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Jennifer Hudson Joins Cast Of Smash

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 23, 2012 6:00PM

Jennifer Hudson plays Taste of Chicago July 11. (Photo Credit: Anton Oparin /

NBC Television announced via a press release Friday night that Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson has signed on for a key Season 2 story arc of Smash.

Hudson will play “Veronica Moore,” a Tony Award-winning Broadway star whose presence will impact the lives of Karen (fellow "American Idol" also-ran Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty)." Since Smash is about the inner workings and drama behind a Broadway production of the life of Marilyn Monroe, the idea of Hudson's character becoming another candidate to play Monroe may be enough to get us to watch the show. Or maybe Hudson's character, like the rest of Smash's audience, goes through her arc wondering why McPhee is supposed to be the better performer.

Anyway, Smash has received mixed critical and commercial reviews since its post-Super Bowl premiere and is undergoing some cast and creative changes before it debuts midway through the next television season. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in the statement, “This series is a showcase for some of the best musical talent in the business and that’s a fitting description for Jennifer Hudson."

Hudson's casting also was enough to earn a statement from Steven Spielberg, one of Smash's executive producers.

"First Dreamgirls, now Smash. I have no doubt Jennifer will continue to deliver even more inspiration to the audience responsible for giving us a second season on NBC," Spielberg said. "It's wonderful to be reunited with her at DreamWorks Television and NBC."