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NBC's 'Smash' Books Katharine McPhee and Jack Davenport, IFC Renews 'Portlandia' and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 14th 2011 11:30AM
Katharine McPhee'American Idol' alum Katharine McPhee could be the new Lea Michele.

McPhee was cast over the weekend in NBC's upcoming musical pilot, 'Smash,' Deadline reports. The network's answer to 'Glee,' based on an idea by Steven Spielberg, follows the production of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. McPhee will sing in the show.

Also on board: British actor Jack Davenport, who will play the show's choreographer, according to Deadline. Debra Messing is already on board as the musical's lyricist.

In other TV news ...

IFC renewed 'Portlandia' for a second season. The sketch comedy show stars 'Saturday Night Live' cast member Fred Armisen and indie rocker Carrie Brownstein. The 10 half-hour episodes will premiere in January 2012. [IFC]

Barbra Streisand apologized for her 'Glee' dis. When asked if she'd appear on the show, singer/actress told reporters, "Not if I can help it." She clarified later, saying, "What I meant was that I've been overwhelmed preparing for my performance on MusiCares, the Grammys, recording a new album and starting a new movie. So I couldn't take on any more work, and besides that, I wasn't asked." [TMZ]

'Home Game' has scored its lead: Rob Riggle. The former 'Daily Show' correspondent will star as a former NFL player in the CBS comedy pilot. [THR]

The A&E pilot 'Big Mike' has booked two more actors. Anthony Ruivivar and Nicole Ari Parker will co-star on the series, about a plus-size detective in the San Diego Police Department. Ruivivar will play Mike's partner, and Parker will play their boss. [Deadline]

Wentworth Miller and Orlando Jones have been offered lead roles in ABC's pilot, 'Identity.' The procedural follows "an elite police unit formed to combat the explosion of identity-related crime." [THR]

Like sister network HBO, Cinemax is branching out into original programming. The network recently announced its first-ever prime-time series, 'Strike Back,' and also plans to create a TV series based on the 'Transporter' movies. [NY Post]

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I will be watching "Smash" (pilot) with Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, & Debra Messing. I'm a fan of Katharine's and wish her, and all the other actor/actresses "good luckj" with this pilot. I'm very excited about this news, and would like to know when the pilot will take place.

February 15 2011 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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