POSTED: Monday, February 6, 2012 - 2:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 6, 2012 - 2:35pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Chances are you've seen a promo or two about NBC's new series "Smash."
The musical drama about the making of a Broadway show finally debuts tonight at 9:00 p.m., following a two hour edition of "The Voice".
Even before the cameras rolled on "Smash" it was already being compared to TV's musical pioneer, "Glee", but for TV Guide Critic Matt Roush, the newcomer has carved a distinctive niche.
"This show breaks the formula, it's not even like 'Glee' really," he says.
"Smash" offers a Broadway setting and everything that goes along with it.
It's the hopes and dreams not only of stage performers, but Broadway's creative forces as well, as they develop a play about Marilyn Monroe.
In fact, the "Smash" insider view of theater's mystique echoes "The West Wing" insight into White House politics.
"There's so much behind the scenes attitude about the show, and at the same time, there's a really great quality feel to it. It feels like the NBC of old in many ways," Roush adds.
The caliber of the "Smash" cast is also inviting comparisons to shows like "The West Wing".
It stars Emmy winner Debra Messing and Oscar winner Anjelica Huston, along with several
real-life broadway veterans.