Debra Messing

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Pilot Season: Smash's Debra Messing Lands Lead in CBS Comedy

Debra Messing

Another nail landed in the Smash coffin Monday: Star Debra Messing has been cast in the lead role of an untitled CBS comedy pilot from former Sex and the City writers, TVGuide.com has learned.

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Smash 2.0's 10 Big Changes: Upgrade or Downgrade?

Katharine McPhee

A new showrunner! New cast members! No more Ellis! There has been hoopla surrounding the many changes made to Smash for months and on Tuesday, the lovers, and hate-watchers, finally got a peek behind the curtain at just what Smash 2.0 really is. So is it really a better show? Or is this tune still slightly off key? We weigh in on the musical drama's 10 biggest changes (so far)... read more

The Tuesday Playlist: Second Act for Smash, Kiss and Tell on New Girl?

Katharine McPhee, Jeremy Jordan

Someone should make a musical about the remaking of Smash between its first and second seasons. Let's call it Phantom of the Rewrite.

Or maybe The (New) Producers, seeing how NBC replaced the original creator/showrunner in hopes of calming this elaborate backstage drama's own behind-the-scenes creative turmoil, which manifested on screen in turgid and oft-ridiculed soap opera between the splashy production numbers (which are still mostly terrific). Smash 2.0 (Tuesday, 9/8c) wastes no time addressing, while slyly commenting on, the show's problem spots, many involving Debra Messing's character, insecure lyricist-librettist Julia Houston. Her dull husband, cloddish son and needy lover? History. Her hideous scarves? Mocked. Also soon to be gone. Along with reviled characters like the scheming, lurking Ellis and Karen's cheating ex, Dev.

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Smash's New Boss Tries to Turn Hate-Watchers into Hope-Watchers in Season 2

Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee

All eyes are on Smash as the NBC musical drama prepares to unveil its second season on Tuesday (9/8c on NBC). But it's not because fans are dying to know whether Ivy (Megan Hilty) survived her possible pill overdose or if Karen (Katharine McPhee) ditched her cheating boyfriend — it's because fans are waiting to see just how much the Smash they loved, and more famously loved to hate, has changed its tune.

Premiering on NBC a year ago with impressive critical acclaim and almost inescapable advertising, Smash follows the creation of Bombshell, a new Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, and the characters involved behind the scenes. Over the first season, ingénues Karen and Ivy tried to out-diva each other for the main role while juggling messy love lives, lyricist Julia (Debra Messing) cheated on... read more

Ask Matt: Cancellations (Last Resort, Ben and Kate), Smash, Switched at Birth

Last Resort

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: While I'm not happy Last Resort was canceled, I would like to thank ABC and the producers for allowing this show to have an actual ending, with [SPOILER ALERT] Marcus showing his love for his country and sub by dying to make sure the Chinese didn't get it. Like you said in one of your daily reviews, any ending is better than a cliffhanger. I was satisfied with the ending. — Foster

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Ask Matt: TV Musicals, Revenge, Homeland, Once Upon a Time, Parenthood, More

Emily VanCamp

Question: After the embarrassing debacle of Viva Laughlin, I figured network TV wouldn't ever touch musical dramas ever again. Then Ryan Murphy surprised the naysayers with the out-of-the-box success of Glee. Then came along my personal favorite Smash last winter, and the also-great Nashville this fall. Now I read a couple months ago that Fox was trying to revise Fame. My question is this: Have you ever known of a time when so many music-based shows have been on TV? Is it because of the success of American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor? And do you think there is room on TV for possibly four musicals, or will they cannibalize each other for viewers? I've noticed Glee has been down in the ratings, and for a year-four show targeted at the fickle teen market, is this expected? Have you heard any buzz on Smash? I thought Season 1 was great, but I did notice the weak links too, which seem to have been corrected. I hope Season 2 really gets grittier and goes more behind-the-scenes a la West Wing instead of the soapy melodrama of S1. Thoughts? — Sean

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Vice Presidential Debate: The Best Twitter Reactions

Joe Biden, Paul Ryan

Thursday's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan generated more than 4 million tweets, according to official statistics from Twitter. And, needless to say, several of those comments came from celebrities weighing in on the election.

Here's a roundup of some of the best reactions:

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Thursday TV Review: NBC Comedies, Kids Talk Divorce

The Office

As I was watching HBO's kids'-eye-view examination of divorce (discussed below), I couldn't help reflect on my own break-ups — TV-related, mind you. Cases in point: I hear Weeds went off the air last weekend, way past its expiration date; I gave up on that one long ago, around the time they were on the lam in the Northwest, unmoored from any sense of reality and continuity or purpose. More to the immediate point, NBC's The Office is returning for its ninth and... read more

Jesse L. Martin Books Recurring Role on Smash

Jesse L. Martin

Law & Order alum Jesse L. Martin is heading to NBC's musical series Smash, Deadline reports.

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Keck's Exclusives First Look: Sean Hayes on Up All Night

Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph and Sean Hayes

Six years after saying goodbye to his Emmy-winning "Just Jack" alter ego on Will & Grace, Sean Hayes is returning to NBC. He'll be recurring on Smash and is developing his own comedy series. But first up comes an amusing arc as a passive-aggressive nemesis to Ava (Maya Rudolph) on Up All Night.

"My character, Walter, used to be... read more

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