“Smash” is a lavish new drama on NBC about the makings of a Marilyn Monroe musical heading to Broadway. In advance of its Feb. 6 TV debut, the net sent out a press kit with the first four episodes and a gorgeous book loaded with photos and text touting the show. Expect a similar treatment to be shipped to Emmy voters in the spring.
Created by playwright Teresa Rebeck, whose new comedy “Seminar” could contend for the top Tony in June, there is plenty of talent at work on both sides of the camera. The tunes are by Tony champs Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”) and Tony-winning director Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening”) helmed the pilot.
Emmy winner Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) headlines as the show’s lyricist with one Tony nominee — Christian Borle (“Legally Blonde”) — as her composing colleague and another — Brian D’Arcy James (“Shrek”) — as her husband. Broadway vet Megan Hilty and “American Idol” star Katharine McPhee play fierce rivals for the title role. And the ever-classy Oscar winner Angelica Huston (“Prizzi’s Honor”) makes her series debut as the producer of the Broadway-bound show.
NBC Entertainment exec Robert Greenblatt is a big Broadway buff. He produced the 2009 tuner version of “9 to 5” that featured Hilty in the role created by Dolly Parton in the 1980 film
NBC has made the first episode of “Smash” available online in advance of its Feb. 6 debut.