Few shows on TV have the hate-watch following of Smash, the show that NBC intended to rescue its fledgling ratings, but which ultimately only did modest-to-good numbers. However, it’s hard to deny that the show was largely a success in its first season, despite a host of issues with character and plotting, many of which were attributed to the vision of showrunner/creator Theresa Rebeck, who exited the series at the end of the first season, to be replaced by Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl). During TCA press tour this week, Safran and executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan took the time to discuss the upcoming premiere of the show’s revamped, and hotly anticipated second season, while also addressing some of the issues with its first.
“As it unfolded over the first season, I read the love-hate, and I hope I was objective enough to say that it made sense,” said Meron. “First seasons of shows need time to find themselves, to lock into what they are, especially with a show like Smash. There are so many moving parts to figure out the mechanism. It’s a fantastic machine. When certain moments worked in season one, I dare anybody to say what could be better.”
“We followed what a lot of people were saying about the show,” Zadan added. “We felt certain things were going off kilter. We would read about them in the press, or in blogs, or in tweets, and it reinforced the feelings we had and things we would have [change] anyway if we were lucky enough to come back for season two. Boy, wouldn’t it be great to adjust those things! A lot of the [tweets] reinforced our own instincts about the show.”
Safran piped in with his thoughts on the first season, delicately avoiding naming anything that may or may not have been wrong with the first season. “I don’t think it’s changed that much. It’s still the same Smash, just bigger, with more music.”
In a last bit of info gleaned from Press Tour, it was learned that NBC and Columbia Records will release a soundtrack for the musical that the characters of Smash have been working on. Music from “Bombshell” will release on Feb. 12, although this doesn’t necessarily mean a Broadway production of the musical is in the making. “When we watch Bombshell moments, we think wouldn’t that be great on Broadway? But that’s where we leave it,” said Meron. “Our first priority is to make the show. [Bombshell on Broadway] will inspire more conversation, but have we done anything about it? No.”