Debra Messing may be looking to a future without "Smash," but that doesn't mean the actress has given up on the struggling NBC musical drama.
"Finishing at the end of the season of any show that you love doing is difficult," Messing told The Huffington Post while promoting her partnership with Zyrtec at Macy's Herald Square. "It’s almost like high school when you have your summer vacation because you spend so much time together. We were just so thrilled with how the season has gone and we love the show and we’re just waiting to hear what will happen. Obviously we don’t have an answer yet about whether or not we’ll be returning for a third season, but you know, we’ll see."
"Smash" has struggled in the ratings during it sophomore season on NBC. The show will move from Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET to Saturdays, 9 p.m. ET starting April 6. NBC has said it will air the entire second season, but the future is very grim for the Golden Globe nominated series. Messing recently joined a CBS comedy pilot about a harried mother. It's in second position to "Smash" and she'll co-executive producer the show if it goes to series.
Why do you think viewers tuned out?
I think trying to second guess what it is that drives viewers or ratings is kind of a fruitless endeavor because it’s its own animal. The television with all of the channels ... and there's just so many different elements involved in that industry so all you can do is sign on to something that you're really passionate about and bring everything you can to the table every day and then you just have to let it go and hope for the best.
What are you most proud of from your time on "Smash"?
Absolutely no question I'm most proud of the fact that we brought singing and dancing and the world of Broadway and musical theater into people's living rooms all across the country. Obviously it's been a difficult time financially for everybody and traveling to New York and being able to purchase Broadway tickets is a luxury that nowadays a lot of people can't indulge in, and so to be able to bring something that's so magical and so powerful and so meaningful to me has been a source of great pride for me.
What can viewers look forward to in the remainder of the season?
A lot more musical chairs, so to speak between the two musicals that are being produced. One of the more notable days for me personally was when I sang my solo. I do indeed sing this season. And it was a little traumatizing being in the company of the likes of Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee and the lot, but I'm pretty thrilled that I got through it and I actually used Zyrtec that day because they filled up the entire bar with artificial smoke to make it feel moody and sexy and I didn't know how it was going to affect my sinuses and throat. I took it in the morning and I was able to focus on my work. I’m pretty proud of myself. I got through it and I can say I think it's OK!
You just joined a CBS comedy pilot. What about the role appealed to you?
There was just something fresh and modern about its take on motherhood. It's based on a successful single-camera comedy that is currently in production in Israel. And it's the same production company that brought "Homeland" and "In Treatment" from Israel and the US. So those are two really extraordinary shows that I'm a big fan of. This is their first comedy that they’ve brought to America and it follows a working woman who has two kids and lives in Brooklyn and is just trying to balance and juggle it all. But I think the thing that I responded to was a lot of the humor is based in, what I feel, is reality. And it doesn’t shy away from the moments of ambivalence that come when you’re trying to find balance and it’s eluding you.
"Smash" airs on Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET on NBC and moves to Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on April 6.