American Idol Katharine McPhee joins "Smash" - Emirates24|7

American Idol Katharine McPhee joins "Smash"

Singer Katharine McPhee poses at the LG Fashion Touch party in West Hollywood, California. (REUTERS)

American Idol" runner-up Katharine McPhee has signed up for the Steven Spielberg TV musical drama "Smash".

The pilot for U.S. network NBC revolves around a cross section of characters who come together to mount a Broadway musical inspired by silver screen icon Marilyn Monroe.

Playwright Theresa Rebeck wrote the pilot; Michael Mayer ("Spring Awakening") will direct. Spielberg, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey are executive producers with "Hairspray"'s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, while Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will write original songs.

Debra Messing and Jack Davenport ("FlashForward") have been cast as the lyricist and choreographer, respectively.

"Smash" is an ambitious project for broadcast television. Until Fox's "Glee", TV musicals had not exactly had a successful track record, with experiments including the Hugh Jackman-headlined "Viva Laughlin", canceled after a handful of episodes.

"Smash" was originally developed at cable network Showtime by new NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt.

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