The music will include covers of existing hits plus original songs composed by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the team behind 'Hairspray' and 'Catch Me If You Can.'
It was also announced that 'Smash' star and former 'American Idol' finalist Katharine McPhee, has signed a solo recording deal with Columbia Records. She previously recorded for RCA and Verve Forecast.
Speaking about the deal, Robert Greenblatt, Chairman NBC Entertainment, said "A musical series should naturally be accompanied by a soundtrack deal, and NBC is very excited to be working with the best. Our Columbia Records partners will guide the soundtrack of 'Smash' into a big component of the show's success. The music will be a driving force ... and we couldn't have asked for better expertise and strategy than this company will provide."
AOL TV hit the red carpet of NBC's 2011 Upfront Presentation to get the dish on how these new shows will help shape NBC straight from the stars themselves.
What's new? More comedies! Edgier dramas! The network is touting brand new shows with fresh concepts and old favorite stars.
Detectives Benson and Tutola are assigned to the case, but soon discover that Paxton's involvement runs much deeper than anyone believed.
Watch this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how the stunts in 'Law & Order: SVU' are shot.
"Paying homage to 10 seasons is no small task, and wrapping up each character and story arc has been extremely important to everyone involved in the show," Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson said in a statement. "We're excited to be able to make the final moments of 'Smallville' a television event, as the character we've grown up with makes his legendary transformation."
In other TV news ...
• Michelle Obama will stop by 'Regis & Kelly.' Obama will be a guest on Wednesday's show to promote her Let's Move! campaign. This will be Obama's first time on the show. [TV Guide]
• Debra Messing is in talks to join NBC's new pilot, 'Smash.' The series follows a group of professionals who come stage a Broadway play about Marilyn Monroe. Messing will play Julia, a lyricist. [TVLine]
• 'Glee' is getting the Paley Festival treatment ... again. The Fox hit will have a panel on March 16. [Variety]
According to TV Guide, the 'Will & Grace' star will play a Nancy Grace-esque TV journalist who sets up stings to catch pedophiles. Messing's character meets Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) after becoming the target of a stalker Benson may have busted.
"We're lucky to have her," 'SVU' executive producer Neal Baer said.
In other TV news ...
• Discovery Channel has greenlit a new pilot that sends contestants off the grid. In 'Disappeared,' contestants try to hide around the world from a team of investigators. [Entertainment Weekly]
• 'Pretty Little Liars' premiered to a series high of 4.2 million viewers. The ABC Family drama was up from its previous premiere by close to 2 million viewers. [Deadline Hollywood]
• Laurieann Gibson, the choreographer known for her work with Lady Gaga, has a new a reality series at E!. Ryan Seacrest is producing the eight-episode half-hour "docusoap" that follows Gibson training dancers to work with artists. [EW]
Eric Cartman may hate "gingers," but the rest of us know that the redheads in TV land are some of the greatest stars in tube history. In honor of Conan O'Brien's return to late night on Nov. 8 -- yes, spoiler, he made our list -- here are our picks for the top 22 TV redheads of all time:
As previously reported, the single-camera comedy stars Debra Messing ('Will & Grace,' 'The Starter Wife') as Evelyn Wright, a strong-minded conservative political figure whose on-air confidence and ambition contrasts with her off-air insecurities and shortcomings. Hines will go toe-to-toe with Messing as Evelyn's liberal rival and sworn enemy, while Fisher will play as Evelyn's no-nonsense manager.
There are two groups of people who get really excited about pilot season: L.A. actors hoping for a break and television writers. Being a member of the latter category, I admit to a tingly feeling creeping over me as word of the shows in development at all the big networks are starting to leak out. While most people are attributing feelings of renewal to the change in the weather, I'm happily anticipating what J.J. Abrams has in store for us this fall.
The actor has been picked up for a new sitcom pilot from ABC called 'Wright vs. Wrong' along side 'Will & Grace' actress Debra Messing.
Messing plays a conservative pundit juggling her "public persona despite facing her own vulnerabilities." Fugit plays a writer to the pundit, described as a "liberal NYU graduate." Think of it as an 'Odd Couple' but with more accusations of being a closet communist.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Messing has signed on to play the lead role in 'Wright vs. Wrong,' a cleverly-titled sitcom pilot about Evelyn Wright, a conservative pundit whose personal life is under scrutiny because of her public image.
Messing, who received an Emmy nomination for the underrated 'Starter Wife' and won an Emmy (out of five nominations) for her role as wacky interior designer Grace Adler on 'Will & Grace,' will also act as an executive producer on 'Wright vs. Wrong,' along with actress/writer Stephenie Weir ('MadTV'), who penned the pilot, and 'Arrested Development' producer Mitch Hurwitz.
The premise of the pilot for 'Wright vs. Wrong' is that Debra plays Evelyn Wright, a strong-minded, ambitious political personality who espouses the conservative, right-wing agenda. However, while she has this tough, conservative personality for the public, behind the scenes she's consumed by her foibles and flaws.
So she's half-Grace Adler, the flawed, foibled part. Grace's politics, at least what she tried to articulate in her goofy way, was of the liberal lefty variety.
The actress, who shot to stardom with the Peacock's hit series 'Will & Grace,' is returning to the network with a new comedy, in which she'll star as a laid-off CEO tackling the toughest job of her life: being a full-time wife and mom.
In other news, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian are getting their very own 'Keeping Up' spinoff on E!, and 'Ugly Betty' is returning to the ABC lineup a week earlier than originally planned.
See more of today's TV headlines, casting scoops and premiere dates after the jump.
The USA original series follows the post-divorce hi-jinx of Molly Kagan (Messing) as she embarks on a new chapter in her life. USA is bringing back the hit miniseries for ten episodes this fall. Messing is now executive producer as well.
Bashe will play Molly's ex-husband, Kenny Kagen. Nicolet will play Liz Marsh, Molly's new friend and wife a a pro-baseball player. Barbusca will play Jaden, Molly and Kenny's daughter. And Bochner will play Molly's new love interest and writing class teacher. Returning for guest appearances is Joe Mantegna of Criminal Minds who plays Molly's former boyfriend Lou Manahan.
The series will premiere on USA in October. What do you think? Will The Starter Wife work as a full-fledged series?
All that's well and good -- be ready for more product placement and ad pods that other networks have recently adopted -- but the best part about an upfront presentation are the stars that the network drags out to schmooze and booze with those advertisers. And USA brought the big guns, including Tony Shalhoub from Monk, Debra Messing from The Starter Wife, Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell from Burn Notice, Dulé Hill, James Roday, and Corbin Bernsen from Psych, Kathryn Erbe and Chris Noth from Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the WWE's Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and Mary McCormack from the network's new show In Plain Sight. I got to speak to a few of them; audio of those interviews is after the jump.
Good news for Debra Messing and all of the others involved in the miniseries The Starter Wife. After garnering some pretty decent ratings and several Emmy nominations, USA Networks has given a full series order to the comedy-drama based on the successful novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer.
Former Will & Grace star Messing will return as Molly Kagan, the former Hollywood wife who is now experiencing a second chance at life after her recent divorce. Also returning will be the executive production team of Grazer, Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott. There is no information as to when filming will begin for the premiere season of The Starter Wife or when the first episode will air.
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