02/27/2013 05:41 am ET

'Smash': Jennifer Hudson's Momager - Broadway's Sheryl Lee Ralph - Resists Her Image Change (VIDEO)

It's no wonder Jennifer Hudson's "Smash" character Veronica Moore is a Broadway sensation. She's got a bona fide Broadway star as a mother -- or at least as the actress playing her mother. Sheryl Lee Ralph made her debut this week as Veronica's overbearing mother/manager, Cynthia, and she immediately started to spar with Derek.

Veronica was wanting to overhaul her image, and Derek certainly had a more sexually charged vision for her. But this show was going to be broadcast on television, so Cynthia had some serious concerns about Veronica going more mature. So she basically threatened Derek into keeping Veronica's image pure.

"What if it gets out that you were fired because you pushed her in a sexual direction that she didn’t like?" Cynthia asked him. "Now what’s that gonna do for your career?"

But Veronica wanted to change her image into something more mature, and so she pushed for Derek's vision despite her mother's protests. Instead, she simply encouraged her mother to watch and hoped she would enjoy. In the end, her mother was giving her the loudest applause in the audience.

Entertainment Weekly loved Ralph's guest spot, writing that she helped bring back some of the magic "Smash" has been missing this season. But it's viewers the show really needs. After debuting with ratings lower than Season 1, the show's viewership has only continued to drop.

The music and drama continues on "Smash" every Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST on NBC.

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