NBC’s musical drama Smash was one of the more fascinating new TV debuts of last season. An ambitious, high-budgeted, high production value effort, with New York locations, a talented cast and big names like executive producer Steven Spielberg and top Broadway composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman on board on the creative side, the series was one of 2012′s most long-awaited.
Smash, a behind-the-scenes look at the mounting of a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, landed with somewhat of a thud. TV critics and musical theater buffs were slow to embrace it, with certain plot lines and supporting characters especially coming up for ridicule. As the first season went on critics and other Internet writers proclaimed they were “hate-watching” the show, only watching the later episodes in order to ridicule them along with like-minded hate-watchers on Twitter.
Whether through hate-watching or not, however, the show pulled enough of an audience to earn a second season, albeit not on the fall schedule. In addition, the show-runner was replaced and several supporting characters were excised.
Smash is set to return Feb. 5, and NBC has debuted a four-minute trailer for the new season. Jennifer Hudson has joined the cast, but as you can see the show is still primarily about the diva-off between Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty: