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February 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Pinning its recovery hopes on a show about a Broadway show, NBC is launching Smash tonight (Monday) with a $7-million pilot that will be followed by a weekly series costing $4 million per episode. (The network has also reportedly spent as much as $25 million to promote the series.) If the public’s reaction is anything like the critics’, the show is likely to become, well, a smash. Robert Bianco in USA Today calls it “just the kind of gloriously entertaining, wildly ambitious network series you hope for each season and seldom get.” The real wonder of Smash, writes Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times, is that “creator Theresa Rebeck and her team have managed to capture the grand and sweeping gesture that is musical theater and inject it with the immediate intimacy of television.” The San Francisco Chronicle’s David Wiegand asks, “How good is Smash?” and then answers, “So good you can’t help wondering why no one thought of it before, a compelling mix of credible real-life melodrama with a fictionalized approximation of what it takes to get a Broadway show from the idea stage to opening night.” The initial episode did not knock the socks off of the New York Times‘s Neil Genzlinger, but he had an advantage that the public tonight will not — a look at several episodes. “By Episode 3 it shows signs of becoming an addictive pleasure,” he writes.