Some people are fascinated by "American Idol" winners, but NBC's "Smash" appears to have a thing for "Idol" singers who came up just short.
 
In a big Friday (June 22) afternoon release, NBC announced that Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-winning actress and singer (and "American Idol" loser) Jennifer Hudson will join the cast of "Smash" for a multi-episode arc.
 
"We're thrilled to have Jennifer Hudson coming to 'Smash,'" blurbs NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt. "This series is a showcase for some of the best musical talent in the business and that's a fitting description for Jennifer Hudson. Her character will represent someone who reached their Broadway dream but also paid a price for it."
 
Hudson will play Veronica Moore, a Tony-winning Broadway star. NBC's release says that she "impacts the lives of Karen (fellow "American Idol" loser Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty)." That would be mighty outside-the-box casting for "Bombshell," wouldn't it?
 
The casting was such a big deal that NBC even managed to land a blurb from "Smash" executive producer Steven Spielberg.
 
"First ‘Dreamgirls,’ now ‘Smash.’ I have no doubt Jennifer will continue to deliver even more inspiration to the audience responsible for giving us a second season on NBC," Spielberg states. "It's wonderful to be reunited with her at DreamWorks Television and NBC."
 
"Smash," which is undergoing a variety of changes in both cast and creative team, won't return to NBC until midseason, which works out well for Hudson, who was planning to shoot "Lullaby" and "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" this summer.
 
In addition to her Oscar-winning "Dreamgirls" debut, Hudson's film credits include "The Three Stooges" and the upcoming "Winnie."