×

Showtime, Spielberg team on series

Show to chronicle development of B'way musical

Showtime and Steven Spielberg want to put on a show about putting on a Broadway show.

DreamWorks TV and Showtime are in the early stages of developing a scripted series that will chronicle the development of an original Broadway musical, from its creative inception through its opening night. The intention is to then mount the tuner on the Main Stem after the series airs.

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are well versed in adapting tuners for the big- and smallscreen, are in negotiations to join the project, as are tunesmiths Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. DreamWorks TV toppers Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank are shepherding the project with Spielberg.

Reps for Showtime and DreamWorks declined comment.

Spielberg has been developing the concept for the TV-to-legit show for years, and he’s been hands-on in setting up the project at Showtime and recruiting Zadan, Meron, Shaiman and Wittman, all of whom have worked together on past projects.

Showtime was the natural home for the untitled project given that its entertainment prexy, Robert Greenblatt, is a legit buff who recently moonlighted as the producer of tuner “9 to 5.” DreamWorks TV already produces Showtime’s half-hour dramedy “United States of Tara,” whose star, Toni Collette, earned the comedy actress trophy at Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards.

The team is now in the process of meeting with writers to create the series, which will offer a behind-the-scenes look at every aspect of launching a tuner, from penning the songs to recruiting investors. The show will incorporate multiple points of view on the process, and it will depict the personal lives of selected key players. It’s not yet been determined whether it’ll be a half-hour or hourlong skein.

Shaiman and Wittman wrote the music and lyrics for the tuner adaptation of “Catch Me if You Can,” Spielberg’s 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio starrer, which had its tryouts in Seattle this summer and is expected to hit the Rialto this season or next. And Shaiman and Wittman worked with Zadan and Meron on the 2007 feature rendition of the musical “Hairspray.”

The ambitious project will represent a logistical challenge as scripts and production of the TV series are juggled along with the development of tunes to be featured in the show and eventually on the stage. The hope is that the series would run for multiple seasons, possibly focusing on new productions or fresh iterations of the original tuner.

More TV

  • Kobe Bryant Staples Center memorial

    Kobe Bryant Mourners Gather Outside Staples Center to Remember Basketball Great

    Within hours of the news of Kobe Bryant’s death breaking, a fast-growing crowd of about two hundred people had gathered outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon to mourn the Lakers legend, who died earlier that day in a helicopter crash. Chants of “Kobe! Kobe!” broke out spontaneously outside of the [...]

  • Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile -

    Tanya Tucker Wins First Grammys, 47 Years After First Nomination

    Country music legend Tanya Tucker picked up her first two wins at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The 61-year-old singer won for best country song for “Bring My Flowers Now” and best country album for “While I’m Livin’.” “After 50 years in this business, I have a [...]

  • Kobe Bryant death

    News and Sports Outlets Scramble to Cover Kobe Bryant's Death

    Kobe Bryant’s shocking death forced major TV news and sports outlets to scramble on Sunday to cover the helicopter crash in Southern California that took the life of the legendary 41-year-old basketball star,  his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. From the BBC to Fox News, Bryant’s death dominated coverage as soon as word surfaced [...]

  • Grammy placeholder

    Grammys Winners 2020: The Full List (Updating Live)

    The 62nd annual Grammy Awards kick off Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This year’s top nominees include Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, whom are all scheduled to perform on the primetime telecast, in addition to Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani and more. The Grammys pre-show [...]

  • Lil Nas X Variety Cover Story

    Lil Nas X as Fashion Icon: The Rapper Runs Down Some of His Top Looks

    Already anointed a style icon by W magazine for “exploring uncharted territory in men’s fashion” and “redefining masculine expression,” Lil Nas X counted year-end best-dressed lists among his 2019 streaming and airplay accolades. Describing his fashion sense as “very experimental,” the rapper runs down a few of his top looks from last year. MTV Video [...]

  • Christopher Cross Grammys 1981

    Christopher Cross' 1981 Grammy Sweep Was the Best That He Would Do

    In the history of the Academy Awards, only three films have won the Hollywood equivalent of the royal flush — collecting statues for best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay — and it’s safe to say all have held up fairly well: “It Happened One Night,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Silence [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content