'Smash' EPs on 'Glee,' Pop Songs and a Play

A new behind-the-scenes interview offers a few additional things to know about the upcoming NBC series.

Bowing in February, NBC has a lot riding on musical drama Smash.

While the series stars Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty and Debra Messing in the story of the staging of a Broadway play about Marilyn Monroe, it has been unclear to this point whether the series would feature songs outside of those written for the play within the show.

However, executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron tell Playbill in a new behind-the-scenes interview from the set that the upcoming series will feature songs outside of the original music written for Smash’s Marilyn play.

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On location in New York’s Times Square, McPhee and Hilty are covering Rihanna’s “Cheers (I’ll Drink To That),” with Meron noting that the bulk of the songs will be done for the play onstage, in rehearsal or during a demo but there will be “fantasy sequences” where sometimes characters will be singing in Times Square.

In addition, the EPs noted that Smash – which has been dubbed “Glee for adults” – wouldn’t be on the air were it not for Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s Fox hit.

Glee has to get a lot of credit because if it wasn’t for Glee, it wouldn’t have broken that ground,” Zadan says. “They opened the door for us. The great thing is we’re not copying Glee, we’re not like Glee but we’re grateful to Glee for giving us the opportunity to do our show.”

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Lastly, the duo behind Broadway hits Hairspray and Chicago also express hope that Smash’s Marilyn play could find a life of its own onstage in New York as a production of its own.

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t finish it and take it to Broadway,” Zadan says.

Adds Meron: “It’s a really great idea that this show can give birth to a Broadway musical. It’s all going to depend on how it’s developed, how we all feel about it and how NBC feels about it.”

Check out the full interview below. Would you drink to a Smash theater spinoff? Smash premieres Monday, Feb. 6 at 10 p.m. following The Voice on NBC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit