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"Scorpion" star Katharine McPhee dishes on new pop album

Katharine McPhee is back to work on the set of CBS' hit show "Scorpion," but she's managed to squeeze in some time to record a new album, too.

"That's what's so great about being on a TV show or, you know, having two careers, is you can kind of try and do both at the same time. It's not as easy, but I do try," McPhee told CBS News during a recent set visit to "Scorpions."

The new album, called "Hysteria," is due out Sept. 18 and comes on the heels of two 2010 releases: McPhee's studio set "Unbroken" and a holiday album.

"Hysteria" album artwork eOne Music

McPhee says her new release is simply, a pop record. "[It] kind of goes more towards the first album that I ever made -- that my fans really liked ... It's not a super youthful pop sound, but it's definitely pop. Whatever that sounds like," she said laughing. "There are so many different kinds of pop music."

Pop music is right in McPhee's wheelhouse. The 31-year-old singer-actress rose to fame in 2006 during the fifth season of "American Idol," a show that will air its final season next year. The Los Angeles native says she's grateful for the role the singing competition had in her life.

"What's so incredible about the show was that it actually was a platform that worked for people. And that doesn't -- that doesn't work with most shows. You know? Even other singing competition shows, they, you know, do really, really well with viewership, but they haven't had the same success with -- with people doing -- doing things outside of it," she said, adding, "And I think that's why the show has been so successful. And it's been so special. I think that's what's been special about it. Is that people got to root for people and they kind of got to follow them and see what they've done over the years. And it's been a nice thing to be a part of."

The platform definitely helped launch McPhee's career, which landed her a starring role in ABC's "Smash" and now a second season on "Scorpion."

"Scorpion," co-starring Elyes Gable and Eddie Kaye Thomas, returns to CBS on Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. ET.

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