Smash pilot – Episode breakdown

The first episode of the TV series Smash is brilliantly written. Here is a brief scene breakdown covering the conflict in each scene and how it sets up conflict for the series.



  1. Two actresses, one treated like shit because she’s green and the other very sexy
  2. Introduces Musical writing team of Julia and Tom
    1. They are meant to be on a break
    2. They get inspired to write Marylin the musical by Tom’s new assistant
  3. Green actress fails to get the part but has a very supportive BF
  4. Julia in the process of adopting
    1. Mocks the idea of doing the Marylin musical but her husband makes her think again
    2. Husband reminds her she is supposed to be on a break and not writing
  5. Parents  of green Actress coming to visit and they are against her being an actress they want her to come back to Ioha
  6. Julia gets sucked into the idea of doing the musical
  7. Tom concerned about his favorite actress leaving the show
    1. Sexy actress crying over not getting a part
  8.  They are going to record one song
    1. husband is furious she is going back on her word
    2. she loves the idea of doing the show so much she doesn’t want anyone else to do it
    3. husband is pissed off she’s not totally committed to the idea of adopting
    4. Julia saves the day because the social worker is a fan of the theatre
  9. They record a song
    1. Sexy actress sings the song
    2. Julia doesn’t like the assistant because he’s poking his nose in
    3. tom and Julia are happy they are doing the musical
    4. New assistant secretly records it

10. Meet the green actress’s parents

  1. Mother wants BF to marry and so does the BF
  2. Parents are from Midwest
  3. Parents think she is wasting her time as an actress

11. Assistant records the demo and puts it online

  1. Theatre blogger critic says it’s brilliant

12. Green actress sings the song from online

13. Executive producer in middle of divorce

  1. They can’t settle the divorce terms and their company is put in escrow

14. Assistant begs for his job back and gets it

  1. Julia not happy with assistant

15. Tom and Julia have meeting with executive producer

  1. EP wants a director that Tom hates
  2. The EP claims her financial situation isn’t bad

16. The EP talks the director into doing it

  1. Director refuses but ends up doing it anyway

17. The number is brilliant and he gets the job

  1. Director fobs off Ivy the sexy actress
  2. Fobs off Julia as well
  3. Tom defends actress
  4. The director comes on board

17. Green actress auditions

  1. She is the only one who doesn’t impersonate Marylin
  2. Sexy actress auditioning but she’s throwing up
  3. Green actress nails audition and gets a call back

18. Actresses celebrate getting call backs

  1. Sexy actress has a poor relationship with her mother and has no one to celebrate with
  2. Green actress celebrates with her BF

19. Director calls green actress to his apartment

  1. Director flatters her but warns her she’s green
  2. Director gets her to perform but implies she’s going to have to have sex with him
  3. She performs and he tries to kiss her but she rejects him

20. Call backs

  1. Both girls are equally brilliant



  1. Green actress
    1. Parents – don’t want her acting
    2. BF – wants to get married she doesn’t
    3. Society – difficult to be an actress
    4. Sexy actress – auditioning for same part but she’s not as sexy
    5. Director – wants to have sex with her but she doesn’t want to piss him off
  2. Julia
    1. Husband – they’re adopting and she’s supposed to be taking a year off
    2. Tom – has an assistant she doesn’t like and a previous bad relationship with a director she loves
  3. Sexy actress
    1. Green actress – competing for the same part and the director likes her
    2. Family – doesn’t care about her acting
    3. Society – tough to be an actress
  4. Tom
    1. Director – has bad previous experience
    2. Assistant – very good but has breached trust
    3. Julia – loves working with her but she wants to work with someone he hates
  5. Director
    1. Gay producer – has previous bad experience and they are openly hostile
    2. Green actress – wants to have sex with her but she isn’t interested
  6. EP
    1. Ex husband – getting divorced and he puts her finances into escrow




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