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NBC picks up 'Smash,' 'Prime Suspect' and more
Christina Applegate and Whitney Cummings topline new comedies
While NBC didn't make the aggressive plunge into pre-upfronts announcements that FOX took on Tuesday, the Peacock still began its series pickups on Wednesday with a pair of dramas and a pair of comedies.
On the drama side, NBC is sending "Prime Suspect" to series. The adaptation of the revered Helen Mirren series got off to a shaky start over a year ago, but the current incarnation stars Maria Bello as a female detective battling for respect in a male dominated New York City precinct. The pilot was directed by Peter Berg, who is also producing.
Steve Spielberg is the big name behind "Smash," a musical drama about the mounting of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. The ensemble's cast features Debra Messing and "American Idol" veteran Katharine McPhee. Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman will be providing songs for what is described in The Hollywood Reporter as "Glee" for adults.
On the comedy front, NBC has ordered "Up All Night," from Emily Spivey. The single camera comedy about parenthood that had long been considered close to a sure thing, with Lorne Michaels producing a cast that includes Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph.
Finally, NBC has ordered "Whitney," based on hot stand-up star Whitney Cummings' material chronicling the life of a young couple.
All four of the pickups that have broken are for Universal Media Studios offerings. It's expected that NBC still has many additional pickups to come, with the fate of high-profile offerings like "Wonder Woman" and "REM" still up in the air.
NBC's formal upfront presentation to advertisers will be on Monday, though the network is expected to announce at least some version of its schedule to reporters on Sunday.