It’s Showtime at NBC: The Peacock late Friday picked up two big, bold pilots – one a musical, the other a lesbian love story – that very clearly seem to be the work of incoming chief Bob Greenblatt. First there’s Smash, a musical series about the making of a Broadway play based on an idea by Steven Spielberg that’s being produced by Chicago and Hairspray maestros Craig Zadan and Neil Meron; if a deal can be finalized, the pilot will be directed by American Idiot helmer Michael Mayer. This one’s definitely from Team Greenblatt: The project actually started in development at Showtime nearly 18 months ago, and insiders confirm Greenblatt was instrumental in bringing it to the Peacock. Hairspray duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will reunite with Zadan and Meron to write original songs for the series (no Glee karaoke here!), with Theresa Rebeck writing the script and Spielberg on board as an executive producer. Greenblatt could almost serve as a consultant on Smash if he wanted to: He was behind the short-lived Broadway musical version of 9 to 5.
Meanwhile, NBC yesterday also gave the thumbs-up to a half-hour romantic comedy pilot called I Hate That I Love You. It’s from Will and Grace alum Jhoni Marchenko, and the logline is certainly eye-catching: “A straight couple introduces two of its lesbian friends to one another and what results is both instant attraction and a pregnancy.” It’s the sort of buzzworthy concept you’d expect from the exec who greenlit Dexter and Californication. While Greenblatt won’t officially join NBC until next week, Vulture has heard (and other media outlets have reported) that he’s been kept in the loop about developments at the network for at least several weeks now (though he hasn’t been making decisions.)