A TV Show about a Broadway Show about Marilyn Monroe?

Smash: Starring Debra Messing?

An interesting concept, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

From www.insideblip.com:

It seems that NBC has caught the musical bug.

Actress Debra Messing is reported to be close to a deal with the network to star in a pilot about the world of musical theater.

Titled “Smash,” the one hour series revolves around a diverse set of characters brought together to create a Marilyn Monroe-themed musical production. Messing would play the production’s good-hearted lyricist, Julia, who is reluctant about the subject matter.

Opposite Julia at the series’ heart will be Tom, the show’s gay musical composer. So far, there is no word on who will be cast as Tom.

Messing remains best known for her Emmy-winning work as Grace Adler on NBC’s hit comedy, “Will and Grace,” which ran from 1998 to 2006. She also headlined USA Network’s “The Starter Wife” in 2008.

The project comes from an idea by Steven Spielberg, who will share executive producing duties with some of DreamWorks Television’s execs, writer Theresa Rebeck, and “Hairspray” producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Original songs will be contributed by Grammy- and Tony-award winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

With some obvious similarities to Fox’s musical phenom, “Glee,” many fans are wondering if NBC is just trying to copy a successful formula. Questions have also been raised about the sustainability of the series’ premise.

However, NBC chief Bob Greenblatt remains passionate about the project, which he spearheaded at Showtime. Yet, despite its pay-cable beginnings, the current incarnation of “Smash” is said to be a network-friendly, broad-based series suitable for NBC’s fall schedule.