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Smash on NBC

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Mark Seliger/NBC.

It’s no secret that TV musicals are hot right now (ahem, Glee) but NBC’s new Steven Spielberg–produced contribution to the genre is something we haven’t seen before: a musical drama. Smash follows the creation of a new Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe by a producer, played by Anjelica Huston, lyricist Julia, played by Debra Messing, and her writing partner, Tom, played by Christian Brodie. Katharine McPhee, of American Idol fame, stars as Karen, the struggling actress competing for the title role. The plot may sound cliché, but with well-known Broadway director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot) behind the camera, and composers of the shows Hairspray and Catch Me if You Can turning out original music, the series promises to be an entertaining and authentic glimpse into the New York theater world. If the première (which airs on Monday at 10 P.M.) is any indication, it’s going to be a…well, you know.

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