In a feature Entertainment Weekly interview-story, the cast and crew of Smash revealed MANY interesting season 2 details, including those about the two new original musicals to be introduced, and just who will be playing Marilyn in Bombshell. Smash stars Megan Hilty, Jennifer Hudson, and Katherine McPhee also graced the front cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly.

Entertainment Weekly‘s 11 page spread featured new season 2 info on the new plot points and characters smashing their way onto the NBC musical-drama this February.

The musical Hudson’s character Veronica Moore will star in is called Beautiful and will feature “an Etta James-style singer in the 1960’s.” However, the musical had to change directions from its original plot surrounding “the first African-American supermodel” once showrunners decided to take Hudson’s character on a different arc.

The original song for Beautiful that was already shot and produced, titled “Take a Picture…It Lasts Longer” was cut from the season 2 premiere. Executive producer Josh Safran said “We all realized that maybe that [original] introductory number did not service Veronica Moore’s arc as well as this.” But “Take a Picture…It Lasts Longer” may still show up. “We went back and retrofitted a musical that closely mirrored Ronnie’s emotional landscape with her mother,” said Safran. In the mean time, Hudson will perform a tune called “Mamma Makes Three” in the premiere.

When asked about her role on Smash, Hudson said that “I found this role kind of intimidating, like, ‘Oh my God, I have to sing, act, dance, perform all at once.’ But I just loved what this show was about.” She will also be performing an original song “I Can’t Let Go” at the end of the season 2 premiere episode.

The show that will directly compete with Bombshell is called Hit List. It was described as being a Rent-esque production, “spearheaded by a bad-boy composer named Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan).” This show gave Smash the ability to cast younger actors, who have the potential to be more top-40 friendly. Executive producer Craig Zadan claimed “It’s a much sexier show, a much younger show, a much cooler show.”

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With all of the changes in season 2, everything felt brand new on the set.

“It’s a different energy, which is kind of nice because at the beginning you feel like you’re a little bit of an outsider looking in,” Newsies star Jordan said. “I compared it to being a replacement on a Broadway show, which is always weird at first.”

The last batch of news the cast offered was a set of bombshells on its own. Katherine McPhee (Karen) criptically said that “The part of Marilyn is sort of up in the air again because Karen makes a bold choice to do something entirely different.” But just what could that bold choice be? And could it relate to this on-set spoiler we covered about a potential dream sequence? Lastly, Debra Messing confirmed that her character, Julia, won’t have any scenes with her Will and Grace co-star, Sean Hayes.

The cast and crew commented on the changes in season 2, and what simply didn’t work in season 1. Steven Spielberg, another executive producer, recalled hiring Smash’s new showrunner. “Safran pitched his point of view, and it was unanimous with everyone in the room that he had an authentic understanding of theatre and drama and comedy.” Commenting on the show’s past mistakes, executive producer Craig Zadan said “When we went to the personal stories, the show bogged down. And the show went from being incredibly special to kind of ordinary.”

On a lighter note, McPhee lamented about the first season’s infamous Bollywood number “A Thousand and One Nights.”

“People will criticize the Bollywood number, but in all honesty you don’t really know while you’re filming,” she said. “You think, ‘Well, on the page this could work.’ There’s a lot of things you think are going to work beautifully, and they don’t.”


What are you looking forward to in season 2?

Smash returns on NBC on Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. EST for a two-hour premiere, and will continue to air at a 10 p.m. EST slot. For the entire article, check out the latest EW issue, on stands this week.

Photos: Entertainment Weekly

Quiz: What is your pet’s Ilvermorny house?

Why should you be the only one who gets a second wizarding house?

1:00 pm EDT, July 29, 2016

Will your pet be sorted into the same Ilvermorny house as you, or will you have to disown them for joining your rival?

Step aside Hogwarts, there’s a new wizarding school in town (or rather, across the sea)! With a new school comes new houses, and a new sorting test. You might’ve gone through an identity crisis after taking the test for yourself, but you’re not the only one who needs sorting. That furry, scaly, or feathery friend needs to know where they belong too, and we’re here to do just that! Last time we helped you find out what Hogwarts house your pet would be sorted into, so now we’ll help you figure out what Ilvermorny house they belong in.

It’s typical for pets to have similar personalities to their owners, so maybe your pet will end up in the same house as you. But to those who have house rivalries, brace yourselves: It’s also possible your pet will end up in a different house than you, maybe even your rival house! Will you be saying ‘bye bye birdie,’ or do you thrive in competition? That probably depends on your Hogwarts and Ilvermorny house.

Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or reptile, all pets are welcome at Hypable’s Ilvermorny sorting ceremony! Take the quiz below and let us know where your pet’s loyalties lie, and be sure to take it for each of your pets (unless they’re a squib. Is there an American name for squib?). Don’t want any of them to feel left out!

Now that you know your pet’s Ilvermorny house, maybe you’ll want to decorate their bed with their house crest (shoutout to the Hufflepuffs)! Or maybe you’ll forbid them from entering your room if they’re in a different house (shoutout to the Slytherins)!

Did your pet get the same Ilvermorny house as you?

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?