Pilot Scoop: Debra Messing Hits Mother's Lode, Joins CBS Comedy From Smash Producers

159301732TM00074_70th_AnnuaIn yet another sign that the curtain is unlikely to rise on a third season of Smash, Debra Messing has signed on to headline a CBS comedy pilot.

The untitled project — which, coincidentally (or not?), is being written by Smash co-exec producers Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky — is an adaptation of the Israeli series Mother’s Day and centers on a married mom (Messing) struggling to balance family, life, and work.

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In addition to playing the lead role, Messing retains a co-exec producer credit.

Technically, the prospective series is in second position to Smash, but the odds of the struggling NBC musical returning next fall are slim at best.

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To wit, showrunner Josh Safran recently told TVLine that Season 2’s last episode has been “constructed as a series finale.”

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40 Comments
  1. Rob says:

    Good for her. She’s a great comedic actor and she deserves a hit. I’m rooting for you, Debra Messing!

  2. Will says:

    Awesome! I hope it gets picked up. She is such a great comedic talent, and she’s been severely wasted on Julia’s drippy storylines.

  3. KenBud says:

    Slim at best? Man, you are being KIND. :-)

  4. Eric says:

    I love Debra Messing!!! I’ll follow here anywhere!!! Will and Grace, The Starter Wife, SMASH, if Debra Messing’s in it, I’m watching it!!!

      • Nero theTVFiddler says:

        I was about ready to write something, but you wrote what I was thinking almost word-for-word… great minds think alike. ;) I’d follow Debra anywhere. I knew that as soon as Smash wrapped up, Debra would land on her feet. Will see her soon on the screen – we all love you Debra!

  5. Terry says:

    I will be sad to see Smash cancelled. My friends and i really enjoy this show. How can a well written well acted interesting family show get cancelled and leave some really awful programs on?

  6. Katherine says:

    I really hope they dont cancel SMASH I think its a really great show!

  7. Mary Turner says:

    I love Smash”!! Anyone who doesn’t like it has no appreciation for good music.

  8. David4 says:

    I love her, but hate Smash, but I also hate everything that airs on CBS. Hope this changes that.

  9. Mark says:

    There is a 0% chance of Smash being renewed. Period.

  10. Kathy says:

    Once again, NBC screws up yet another show by destroying its momentum. Delay the premiere until midseason, switch the night — hey, the viewers will stay with us. No, you idiots — they won’t.

    • David4 says:

      There was never upwards momentum!

      If you like a show fine, but this show was a failure from the start. The pilot sucked, everyone knew it and instead of being the new hit show, it fizzled. I was amazed it got a second season, the ratings were falling the whole time the show has been on the air.

  11. Pepper says:

    She was born to do comedy.

  12. Dan says:

    Love Debra Messing, and Elisa Zuritsky may be one of the two or three most dynamic writer-producers in TV today. VERY excited!

  13. Steve F. says:

    Debra Messing’s forte is in comedy, so good for her. As for Smash, as the Reverend Slick would say in the WWF – “Turn out the lights, the party’s over!”

    (Hope Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty get back onscreen, though.)

  14. Lilacbarries says:

    I’ve been enjoying Smash, but I’ll it has been the only show on NBC I’ve watched in years. It will be good to see Debra in a comedy again and CBS comedies are the best. With HIMYM going into its last seas

  15. Lilacbarries says:

    I’ve been enjoying Smash, but I’ll it has been the only show on NBC I’ve watched in years. It will be good to see Debra in a comedy again and CBS comedies are the best. With HIMYM going into its last season they’ll be looking for something to fill its shoes

  16. ceebee says:

    Megan Hilty would be great as a new teacher on Glee – I really enjoying hearing her sing.

  17. Linderella says:

    I watch nothing on CBS except an occasional Hawaii 5-0 rerun but Debra Messing will be must see TV. I also love Smash, uneven writing writing, and some bad character development and all. BTW, if you have a chance to rewatch the first couple of seasons of L&O SVU you will find it was also awful until it got its footing. But in those days, NBC gave shows with great potential a chance. That’s all changed in the last 10 years. The Book of Daniel and Awake were two potentially awesome series that NBC through under the bus. If a show is targeted to an audience with an IQ higher than Donald Trump’s it doesn’t stand a chance. Shame on them. As for Debra Messing – it’s NBC’s loss.

  18. Loz says:

    Wish Smash would not be cancelled but happy that Debra has found something else. Hopefully the others will as well.

  19. Good for her! She,Anjelica and Megan deserve much more than a show that diminishes their parts each week just to shove emotionless Mcphee down our throats.

  20. keith says:

    debra’s character was wasted and horrific story line last year. only saving grace for show was karen’s cover songs and this year they stopped that, so lost interest and I love musicals. have couple dvred but havn’t been excited to watch as this season with all the new characters and getting rid of all the terrible ones hasn’t improved enough and seeing bad ratings, matter of time till they don’t renew. Shame as it is the ONLY show worth watching on nbc anymore. what a terribly run network. have no idea of what a good show is.

  21. Lisa says:

    I always seemed to like parenthood better then smash I watched smash but usually fell asleep during the first 1/2 hour of it.

  22. Bob says:

    The premise of Smash was always just a one-note song. Only reason it made it to a second season is that NBC had invested so much $$$$ in it.

  23. ABC says:

    the premise of this pilot seems boring.

  24. Jeri says:

    I think Debra is only capable of 1 character, Debra. All her characters in every show are the same.

    • Nero theTVFiddler says:

      Perhaps, but what a terrific character that is. She should bottle whatever that magic is and hand it out to everyone else; they’d love to have what she has. Some people just have that charisma, that magic – the television camera just loves them. That’s Debra.

  25. Crox says:

    The Israeli version is really good, hope CBS won’t ruin it…

  26. Valesca Salgado says:

    Excellent. I adore Debra Messing and look forward to this project with her the star in it!

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