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April 23, 2014

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Sneak Previews: The New NBC Shows

by Jean Bentley, posted May 15th 2011 3:35PM
The Playboy ClubAlong with today's announcement of NBC's fall schedule, the network released trailers for most of its new shows. A few highlights? The Christina Applegate/Will Arnett comedy 'Up All Night,' for one, which looks like a welcome return to TV for the actress and her costar, Will Arnett, whose guest spots on '30 Rock' have proven more successful than his past attempts at full-time series work.

Also intriguing: the '60s-set drama 'The Playboy Club,' the mind-bending mid-season drama 'Awake,' and the mid-season musical 'Smash,' whose preview managed to look intriguing despite being essentially a minute-long clip of Katharine McPhee singing a Christina Aguilera song.

After the jump, find updated extended previews and descriptions of each new series.

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NBC Pilots: 'Prime Suspect,' 'Smash,' Christina Applegate Comedy and More Picked Up for Fall

by Jean Bentley, posted May 11th 2011 9:00PM
Christina ApplegateIn preparation for next week's upfront presentations, during which the major TV networks introduce their 2011-2012 programming schedules to the press, NBC today gave series orders to four pilots it had in contention.

Appearing on your TVs next year will be the dramas 'Prime Suspect' and 'Smash,' along with two female-fronted comedies, 'Up All Night' and 'Whitney.' According to Deadline, the network plans to continue its pickup spree in the morning. So, what did NBC choose?

'Smash,' NBC's answer to 'Glee,' follows the staging of a Broadway musical based on Marilyn Monroe's life. It stars Debra Messing as the show's lyricist, Anjelica Huston as the producer, former 'American Idol' Katharine McPhee as the lead starlet and Jack Davenport as the choreographer. The cast will sing original songs penned by Grammy- and Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

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Anjelica Huston, Marcia Gay Harden Join Pilots and More Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 7th 2011 11:00AM
Anjelica Huston, Marcia Gay Harden Join Pilots and More Casting NewsEven more movie stars are headed to television.

Anjelica Huston has signed on for NBC's musical drama 'Smash.' According to Entertainment Weekly, Huston will play a "shrewd, dry, smart, cynical New York City theatre producer."

The show is based on an idea from Steven Spielberg and follows the creation of a Broadway show from the early stages to opening night.

Debra Messing, Katherine McPhee and Jack Davenport also headline the cast.

Huston was last seen on TV doing a guest arc on 'Medium.'

In other casting news ...

Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden will star in ABC's 'Smothered.' Harden will star as the overbearing mother of Zach, Kyle Howard's character. [Deadline]

Chris Egan has been cast as a young, hot 'Poe.' The 'Kings' star will play the title role in ABC's period-drama about Edgar Allan Poe as a detective. [TVLine]

'Greek' star Andrew J. West has signed to star opposite Jean Smart in NBC's untitled Dan Goor pilot. West will play Adam, a doctor who joins his family's medical practice. [Deadline]

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Chelsea Handler to Play Her Own Older Sister, Beverly D'Angelo Gets Pilot and More Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Feb 25th 2011 1:30PM
Chelsea HandlerChelsea Handler will play her own older sister in the pilot based on her novel 'Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.'

According to E! Online, Handler will star opposite Laura Prepon in the NBC pilot. Prepon will play a fictionalized version of the E! host.

"I haven't read [her books]," Prepon told E! "But I've seen her a lot and it's going to be awesome. I am just starting to immerse myself in the Chelsea Handler of it all. She's an amazing woman.

"I'm from Jersey," Prepon said. "Chelsea and I are similar, so it's perfect we play sisters. It's funny, because her vodka is my favorite vodka too. We both drink the same thing!"

Comedian Jo Koy has also joined the pilot cast. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Koy will play a bartender at the club where Prepon works.

In other casting news ...

Beverly D'Angelo has joined the cast of NBC's untitled Whitney Cummings pilot. The 'National Lampoons' veteran will play Cummings' cynical mother. [Deadline Hollywood]

Donal Logue is making use of his post-'Terriers' free time by guest-starring on an episode of 'House.' He'll play the patient of the week in an early episode. Also appearing in that ep? Candice Bergen as Cuddy's mom. [TV Line]

Eamonn Walker will star in Ron Moore's '17th Precinct.' The former star of 'The Whole Truth' will play Detective Chief Inspector Wilder Blanks opposite Jamie Bamber and Stockard Channing. [Deadline Hollywood]

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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]

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NBC Orders 'Glee' Competitor to Pilot, Matthew Weiner Still Without 'Mad Men' Deal and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Jan 24th 2011 11:40AM
NBCCould 'Glee' have a musical competitor?

As we enter the thick of pilot season, networks have been greenlighting pilots to consider for the 2011-2012 season. One of the biggest in the works is NBC's 'Smash.' According to Deadline, it's based on an idea from Steven Spielberg about putting on a Broadway musical, and would feature original songs by Grammy- and Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Among the other pilots picked up this weekend were a comedy called 'Vince Uncensored,' from Conan O'Brien's production company (it went to CBS, according to Entertainment Weekly), a thriller/drama called 'Exit Strategy,' starring Ethan Hawke and directed by Antoine Fuqua (snagged by Fox, according to The Hollywood Reporter, along with two comedies, per Deadline), and David E. Kelley's previously D.O.A. 'Wonder Woman' (which landed at NBC, reports Deadline).

In other TV news ...

Matthew Weiner would love to start writing the fifth season of 'Mad Men,' if AMC would sign a deal already. "I have every intention of making the show when they decide to work out their business with Lionsgate," he said. "I can't wait to come back to work ... I am not looking for a new job." [EW]

Kevin Smith, Kevin Pollak and Adam Carolla will star in AOL's new nightly talk show. The web video series will team up with the actors' existing podcasts for new episodes every Monday through Thursday, with a best-of installment on Fridays. [AOL]

Could Keith Olbermann have a new gig already? 'The Social Network' writer Aaron Sorkin has been developing a comedy set behind the scenes at a cable news show. Now that it's getting closer to a pilot pickup and Olbermann is out of a gig, sources are speculating that he could contribute to the series. [EW]

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