NBC's musical series 'Smash' and its star, 'American Idol' alum Katharine McPhee, get record deals | EW.com

Music | The Music Mix

NBC's musical series 'Smash' and its star, 'American Idol' alum Katharine McPhee, get record deals


(Will Hart/NBC)

Move over, Glee—there’s a new musical-TV competitor coming, and it goes by the name of Smash.

That’s right: NBC’s Broadway-set series is poised to give FOX’s behemoth singing series a run for its money in the genre with its own Glee-style production numbers woven into its storylines.

And now, NBC has signed a deal with Columbia (the same label that releases Glee’s music) to produce a soundtrack for the show. The announcement came with a bonus: Smash’s star, American Idol season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee, has also signed a solo record deal.

The pilot of the series, which is set to bow on Mondays at 10 p.m. sometime during midseason on NBC, features a mix of original songs and covers of pop tunes such as Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz (sung by McPhee), as well as other stars, including Broadway standout Megan Hilty, who has starred in Great White Way hits like 9 to 5 and Wicked.

The announcement of the record deals explained that the Smash soundtrack would include “both original compositions by Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning songwriters of Broadway blockbusters such as Hairspray and Catch Me If You Can, as well as covers of a variety of existing hits that will combine to tell the narrative of this musical series.” Smash itself tells the story of the making of a fictional Broadway musical, Marilyn: The Musical, and also stars Debra Messing, Christian Borle, and Angelica Houston.

For a taste of what might be on the Smash soundtrack, watch the preview for the show here:

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The press announcement didn’t shed any light on what might be on McPhee’s solo album. (Maybe numbers from…Smash?) McPhee has released three studio albums since she came in second on the fifth season of American Idol in the spring of 2006.

Her first, self-titled album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in January 2007 and spawned a minor hit, “Over It,” which made it to No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold. But the album itself only moved 381,000 copies. Her second effort, Unbroken, debuted at No. 27 and sold just 45,000 copies after its release in January 2010. A Christmas album last fall, Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You, fared even worse, selling just 23,000 copies after its release in October 2010. But maybe Smash, if it catches fire, will make McPhee an album-selling powerhouse.

Do you think that’s possible? Will you buy the soundtrack to Smash? Will you buy a new solo record from Katharine McPhee? Sound off below.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

The Music Mix: @EWMusicMix

Read more:
Debra Messing: ‘Smash’ isn’t ‘Glee’

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