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New series in focus: NBC’s ‘Smash’

Katharine McPhee may be headed for her Jennifer Hudson moment.

Like Hudson, the former “American Idol” finalist who transformed expectations with an Oscar-winning performance in “Dreamgirls,” McPhee looks poised to become famous less for her reality show past but her very here-and-now present on midseason NBC series “Smash.”

McPhee not only shines in the sneak preview above, but the show surrounding her looks lively. There’s always the danger of “Chorus Line” cliches popping into a story about a wannabe Broadway star, but there seems to be enough edge in this small sample for us to let down our guard.

This also looks like a great role for Debra Messing, who teams with Christian Borle to portray the songwriting team for the musical-within-a-show. Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport and Megan Hilty also appear game for their key roles.

Certainly, the “Smash” soup isn’t lacking for cooks: Exec producers are Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Theresa Rebeck, Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman.

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