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Columbia cues ‘Smash,’ McPhee albums

Label looks for 'Glee'-style dividends from NBC's mid-season series

Seeking more “Glee”-style dividends, Columbia Records has pacted with NBC for the soundtrack to the upcoming Broadway-themed series “Smash” and signed one of its stars, “American Idol” grad Katharine McPhee, to a solo recording contract.

“Smash,” which preems midseason on the Peacock in a Monday slot, will be scored by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Tony- and Grammy-winning cleffers of “Hairspray” and “Catch Me If You Can.”

Series, centering on development of a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, will be toplined by McPhee, Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston.

Columbia/Epic Label Group chairman Rob Stringer said in a statement: “Music is at the heart of ‘Smash,’ and with our wonderfully creative broadcast partners, we will develop innovative strategies to present this music to a huge audience.”

Columbia has enjoyed immense success with its “Glee” releases. In 2010, music by the Fox show’s cast amassed cumulative sales of 3.6 million albums, placing sixth among the year’s top-selling acts. The most-recent “Glee” title entered the album chart at No. 4 last week.

“Smash” will benefit from the presence of McPhee, the popular runner-up on the fifth season of “Idol” in 2006. Her self-titled debut album bowed at No. 2 in 2007 and spawned the top-30 hit “Over It.”

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