EXCLUSIVE: Following in the footsteps of Fox’s Glee, NBC has signed a deal with Columbia Records for the soundtrack of the network’s new musical drama series Smash. Additionally, Columbia has signed a solo recording pact with Smash breakout star and American Idol alumna Katharine McPhee. I hear Columbia, which also handles the soundtracks for Glee and the upcoming X Factor, landed the rights to Smash after a bidding war. The deal, brokered by NBCUniversal TV Consumer Products Group, gives Columbia Records worldwide, digital and physical rights to the first season of Smash, with options to subsequent seasons. It includes both original songs, written exclusively for the TV series by the Tony Award-winning duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and covers of hit songs featured on the show. “Our Columbia Records partners will guide the soundtrack of Smash into a big component of the show’s success,” said NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt. Added Rob Stringer, Chairman of Columbia/Epic Label Group, “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.”
Smash, slated to air in midseason behind The Voice on Mondays, stars Debra Messing, Christian Borle, McPhee and Anjelica Huston and follows the creation of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck wrote the pilot and is executive producing the series with Steven Spielberg (on whose idea the show is based), Craig Zadan & Neil Meron, Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey, Shaiman & Wittman and David Marshall Grant. Following her runner-up finish on American Idol in 2006, McPhee has released two albums: a self-titled one in 2007, which premiered at the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200, and Unbroken in January 2010, which debuted at No. 27.