Jennifer Hudson Joining NBC's 'Smash' for Season 2
Hudson, a Season 3 American Idol Alum, Will Join Season 5 AI Runner-Up Katharine McPhee
NBC's Smash is adding an Oscar-winner to its lineup for season two: American Idol alum -- and Dreamgirls Oscar winner -- Jennifer Hudson will join the cast in the recurring role of a Tony-winning Broadway star.
Hudson, who will make her Smash debut with the show's second season premiere, will play Veronica Moore, a Broadway vet who "impacts the lives of Karen (McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty)," reports Deadline.com.
Karen and Hilty and the stars of the Broadway show that's at the center of Smash's storyline.
"This series is a showcase for some of the best musical talent in the business and that’s a fitting description for Jennifer Hudson," NBC exec Bob Greenblatt said. "Her character will represent someone who reached their Broadway dream, but also paid a price for it."
The multi-episode guest arc gives Hudson a shot to add to her list of awards. She's already won an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy, and gets a chance to add an Emmy with Smash, meaning she'd be three-fourths of the way to an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).
And the role reunites Hudson, who most recently played a nun in the Three Stooges movie, with Smash executive producer Steven Spielberg, whose DreamWorks produced Dreamgirls. "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.
Smash, which NBC spent millions of dollars to promote, can use all the star power it can get going into its second season. The show premiered to 11.44 million viewers and critical acclaim last February, but, by the end of its first season, had lost most critics' support and half the premiere's viewers.
The season finale drew just 5.96 million viewers.