×

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

  • An IPad is used instead of

    Following Outrage, Discovery Networks Backs Down on Composer Ultimatum

    Discovery Networks, which last month unveiled a new business model that would have all but assured series composers a drastic income drop, has scuttled that plan in response to outrage expressed by the media music community. This means that the shows on Discovery, Animal Planet, HGTV, Food Network and other Discovery-owned platforms, will continue to [...]

  • THE GOOD PLACE -- "Patty" Episode

    'The Good Place' Boss on Reaching the Titular Location, Finding It's a 'Bummer'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Patty,” the penultimate episode of “The Good Place.” The titular good place on Mike Schur’s philosophical comedy “The Good Place” isn’t a literal place at all but instead a state of mind. Sure, after four seasons (50 episodes) the characters on the show did [...]

  • obi wan ewan mcgregor

    Obi-Wan Kenobi Series at Disney Plus Loses Writer, Seeks to Overhaul Scripts

    Pre-production on the Obi-Wan Kenobi-focused TV series in the works at Disney Plus has been put on hold as the streamer and Lucasfilm look to overhaul early scripts and find new writers, sources tell Variety. Hossein Amini had been attached to write. The news follows recent talk that the entire series was being scrapped altogether. [...]

  • Zion Williamson

    Zion Williamson's Pelicans Debut Is a Ratings Slam Dunk

    With ratings in a slump so far this season, the NBA has needed someone to come off the bench and ball out. Cue the New Orleans Pelicans debut of Zion Williamson. The much-heralded number 1 pick from the 2019 draft had sat out the first 44 games of the Pelicans’ season with a knee injury, [...]

  • RuPauls Drag Race

    TV News Roundup: VH1 Announces 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 12 Contestants

    In today’s TV news roundup, VH1 revealed the contestants for the upcoming season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and the Oprah Winfrey Network renewed several of its unscripted series. CASTING VH1 revealed the 13 queens that will be competing on the 12th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” are Aidenn Zhane, Bria, Crystal Methyd, Dahlia Sin, Gigi [...]

  • Outmatched

    'Outmatched' With Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson: TV Review

    The latest variation on network sitcoms’ beloved “a family, but with [x complication],” Fox’s “Outmatched” flips the usual parent-child dynamic on its head by following an Atlantic City family, including three bonafide genius kids who are too smart for their bewildered parents to understand. Each time one of their children tests off the charts, Mike [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content