Yep, the Smash producers read all of your hate tweets, all of those angry diatribes about certain plot points or, more specifically, Debra Messing’s interminable scarves from season one. And apparently, they took the criticism to heart.
“As it unfolded over the first season, I read the love-hate, and I hope I was objective enough to say that it made sense,” said Smash Executive Producer Neil Meron, who was joined at the Television Critics Tour Sunday with actors Megan Hilty (Ivy), Katherine McPhee (Karen), Anjelica Huston (Eileen) and others, along with the drama’s new showrunner Josh Safran. “First seasons of shows need time to find themselves, to lock into what they are, especially with a show like Smash. There are so many moving parts to figure out the mechanism. It’s a fantastic machine. When certain moments worked in season one, I dare anybody to say what could be better.”
“We followed what a lot of people were saying about the show,” added Executive Producer Craig Zadan. “We felt certain things were going off kilter. We would read about them in the press, or in blogs, or in tweets, and it reinforced the feelings we had and things we would have [change] anyway if we were lucky enough to come back for season two. Boy, wouldn’t it be great to adjust those things! A lot of the [tweets] reinforced our own instincts about the show.”
Despite prodding from reporters, the producers wouldn’t single out specifics about what went wrong in season one (other than Messing’s scarves). But then, Safran — who replaced Theresa Rebeck — wouldn’t cop to changing much in the new season that begins Feb. 5 with a two-hour episode. “I don’t think its changed that much. It’s still the same Smash, just bigger with more music.”
Speaking of which, NBC and Columbia Records will release a soundtrack for the in-show musical “Bombshell” on Feb. 12. But don’t assume that means a real Broadway musical is in the works. “When we watch Bombshell moments, we think wouldn’t that be great on Broadway? But that’s where we leave it,” Meron said. “Our first priority is to make the show. It will inspire more conversation, but have we done anything about it? No.”