Debra Messing Returns to TV for Steven Spielberg’s ‘Smash’

by | February 7, 2011 at 5:39 PM | TV News

Debra Messing (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Debra Messing (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)


Marilyn Monroe could soon be singing and dancing her way across television screens if NBC’s latest project, “Smash,” has its way.

Now in the development process, “Smash” is a new scripted television series that follows the out-of-town tryout period of a new Broadway musical, and Deadline.com reports that “Will & Grace” actress Debra Messing will star in the pilot.

The hour-long musical drama will focus on the creation of a new Broadway show based on Marilyn Monroe after one character supposedly finds a book based on the Hollywood icon and says, “I think she would be a great musical.”

The show-within-the-show premise features Messing playing a character named Julia, the lyricist behind the in-development musical who is supposedly down on making a production about Monroe.

“Smash” has a hit team behind it, including producer Steven Spielberg, the hotshot duo behind Broadway’s “Chicago,” Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and the songwriting team behind “Hairspray,” Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

“‘Smash’ does a good job of evoking Broadway’s bitchiness and betrayals triumphs and heartbreaks,” writes Michael Riedel after having read the pilot script. “We meet old vets and wannabes, including Ivy, who knows her way around Shubert Alley, and Karen, a fresh-faced 23-year-old with a belt to rival Lea Michele’s.”

There have yet to be any other casting announcements at this time, but next to Messing, the biggest role to fill is the male lead–the musical’s gay composer Tom. Hey NBC, we hear Eric McCormack might be available….