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Katharine McPhee's 'Obsessed' with New York

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It’s been a season full of ruthless ambition and emotional chaos on Smash, and Katharine McPhee can’t wait to get started on what’s next.

“We had such an incredible time on the first season that I can only hope for [season 2] to be as enjoyable as the first,” the actress tells PEOPLE. “The show has made some creative changes, so I think there will be some new characters and interesting new storylines.”

Smash had some famous guest stars in its debut season, and McPhee has her favorites among them, including Bernadette Peters (“It was amazing to meet her and work with her!”) and Uma Thurman (“I love her! She has a really funny and dry sense of humor.”).

Starring on the NBC drama has also afforded McPhee the opportunity to live and work in a new city, New York, and she admits she’s become “obsessed” since moving there.

“It took me some time to get used to living here,” says the Los Angeles native, “but after about eight months, I came around. Now I never want to leave. I get so inspired by all the things I see in the city – the fashion, the theater, the art.”

McPhee’s latest project is her partnership with Tide for “My Story. Our Flag,” which celebrates American patriotism leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

“I am incredibly grateful that I am able to wake up every morning and go to a job that I love to do,” she said. “When I look at our flag, I think of opportunity and freedom.”

What does the red, white and blue mean to you? Go to Tide’s Facebook page to share your story.