Interview: BOOK OF MORMON star Andrew Rannells becomes THE NEW NORMAL

Andrew Rannells in THE NEW NORMAL - Season 1 | ©2012 NBC/Timothy White

On NBC’s THE NEW NORMAL, which premieres tonight at 9:30 PM after several previews, Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha play Bryan and David, who turn to single mom Goldie (Georgia King) to be the surrogate mother for their child. Created by Ali Adler and Ryan Murphy (the latter of GLEE and AMERICAN HORROR STORY), the half-hour comedy also stars Ellen Barkin as Goldie’s ferociously disapproving grandmother, Bebe Wood as Goldie’s accepting young daughter and NeNe Leakes as Bryan and David’s friend and assistant. Rannells is new-minted Broadway royalty, having originated the role of Elder Price in the mega-hit musical THE […]Read On »

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TCA 2012: NBC talks about SMASH Season 2 and why changes were made

Brian d'Arcy, Frank Houston, Jaime Cepero, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Raza Jaffrey in SMASH - Season 1 | ©2011 NBC/Mark Seliger

Despite an uneven first season, NBC renewed SMASH for a second season and brought in new showrunner Josh Safron to get the show focused. At the NBCUniversal Summer 2012 Press Tour, Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt discussed the changes on the horizon and why they were made. “I’m inordinately proud of SMASH on so many levels,” explains Greenblatt. “The complexity of producing that show every week is just incredible. And as a television producer and as a Broadway producer, which I once was, I am in awe of what we can do on that show every week. It’s a big soap […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ROCK OF AGES

ROCK OF AGES movie poster | ©2012 New Line Cinema

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Malin Akerman, Bryan Cranston, Paul Giamatti, Mary J. Blige Writers: Justin Theroux and Chris D’Arienzo and Allan Loeb, based on the stage musical book by Chris D’Arienzo Director: Adam Shankman Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: June 15, 2012 ROCK OF AGES the movie is adapted from ROCK OF AGES, the Broadway jukebox musical. A “jukebox musical,” for those unfamiliar with the term, is a show with a non-original score – in this instance, think MAMMA MIA!, but with Eighties rock and pop instead of ABBA […]Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Bombshell” – Season Finale

Katharine McPhee in SMASH - Season 1 - "Bombshell" | ©2012 NBC/Eric Liebowitz

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: Theresa Rebeck Director: Michael Morris Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: May 15, 2012 My biggest regret of the entire 2011-2012 TV season – sticking with NBC’s Broadway musical series SMASH to the bitter end. And it’s been a hard pill to swallow. It’s a show that started off strong, and then, through a series of bad decisions and one awful storyline after another, destroyed the show’s entire existence. The story was all about finding the right Marilyn Monroe for a new Broadway production – and […]Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Previews”

Katharine McPhee in SMASH - Season 1 - "Previews" | ©2012 NBC/Will Hart

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writer: David Marshall Grant Director: Robert Duncan McNeill Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: May 8, 2012 As SMASH nears next week’s Season 1 finale, one can’t help but scratch their head at how a once promising show sunk so low, so fast. While I still admit to being fascinated by a handful of characters and the backstage antics pertaining to the Broadway music itself, it’s the misguided decisions where the writers have forced their generally well-written characters to partake in that just strips the show of […]Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Publicity”

Katherine McPhee stars in SMASH Publicity on NBC | © 2012/Will Hart

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: Theresa Rebeck Director: Michael Mayer Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: April 23, 2012 You can’t help wondering, sometimes, if SMASH creator Theresa Rebeck, who is also a playwright, has had more than one run-in with a movie actor. In “Publicity,” an episode she wrote, she’s got more fun and games going with Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman), the movie actress brought in to play Marilyn in order to attract investors and an audience. But once again, the story line moves away from the show and more into the […]Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “The Movie Star”

Uma Thurman in SMASH - Season 1 - "The Movie Star" | ©2012 NBC/Will Hart

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky Director: Tricia Brock Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: April 17, 2012 SMASH course-corrects and gets a little bit on track with “The Movie Star” which brings Uma Thurman in as pampered Hollywood star Rebecca Duvall. There’s still tons of soapy irritants, but the ingredients that keep the show interesting is when the series focuses on putting on a show. The struggle this episode concerns Duvall, who proves to be flighty, unreliable, bossy and not a very good singer. In fact, […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: Gentlemen prefer SMASH star Megan Hilty

Megan Hilty in SMASH - Season 1 | ©2012 NBC/Patrick Randak

While Megan Hilty is best known for her Broadway turns in 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL and WICKED, moving to TV was much easier than expected when she landed the role of Ivy Lynn on NBC’s new hit series SMASH. It’s set in the world of Broadway, with Ivy being a long-time chorus girl on Broadway who is given the chance to workshop the role of Marilyn Monroe on the series’ fictitious play BOMBSHELL. Of course things don’t go as planned, with unexpected rivalry with newbie Karen (Katharine McPhee) and now, with a movie star (Uma Thurman) coming in to […]Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Understudy”

Uma Thurman in SMASH - Season 1 - "Understudy" | ©2012 NBC/Will Hart

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: Jason Grote Director: Mimi Leder Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: April 9, 2012 Sometimes you just wish you could holler at the writers of SMASH “the play’s the thing.” This episode, “Understudy,” gets it, well, almost. We’ve still got lyricist Julia (Debra Messing) still dealing with her husband leaving her, which is sad and all, but we’re not seeing its affect on the show. Dev (Raza Jaffrey) is having a really, really bad day, being passed up for a much-wanted promotion to a scumbucket – but again, just […]Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Hell On Earth”

Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty in SMASH - Season 1 - "Hell On Earth" | ©2012 NBC/Craig Blankenhorn

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Anjelica Houston Writers: Scott Burkhardt Director: Paul McGuigan Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: April 4, 2012 After the nosedive SMASH took last week, the only place to go was up which is what “Hell on Earth” does, but only marginally. It’s another wading water episode until we get some movie star power with Uma Thurman next week. The big news this week is watching Ivy (Megan Hilty) go on a downward spiral into self-pity and heavy medication (shades of Marilyn?). It’s already been established she has adverse reaction […]Read On »

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