Marilyn in the news

Sunday, March 25, 2012

NBC Renews 'Smash' for Second Season

Smash becomes the network's second pickup this season (behind fantasy procedural Grimm) under new entertainment topper Robert Greenblatt, who brought the series about the making of a Broadway play about Marilyn Monroe with him to the network after departing Showtime.

The series, which received heavy promotion on NBC during the Super Bowl, opened strong out of the gate for the fourth-place broadcaster in February and has been considered a passion project -- and big bet -- for Greenblatt.

The musical drama starring Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty ranks as the network's No. 1 drama in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and total viewers. The series is up 160 percent in the demo when compared with the network's season average in the 10 p.m. Monday slot, averaging a 2.6 rating vs. 1.0 when factoring in Live Plus Same Day viewership. In total viewers, Smash is up 100 percent in the slot (7.7 million total viewers vs. 3.9 million.)

An NBC spokesperson notes that it's unclear how many episodes Season 2 will have.

The executive, as well as series creator Theresa Rebeck, told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in January -- ahead of its February bow -- that she already had a plan for Season 2.
 "The second season, if we're lucky enough to get one, would be Marilyn comes to Broadway and how it fares in New York," she said at the time.

Asked if there could be a new play that begins being workshopped should the series earn a renewal, Greenblatt later told reporters in January that it was unclear. "The Season 2 plan is Marilyn goes to Broadway, and after that we'll decide if a new show should emerge," he said. Added EP Marc Shaiman: "The show itself is telling us; it's not like we don't think ahead. What we thought nine months ago is changing week to week as the actors bring what they bring."

Smash, from Universal Television, features a behind-the-scenes Broadway pedigree that includes Rebeck, Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and counts Steven Spielberg among its executive producers. Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport and Christian Borle co-star.

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