UPDATE: The bloodbath continues. Since writing this article, one series regular and one recurring guest star have also been added to the body count. Keep reading to find out which ones.
When NBC appointed Josh Safran as the new show runner for “Smash”, the network decided to delay the Season 2 premiere til January 2013. That way, Safran had more time to rework the beleaguered musical into the “smash” it was supposed to be. If you’re going to overhaul a show, the obvious step is to do a massive cast shakeup. And that’s exactly what the former “Gossip Girl” executive producer is doing with “Smash“.
Before we discuss the exiting stars, let’s quickly touch upon Season 2 developments announced last week. New show runner Safran revealed they were adding three new series regulars. Though no actors were cast yet, descriptions of the new characters were released. Here’s what you can expect for the show’s second season:
Courtney, an African-American chorus member in her mid- to late-20s with a strong voice. She is “incredibly attractive and confident, but also open-minded and non-judgmental.”
Danny, a straight, working-class Brooklynite in his mid-20s. He is “sexy, charismatic and musically gifted, but also self-destructive and remote.” Those auditioning must have the skills to sing in a rock and/or soul style.
Joe, a Brooklyn-born guy in his early to mid-20s. He is “gay, very cute, incredibly open and optimistic.”
Now we know what’s coming, let’s officially say good-bye to a couple members of the original cast. Not surprisingly, Jaime Cepero is being axed from the show. His character Ellis was universally reviled by fans of the show. I’m sure all Ellis haters are rejoicing that the annoying meddling assistant isn’t coming back. Personally, Ellis didn’t bother me nearly as much as most viewers. That said, the writers missed the ball with his character and could’ve developed him into a far more likeable character.
Also not returning is Katharine McPhee’s boyfriend Dev played by Raza Jaffrey. The second Dev slept with Ivy, I knew he was a goner. Obviously, that was the easiest way to write off his character. Though both aren’t coming back as series regulars, the possibility of both Dev and Ellis appearing in a couple of episodes to wrap up their story lines is very likely. So the curtain is completely down on either of them… just yet.
UPDATE: Also added to the casualty list are Brian d’Arcy James and Will Chase. Brian played Debra Messing’s husband, while Will was Messing’s lover Michael. With both men gone, it’s clear the new show runner is trying to minimize Debra’s character’s personal life. AMEN to that. I found her baby adoption, marriage problems, and other issues distractions for the show. I wonder what this means for Debra’s son on the show. Will he live with his father or just fall to the wayside?
What do you think of all the departures? Will you miss them? If you were in charge of casting, who else would you have cut? Have any suggestions on who should play the new characters? Sound off below.