NBC Picks Up 'Smash,' 'Prime Suspect,' More
NBC begins its upfront orders with a Steven Spielberg musical drama, a crime reboot and comedies starring Whitney Cummings and Christina Applegate (pictured), all from sister studio UMS.
NBC has opened the floodgates on its series orders for the fall. The Hollywood Reporter will update you with the latest additions, as we confirm more from our sources. Refresh for the latest.
Whitney. The multicamera comedy, from Universal Media Studios, is based on the stand-up comedy of Whitney Cummings and revolves around the ups and downs of a young couple in a committed relationship. Cummings penned the pilot and will executive produce with Betsy Thomas (My Boys), Scott Stuber (Your Highness), Quan Phung and Barry Katz (Good Luck Chuck). Andy Ackerman (Perfect Couples) directed the pilot. The series garned strong buzz in recent weeks, with network interest in femme-skewing comedies.
Up All Night (formerly known as the untitled Emily Spivey, Alpha Mom). Another single-cam comedy that takes an irreverent look at parenthood through the point of view of an acerbic working mother (Christina Applegate) who never thought she'd be a mom, along with her stay-at-home husband (Will Arnett) and opinionated parents. Maya Rudolph co-stars in the UMS project. Spivey wrote the pilot and will executive produce along with Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock). Sources tell THR this too is a go, with the combo of talent involved a major selling point.
Smash. The musical drama, based on an idea by Steven Spielberg, revolves around a cross-section of characters (Debra Messing, Katharine McPhee) who work to put on a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Theresa Rebeck penned the pilot with Spielberg, Justin Flavey, Darryl Frank, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on board as executive producers. Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman will contribute original songs. Smash, which many have dubbed Glee for adults, hails from Universal Media Studios and DreamWorks TV. The project was said to be a sure thing all along. Working in its favor: Spielberg's engagement, a high-profile cast and the early involvement of NBC boss Bob Greenblatt, who developed the show while still at Showtime.
Prime Suspect, an adaptation from the British miniseries starring Helen Mirren, stars Maria Bello as a female detective who has to make her bones in a tough New York precinct dominated by men. The reboot counts Alex Cunningham, Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), Sarah Aubrey and Julie Meldel Johnson as executive producers. Berg directed the pilot. Greenblatt was a big fan of both the reboot concept and Bello, sources tell THR.
NBC is scheduled to unveil its complete slate to Madison Avenue buyers on Monday in New York.
Email tips to Lacey.Rose@THR.com.