Debra Messing's CBS pilot is more bad news for 'Smash'

debra-messing-gi-320.jpgDebra Messing has landed the lead in an untitled CBS comedy pilot essentially confirming what the entire TV industry already knows: NBC's "Smash" is dead.

Messing will star as a fortysomething mother of three who can't stop telling lies -- big lies and little lies -- to balance her hectic life, relationships and responsibilities. The concept is based on an Israeli series and the American version will be overseen by Emmy-nominated "Sex and the City" writers Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky, who also worked on "Smash."

The show marks a return to half-hour comedy for Messing, who won an Emmy for "Will & Grace" in 2003 before going on to headline USA's miniseries-turned-series "The Starter Wife."

Meanwhile, NBC's "Smash" will air two more episodes in its Tuesday timeslot before being exiled to Saturday nights to finish off a disastrously low-rated Season 2. Season-to-date "Smash" is averaging 3.36 million viewers and a 0.9 in the 18-49 demo.

Messing's role on the CBS pilot is technically in second position to her series regular gig on "Smash," meaning if "Smash" is renewed she'll be contractually obligated to stay with it. But barring any last minute ratings miracles (or borderline insanity on the part of NBC), that's not expected to happen.
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