Smash is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theatre as it follows a cross section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire – to be a “Smash.”
The series centres on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe – written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle, Legally Blonde: The Musical) and Julia (Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, Will & Grace).
Julia recently began the process of adopting a child with her husband Frank (Tony Award nominee Brian d’Arcy James, Shrek the Musical) of many years, but her focus is torn when she has the opportunity to write another Broadway hit.
A rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty Karen (Katharine McPhee, American Idol) – who is trying to find fame in the big city against all odds – and stage veteran Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty, 9 to 5: The Musical, Wicked), who’s determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break.
A tenacious producer Eileen (Oscar winner Anjelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor) discovers the “Marilyn” project and jumps on board with a brilliant director Derek Wills (Jack Davenport, Pirates of the Caribbean films) – whose talent is matched by his cunning and egocentric amorality.
Jaime Cepero (Porgy and Bess) stars as Tom’s assistant Ellis, and Raza Jaffrey (Sex and the City 2, MI-5) stars as Karen’s boyfriend Dev. Guest stars in the 15 episode series include Uma Thurman as movie star Rebecca Duvall, Bernadette Peters playing Ivy’s Tony Award winning mother Leigh Conroy and Nick Jonas as Lyle West who started as a child actor on Broadway and is now a television sitcom star.
The series stemmed from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (ER, Schindler’s List).
The pilot was written by creator/executive producer and acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck (Mauritius, NYPD Blue). David Marshall Grant (Brothers and Sisters), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar winning Chicago and Hairspray) and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (United States of Tara, The Borgias) also serve as executive producers.
Original songs are written by Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can), who serve as executive producers as well. Smash is a production of Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television and Madwoman in the Attic.