TCA: NBC Launching 'Smash' Pilot Online January 16


Who’s In It: Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport

What It’s About: From executive producer Steven Spielberg, musical drama Smash centers on the making of a Broadway musical based on Marilyn Monroe’s life by songwriting duo Tom (Borle) and Julia (Messing). A rivalry forms when an inexperienced Midwesterner (McPhee) and a stage vet (Hilty) go head to head for the lead role. (One-hour musical drama)

When It Airs: Midseason; Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC

Check out full trailers for all of NBC's new series here.

NBC Entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt announces an aggressive screening roll-out for the musical drama similar to efforts from Fox's "New Girl" and Showtime's "House of Lies."

After referencing the strategy behind Fox's fall roll-out of freshman success New Girl during his executive Q&A, NBC Entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt detailed a similar marketing plan for Smash ahead of its panel.

"I hesitated a little bit at the moment to talk about what we're doing on that front," he said. "Somebody jumped the gun somewhere between Comcast and NBC."

He then delivered a rough outline of how the show will screen on multiple mediums ahead of the official Feb. 6 premiere date.

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After viewings in 10 markets on Jan. 9, the pilot episode of the musical drama will be available  Jan. 16 on iTunes, Amazon and Xbox, among others, for free. And then on Jan. 23, up through the premiere, the pilot will stream on and Hulu. It will also be available on all NBC On Demand platforms.

Smash, starring a hefty ensemble -- Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Debra Messing -- follows the many players involved in bringing a musical about Marilyn Monroe to Broadway.

This season, Fox's New Girl, and The CW's Secret Circle and Hart of Dixie have already taken similar approaches to free previews. Most recently, Showtime's House of Lies became available on official Web site, YouTube and on demand ahead of its premiere.