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

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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

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