Steven Spielberg Talks Labor Of Love Project 'Smash'

The cast of NBC's 'Smash' The cast of NBC's 'Smash'

Steven Spielberg is bringing the ambitious behind-the-scenes-of-Broadway drama “Smash” to NBC and the television series really is a labor of love for the filmmaking legend.

“I came up with the idea for the series,” Steven told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush at Sunday night’s Golden Globes, where his movie, “The Adventures of Tintin,” won Best Animated Feature.

“I’d been flogging it for about five years,” Steven continued of “Smash.” “It took [NBC’s entertainment president] Bob Greenblatt to step forward, because he’s done musical theater with ‘9 to 5.’ He really responded to the material.”

The legendary director and producer said that although he was behind the series, which stars Anjelica Huston, Debra Messing and former “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, the NBC boss was the only one who realized the show had value.

“I couldn’t get anybody else to buy it. Bob stepped forward and took the show for NBC,” Steven added. “So, I hired myself and my… two TV partners at DreamWorks Television… We then hired Theresa Rebeck to really create the show. She wrote a wonderful play called, ‘The Understudy.’ She had done a lot of writing for theater and I wanted theater. I wanted writers from theater to write about theater.”

While the name Steven Spielberg can drum up fan interest in a project, he said he sometimes keeps his name from use in promotional materials for programs.

“Do you ever say, can you please take my name down?” Billy asked.

“I do. I do. I limit the use of the name on all of the billboards out there when I’m doing television and I limit it was much as I possibly can because it just… I get tired of seeing my own name,” he laughed.

But not with “Smash.” The project proudly bares its top boss’ name on the posters.

“Smash” premieres on NBC Monday, February 6, at 10 PM ET/PT, and, beginning Monday, the pilot episode is available on NBC’s Video on Demand partners, including its parent company, Comcast.

Starting January 23-February 6, the first episode of “Smash” will be available to stream on NBC.com and Hulu.

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