• Debra Messing just cannot stay away from the gays! This is what everyone will say about the new pilot she's going to star in, Smash. She'll play a lyricist working with a GAY MAN on a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. This is an NBC sitcom pilot all about a musical! So who cares about the gay guy?? Debra Messing could be doing this show with a ten-pound stinkbug and I'd be excited about it. The Debra Messing part could itself be played by a ten-pound stinkbug and I wouldn't care. (I'd maybe even be more excited?) Let's forget the Grace 2.0 stuff and focus on the fact that Glee has made theater slightly cool for a hot minute and enjoy it. [Deadline]
  • Oh my. Simon Cowell has announced what the prize will be for winning the American version of The X Factor, which debuts this fall. Whoever — solo artist or group — wins the big music competition will get a $5 million recording deal with Sony. That is a spicy meatball! I mean, that is a lot of money! Given that the prize is so ample, look for once-were acts like Jewel and Eiffel 65 to put on wigs and prosthetics for a chance at the kitty. I mean, one hopes they will, right? [THR]
  • This is tremendously good news. Connie Britton, who brilliantly plays the unendingly wonderful Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights, is apparently developing a show at FX with none other than David O. Russell, the bellicose directing talent behind Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, and The Fighter. There's no word yet on what the drama will be about, but who cares! I would watch this show if it was called Connie Britton Presents: Two Stinkbugs and a Gay. I would watch it no matter what. [TV Line]
  • James Cameron and 20th Century Fox have found a director for their planned 3D update of The Fantastic Voyage. And it's none other than Pepper Dennis pilot director Shawn Levy. (OK, so he's maybe also directed huge hit movies like Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. But he also did Just Married, so.) The original movie, from 1966, is about Coolio riding around LA while rapping a team of scientists who shrink themselves and fly into a colleague's body to save his life from a disease or whatever (it might have been an internal stinkbug infestation, I don't quite remember). This is said to be a "reimagining" so who knows what it will specifically be about. But you can bet there will be both hilarity and hi-jinx. As well as, y'know, a fantastic voyage. [Deadline]
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell (Jim's dad, probably) has been tapped to direct a "fresh take" on Great Expectations, as part of 2012's Charles Dickens bicentenary. So that's good. Though hopefully "fresh take" does not mean the same thing as that unfortunate 1998 Great Expectations, which, despite being directed by confirmed genius Alfonso Cuarón was a weird and upsetting mess. Basically the only thing that movie gave us was that Mono song about tea and cigarettes that made us (well, some of us) feel very mysterious and sexy when we were fifteen and, in actuality, the farthest possible thing from either mysterious or sexy. So, all you have to do is top that Newell. That's all. [THR]
  • Lifetime: Television for Hospital Rooms has greenlit two new series. One of them stars Ally Walker, from that show Profiler, as a New York policewoman juggling family and work. The other is about a Chicago policewoman juggling family and work. So that's good. Two distinct shows but still both what the doctor ordered. Oops! I probably just gave them ideas for a couple doctor shows. Sorry. [Deadline]

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