4:05pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Smash' Enlists Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson for Season 2
Smash's upcoming second season has added a dream girl.
Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson has landed a multiple-episode arc on the NBC Broadway drama, the network announced Friday.
Hudson, who won a supporting actress Academy Award for the musical Dreamgirls, will play Veronica Moore, a Tony-winning Broadway star who impacts the lives of Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty).
"We're thrilled to have Jennifer Hudson coming to Smash,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said. “This series is a showcase for some of the best musical talent in the business, and that's a fitting description for Jennifer Hudson. Her character will represent someone who reached their Broadway dream but also paid a price for it."
Hudson will make her debut in the Season 2 premiere, which is slated for midseason. The Season 3 American Idol finalist, also a Golden Globe and Grammy winner, joins an already impressive cast of Broadway stars including Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan, who will play a Brooklyn-born singer with a self-destructive streak.
“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," executive producer Steven Spielberg said. "It's wonderful to be reunited with her at DreamWorks Television and NBC."
Hudson's casting comes after the musical drama gave walking papers to four stars from its freshman run, including Jaime Cepero (Ellis), Raza Jaffrey (Dev) and Brian D'Arcy James (Frank). James will return in some capacity to wrap up his storyline opposite Debra Messing's Julia.
Gossip Girl's Josh Safran boarded the series as showrunner in April.
Hudson's credits include the Sex and the City feature and The Secret Life of Bees. She is repped by Overbrook Entertainment and Abrams Garfinkel.