Debra Messing’s Israeli backup plan
Casting about

Debra Messing’s Israeli backup plan

The star will shoot a comedy pilot for a competing network — just in case her current show gets canceled

Debra Messing is planning ahead. (YouTube screenshot)
Debra Messing is planning ahead. (YouTube screenshot)

Debra Messing — otherwise known as the female Jewish half of “Will & Grace” — has a Plan B if her current TV series gets canceled.

The actress announced this week she’s shooting a pilot for American network CBS, starring as a harried mom struggling to balance work and family.

The show is based on an Israeli series named “Yom Ha’Em” (“Mother’s Day”), although it looks like producers in Hollywood may call it something else. The original Israeli series, which premiered last year and starred Keren Mor in the Messing role, was based on a popular series of comic strips in Yediot Ahronot.

The US version of the show is being produced by Elisa Zuritsky and Julie Rottenberg, both of whom worked on “Sex and the City.”

Messing’s new gig is getting attention largely because it’s widely viewed as another nail in the coffin of “Smash,” the high-profile flop on which she currently stars. Both Zuritsky and Rottenberg worked on that show as well, but have abandoned ship.

Ever the professional, Messing is publicly claiming that everything is wonderful on “Smash,” and notes that she’s contractually bound to stick with the series if it continues for another season. If that’s the unlikely outcome, her role on the Israel-inspired show will be recast.

Wherever she ends up, the actress already has some experience on Israeli TV, having explained the Hebrew meaning of her first name on the local version of “Sesame Street”:

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