News Briefs: Smash Is Cutting Its Most-Hated Characters in Season 2

CASTING AND DE-CASTING NEWS

... NBC's musical drama Smash will be doing a lot of retooling in between now and Season 2. The show recently hired a new showrunner in Gossip Girl's Josh Safran, and Safran ain't messing around. He's getting rid of a slew of characters many fans hated, including Dev (Raza Jaffrey), Frank (Brian d'Arcy James), Michael (Will Chase), and the useless P.O.S. Ellis (Jaime Cepero). The characters might return just to wrap up their character arcs, but they're done, mostly due to vocal fan discontent. Way to get people fired, Smash fans! [EW]

... Also being demoted on a show, but under much less celebratory circumstances, is Fringe's Seth Gabel. When Fringe returns for its fifth and final season, Gabel, who played special agent Lincoln Lee, won't be a regular and might not be in the season at all. This hints that the Other Universe might not be featured in Season 5, which also hints that I am going to be incredibly upset. [TV Line]

... Luck's Jason Gedrick (he played the gambling guy who wasn't too good at poker) has been cast in the seventh season of Dexter. Gedrick will play the manager of a Miami strip joint who gets involved in a murder case. Well, that doesn't narrow it down. [Showtime via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... House aired its series finale last night, and the ratings are in: 8.7 million viewers and a 2.9 rating. That's a big jump for the series compared to this season, but the show used to draw more than 20 million viewers in its heyday. [EW]

... Bristol Palin Update: Unfortunately, she's still alive. Also unfortunately, she still thinks she belongs on TV. Her latest reality show, Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp, will premiere on Lifetime on June 19. It will follow her new life as a single mom and a total hypocrite. [Washington Post]

... Speaking of getting pregnant way too early, MTV has axed the idea of a show that would follow kids as they lose their virginity. It was going to be called My First, and even though it wouldn't have actually filmed the act of the first time (though I bet the network tried), people spoke out and recognized it for the predatory garbage it is. MTV has no plans to stop production on Young Twenty-Somethings Having Drunken Orgies, though. [NY Post]

... HBO has bought a project from zany screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and actress Catherine Keener. Details on the half-hour comedy are being kept secret, but it will examine one day in the life of a woman and how events leading up to it can change things. Ummm, this is already my favorite show. [Deadline Hollywood]


ONE FINAL CLICK NEWS

... Eugene Polley, the man who created the first wireless remote control for a television back in 1955, has died. His ashes will be scattered behind the seat cushions of his couch. [Gizmodo]


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT TV NEWS

... Funeralwise.com (I'm SHOCKED that URL wasn't taken earlier) has conducted a survey to figure out which TV show has the most human deaths per episode. And the winner is... go ahead and think about it for a second. Ready? It's... Starz's Spartacus: Vengeance, with an average of 25 deaths per episode. Game of Thrones came in second at 13, and The CW's Nikita led all of network television with nine expirations per installment. The Walking Dead only averaged one death per episode, but that show came in first in LetsTalk.com's study of shows with conversations that drag on way too long. [FuneralWise]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom
Comments (50)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Yay. I am so happy Dev is gone.

Now Karen is finally going to be single so a love story arc with Derek takes place. Those two have some serious chemistry going and I LOVE their relationship up to this point. Cannot wait to see what happens!
Reply
Flag
I hate to see Dev go. My fav scene was the Bollywood dream.
Reply
Flag
No mention of Leo going....Damn! Good about Ellis & Frank but I did like the chemistry of Michael & Julia (is she pregnant to Michael?).
Reply
Flag
We don't know if she is even pregnant, she never took a test so she just assumed she was. So expect in the S2 premiere Julia and Tom to talk about how they can't believe she thought she was pregnant and it's great she's not.



The finale used easy cliffhangers that can easily be reversed if need be.
Reply
Flag
Goodbye useless Smash characters, I had to pause and try to think who Frank and Michael were. Good riddance especially to ELLIS. The most pointless, useless character to come out of television... ever.
Reply
Flag
I hated Ellis but loved him at the same time. I don't think there are a lot of characters like him on tv. I LOVED Dev (until he cheated), but that was in the hands of the writers!!! He could still be redeemed somehow. I also really enjoyed the chemistry between Julia and Michael. I thought they'd keep him around. No surprise they are getting rid of the husband!
Reply
Flag
I agree with getting rid of Ellis but the other characters I didn't mind so much.
Reply
Flag
Uh, how is it not universally agreed upon that Bristol Palin should cease to exist? Why are people complaining about Tim's joke?



First of all, it's a joke.



Secondl, the world would not be a worse place without Bristol Palin (or Sarah for that matter), so Tim's joke is completely appropriate and deserved.
Reply
Flag
I wonder how they will manage to move things on without Ellis in Smash... they relied a lot on him to create conflict (and storylines)...
Reply
Flag
Perhaps they will create a new villain, write it better, and cast it with someone who can act...
Reply
Flag
I think Ivy is going to be the key there just going on how she developed as more desperate & who knows with Derek?
Reply
Flag
I gotta add my voice on the Bristol Palin thing, she's an idiot for doing another reality show, but that doesn't mean she should be DEAD.



And then I read the name of her reality show, and it's a bit sickening. So way to go Tim, you've made every single thing in that paragraph awful on both sides of things.
Reply
Flag
Really MTV actually thought about bringing My First to television? Who seriously wanted to see that.
Reply
Flag
Dude. That was truly harsh about Bristol Palin. Dislike her unearned fame and insipid TV appearances all you want, but don't wish the girl dead. What the hell is wrong with you?



And people say conservatives are hate-mongers . . .
Reply
Flag
So, I'm not particularly a Bristol Palin fan, but are you saying you wish she was dead? Are you out of high school yet? You have a right not to like her, but your snide comments are immature and ridiculous.
Reply
Flag
Ellis is the only one I truly hated as a character. He didn't have any redeemable traits. Glad he is gone. The others I didn't particularly like either, but they brought a little bit of healthy tension to the show. So I'm sad to see them go just because fans didn't like them. Not all characters have to be liked.
Reply
Flag
With Smash, this is exactly the sort of corporate network alteration that often destroys shows. While I don't like dis-likeable characters, it also takes away from story conflict and makes the show dull, and destroys the ratings in the process. I don't expect the show to last past next year.
Reply
Flag
scary stuff that "my first" making it far enough in the production process to make it into the news.



hooray charlie kaufman anything!



did they kill off the new spartacus yet? i'd totally start watching again if they did.



i knew something about the walking dead bored me incessantly but i couldn't quite put my finger on it.
Reply
Flag
Hmm I really like Michael. But I'm so glad that Ellis is leaving the show
Reply
Flag
Frank can go, but Michael (Will Chase) is brilliant! And he can sing too. You know who REALLY has to go? Leo.
Reply
Flag
So they're cutting everyone and canceling that terrible show?
Reply
Flag
Why would they want to fire Michael and Frank? I love them both!

I'm really happy about them firing Ellis, though. He isn't good for the show in any way.

At all.
Reply
Flag
Sad about Lincoln.

It is so offensive that Bristol Palin has her own TV show. I weep for America.
Reply
Flag
Oh gosh I love Seth Gabel! What a shame...



I also agree poor Raza Jaffrey was criminally underused, and so was Brian d'Arcy James!
Reply
Flag
I guess now Seth Gabel will stay home and make more babies with Bryce Dallas Howard? lol
Reply
Flag
In regards to Smash: Michael's character was horrible but he was undeniably the best singer on the whole show, so for that reason I'll miss him. Frank I don't see coming back as a series regular but a recurring character. Dev's writing was horrible and honestly I think he was wasted.



Ellis I don't mind leaving the show.
Reply
Flag
Except for the deaths that result in nothing and are completely useless and uninteresting.
Reply
Flag
I'm not really surprised about the absence of the alt-universe in Fringe, at least as long as season 5 follows the premise of "Letters of Transit," which looks like will happen. But I'll really miss them if that happens.
Reply
Flag
Nooooooooooooooooooo! Not the Other Universe!



Tonight, I will drink a cup of coffee while looking up at a rainbow in their honor ... What? It could happen.
Reply
Flag
thank God! Dev and Ellis are gone, but too bad it's not by character death :p I didn't like Michael Swift but I honestly didn't think he'd be back anyway.. and I didn't mind Frank.. does that mean that Frank and Julia are getting divorced or just that there won't be many at home scenes for her? if they get divorced, can her son also leave? :p



I'm also upset about the alternate universe on Fringe.. but maybe they'll be able to fix it by the finale? or the eventual not-real-except-in-my-mind movie
Reply
Flag
Wait a sec! I believed I was the only one who thought up the eventual not-real-except-in-my-mind movie.



I think we have a Fringe event on our hands!
Reply
Flag
so all guys are being fired from smash? SEXIST!
Reply
Flag
I guess I didn't realize how all of the straight men on Smash were written as rotten bastards (except Frank, who was written as a poor bastard). Ellis had to go. Michael was the limburger of David Hasselhoff cheese. Dev was a great character to start, but they turned him into a d-bag when he didn't get his promotion, started hiding things from Karen, confiding in another woman and eventually having a one-nighter with Ivy and losing Karen's engagement ring. Guess they couldn't think of anything better for him to do?
Reply
Flag
Yeah Smash, if you're mass Exodusing then why isn't Leo at the top of your list. I think Frank only became annoying by proxy because he was always around Leo. I also liked Ellis and hope that they come up with someone interesting to replace his niche.

Otherwise R.I.P. Lincoln :(
Reply
Flag
Referring to Smash, and Leo won't go why? And I was hoping either Julia should go or have a complete personality transplant. Or maybe they are saving her for the terrible zombie death she deserves... Wait, no, this is Lori, from The Walking Dead. I kind of mix both in my head.
Reply
Flag
LINCOLN NOOO!!! :(((

Oh well, as long as they don't off Astro.
Reply
Flag
Or Aspirin
Reply
Flag
or Astral... projection
Reply
Flag
Or Alex.
Reply
Flag
I like all the cast cuts of Smash, minus Will Chase. I liked Michael I was hoping Julia would be happy and get the baby she wanted.
Reply
Flag
Finally! I was actually worried about the idea of having Safran as a showrunner, but it seems he's actually dong a good job! He finally heard what everyone has been saying from the start. I mean Ellis was supposed to be this character you loved to hate but you simply hated him. Dev, on the other hand, started out okay but then he was so annoying and I just hated him.

As for Frank, I didn't mind his character... he was just stuck in an unfortunate storyline.

I really hope with the second season, that they please get Ivy back on her feet and have her star in another show and not dwell on losing this part to Karen and lets have Karen not be a Princess that has everyone catering to her she needs to grow up and learn to become a star that Derek thinks she can be. But, please don't let Derek and Karen get together I don't want them together I just don't see the chemistry as much as others do
Reply
Flag
"BRISTOL PALIN UPDATE: Unfortunately, she's still alive." Nice. Wishing death on a young girl because you don't like her politics. Very progressive of you, Tim.
Reply
Flag
Tasteless or not, I laughed. I guess I like tasteless humor.
Reply
Flag
I agree entirely. Not even in the slightest funny, even to someone like me who named her mother "The Baroness Munchhausen." The woman is obnoxious -- like half the reality tv people, I imagine. But I wouldn't even make a joke like that about someone in her eighties. Bristol Palin is 20, and has many years to grow out of her mother's shadow and to regret and learn. Again, sorry, but NOT FUNNY!
Reply
Flag
I'm not a fan of Bristol Palin by any stretch of the imagination, but that is a completely tactless and tasteless joke by Mr. Surette.
Reply
Flag
watch out, they might ban you for having an opinion against a staff member, they did it to me before.
Reply
Flag
How did you sneak back if you were banned?
Reply
Flag
Politics? I think it's more likely that it's because she's famous for no good reason like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.
Reply
Flag
Saying its unfortunate someone is still alive, is not the same thing as wishing death on them. A subtle difference, but its there.



He also never made any mention of why he finds it unfortunate she is alive. Maybe he is aware of something we aren't? Maybe he has seen a future, in which her death, through a series of seemingly random, unconnected events, is able to prevent the murder of 1000s of innocent babies.



Or maybe he just finds her trashy and annoying and was making a joke.



I guess we will never know.
Reply
Flag
Or maybe Tim was just being unpleasantly sarcastic. I guess we'll never know.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook