-free look. He also enticed several high-profile names to guest star on the show including Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes and Jesse L. Martin. Even with that, Smash quickly crashed in the ratings. If Hudson’s heavily-promoted stint couldn’t bring in the ratings, I highly doubt Liza Minnelli can, especially now that it’s on Saturday night.
NBC just debuted a clip featuring Minnelli’s guest spot. She appears as herself singing a duet with Tom (Christian Borle). Together, they serenade Ivy (Megan Hilty) at a New York lounge. Snagging a film and Broadway legend is a major coup. Sadly, it won’t bring back Smash to life. Get your sneak peek at Liza below. Her episode airs this Saturday night.
Poor Smash. Even with Jennifer Hudson, better storylines and no Ellis (Jaime Cepero), the ratings are sucking big time. It truly is a shame because Season 2 is so much better than the musical show’s freshman year. Much of that is due to the addition of Jeremy Jordan. The Broadway star (Newsies) has a killer voice and is pretty easy on the eyes. Imagine my jubilation when I came across a video of him performing a duet with another Broadway favorite.
Jordan recently participated in a fundraiser where he covered one of Smash‘s signature tracks- “Let Me Be Your Star.” If you watch the show, you’ll fondly remember it from the pilot originally sung by Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty. Jeremy enlisted Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) to join him on the tune. He jokingly referred to Jonathan as his professional nemesis since Groff frequently beats him for jobs. The two slay “Let Me Be Your Star” and even don blond wigs during it. They may sound great, but they make for some fugly Marilyn Monroes.
Speaking of Monroe, Megan Hilty who vied hardcore to score the lead in the show’s musical Bombshell releases her debut album, It Happens All The Time, this week. The 31-year-old Broadway vet recently unveiled the lyric video for the lead cut, “No Cure.” Her debut effort fresh interpretations of compositions by contemporary songwriters as Aimee Mann, Sara Bareilles, Bruno Mars, Damien Rice and Taylor Swift. Listen to “No Cure” below, along with Jordan and Groff’s duet.
Can we just officially rename the show to Smash featuring Jennifer Hudson? With the amount of hoopla and attention regarding the addition of Hudson, it only makes sense. I admit, I’m giving the NBC musical show a second shot solely due to the Weight Watchers spokesperson. I even watched Dreamgirls again the other day to get ready for Smash’s Season 2 premiere on February 5.
During NBC’s TCA press tour, the cast and producers took to the stage to face the music. Many of the questions asked by television critics revolved around the changes in store for viewers now that Smash has a new showrunner. Josh Safran (Gossip Girl) promised more music and less scarves. LOL. Regarding the latter, Debra Messing’s wardrobe was the subject of a lot of Twitter hate.
“I think it’s (still) ‘Smash’: I don’t think it’s changed that much. Stuff from last year that you loved is still there, and maybe stuff people thought went off on tangents we’ve looked at (and) sort of tried to find a way to put back together. – Safran
Messing’s neckwear might be gone and so are four original characters including the much reviled Ellis (Jamie Cepero), but he may not be gone forever. On the second episode of Season 2, Ellis is heard on a phone call. Does that mean, we might see the scheming character pop up in person later in the season? Fingers crossed, he does and a spotlight lands on that curly haired head of his ;) Check out the newest trailer of Smash below. There’s even more J-Hud fabulousness than before.
If the Smash thing doesn’t work out for the ladies, someone needs to cast this lovely trio for a musical incarnation of Charlie’s Angels. Can’t you just picture them parading around in glittery dresses belting out tunes while solving Broadway-related crimes? I can ;) Can’t be worse than ABC’s failed reboot of the iconic 70s series last year.
Entertainment Weekly tapped Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty and Jennifer Hudson for their Winter Television Preview issue. Say what you will about American Idol being irrelevant, but the show does discover and create stars. Pretty amazing that two alums were picked to grace the cover instead of a long list of other stars including Oscar and Emmy winners. Check out more photos of each of the ladies below.
Hot off the wheels of earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical or Comedy (YUP, I’m still wrapping my head around that), NBC has released the first official cast promo photos for the second season. While the pilot was spectacular, the season for the most part was very uneven. It never really found its footing and hopefully new showrunner Joshua Safran will work his executive producing magic. After all, he was in charge of Gossip Girl when it was fantastic during the first couple seasons.
Most of the promotion for Smash Season 2 has revolved around the addition of Jennifer Hudson. As excited as I am for her and think she can solely save the show, there are other newbies worth mentioning. Andy Mientus and Jeremy Jordan are two welcome pieces of man candy. Both are Broadway vets who appeared in Spring Awakening and Newsies respectively. Cast as Katharine McPhee’s new BFF is Kyrsta Rodriguez. Like Mientus, she was a member of Spring Awakening where Lea Michele (Glee) got her big break. Check out the new promo photos below.
Ever wanted to kiss John Stamos? If so, you could’ve had the honor at this past weekend’s GLAAD Awards in New York City. Patrick first wrote about the man smooch in his recap of the awards the other day, but I’ve got the video of Stamos locking lips. Here’s a little backstory on how and why it went down.
“Glee” stars Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera were co-hosting the event and decided to auction off a kiss for charity. Monteith told the audience “I have kissed Naya and it is fricken’ awesome,” while Rivera stayed true to her Santana character and did some smack talking. She taunted, “It’s officially a kiss-off between my juicy lips and his thin ones.” OH, SNAP.
John Stamos wasn’t initially part of the auction. He was in the audience and actually bidding for Monteith’s services. As the crowd cheered and hollered, Stamos decided to go on stage and decided to donate his lips for the impromptu fundraiser as well. All three fetched $5,000 for the opportunity to taste their luscious lips. Both Stamos and Rivera’s winners were both male, while Monteith’s smoocher was “Smash” star Megan Hilty.
Watch the clip of all three locking lips below. The best part is when Stamos motions his winning bidder over and tells him to come to “Uncle Jesse“. It’s so wrong, but yet so hot… don’t you think?