CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misspelled the last names of Liza Minnelli and Bob Fosse.
NBC, which is going to have to work like billy-o to hang on to its first place status among 18-49 year old viewers who matter most to advertisers when its Sunday football franchise exits at the end of the year, announced Tuesday the stunt-casting of Liza Minnelli on “Smash.”
“Smash” was last season’s much-ballyhooed let’s-make-a-Broadway-musical drama that opened well but fizzled over the course of its first batch of episodes. The network has already announced a new show runner, dumped some of the cast and lined up notable guest stars, including Jennifer Hudson, in an effort to goose the show's ratings in the age bracket, when it returns in the February sweep ratings derby, and once again in a plum post- “The Voice” timeslot.
But Minnelli, 66, is a bit of a head scratcher. Except when you stop to consider that NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, while running programming at pay cable network Showtime, restored and telecast the Bob Fosse-directed 70's TV special “Liza with a Z” in conjunction with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — who are among the exec producers of “Smash.”
“Liza Minnelli is the essence of a multi-talented, singular show business sensation, particularly for her extraordinary contributions
to Broadway," Greenblatt said in the announcement.
“[W]hat could be more fitting than to have her legendary talent on a show that celebrates a world Liza has dazzled for decades?”