Smash-ing Scoop: Ellis Is Exiting! Dev Is Done! [Update: Two More Season 2 Casualties!]

smash ellis devSmash fans worried about its future under new showrunner Josh Safran have at least two good reasons to breathe a little easier. TVLine has confirmed that polarizing (and by polarizing, we mean absolutely intolerable) characters Ellis and Dev won’t be a regular presence when Smash returns to NBC for its second season sometime in 2013.

No decision has been made whether or not Ellis and Dev’s portrayers, Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey, will return to wrap up their characters’ story arcs. Nevertheless, it appears the former’s days of hallway lurking, eavesdropping, and unpleasant scheming are numbered, while the latter probably won’t find forgiveness after cheating (with two different women!) on Bombshell star Karen (Katharine McPhee) — then trying to wave it all away with an engagement ring. News of Cepero and Jaffrey’s exits was first reported by

UPDATE: A show insider tells TVLine that two more actors — Brian D’Arcy James, a series regular as Frank, the hubby of Debra Messing’s Julia, and Will Chase, who recurred as Julia’s sometimes lover Michael Swift, are also exiting in Season 2.

RELATED | Exclusive: Smash Shakes Up Cast, Adding Three New Regulars for Season 2

Cepero sounded optimistic about his future on Smash when he spoke to TVLine last month. “Every show needs a villain, because without conflict there’s nothing to watch on a one-hour drama,” he said. “Nothing’s set in stone, but I’ve gotten a pretty generous rundown of what’s happening with my character in Season 2, and you can definitely look out for him a lot, doing some more [sneaky things]. I’m probably going to be even more hated.”

Or more…gone.

RELATED | Smash Season Finale Recap: Hello, Norma Jean…

Excited to see the end of Ellis and Dev, or were you one of their silent supporters? Thoughts on the demise of Julia’s men? Take our polls, then sound off in the comments below! –Additional reporting by Matt Webb Mitovich

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Melanie says:

    So glad they’re gone!! : )

    • Evan says:

      I agree. Although, perhaps they should axed the original writers. These poor actors were forced to do ridiculous work. Here’s hoping season 2 is as amazing as the last few episodes were.

    • greysfan says:

      Woohoo! Agree with you there. Both were a complete waste of space. Goodbye Ellis! The moron has left the building.

    • glenn omura says:

      It wasn’t their fault they got axed. Blame the writers. There’s still a problem in poor character development and poor scene development. Its ok for the first half of the season when they’re trying to trap an audience, but, come on, the hop-skipping around to cover all the characters was crazy. (Although at least they covered the characters, unlike “Walking Dead” where some characters disappeared for weeks!)

      • You call Julia and Frank and Michael and Julia’s Son—this was not character development, that is ridiculous. Tom’s dating history and the goodness of Sam and Jessica. PLUS Ivy being one step away from Ms. Satan. And music that was wonderful and I and many others think “Don’t Forget Me” is wonderful. It brings tears to my eyes because no one should be forgotten. I think you need to rethink that post when you know the facts

  2. Camila says:

    Such good news, really. Nothing against the actors, but the characters were really awful.

    • Leila says:

      Yeah, I feel bad for the actors losing their jobs… But they add nothing to the story.

    • jenna says:

      hoping frank will still be on the show, I don’t feel like he was on enough to really be considered a regular so hoping he isn’t axed for good!!

      • KathyNYC says:

        I will miss Frank also but I am not sad to see the other three go…sorry about their jobs of course, but they were dragging the show down.

        • Debbie says:

          I actually thought Frank & Julia would work things out & raise the baby she is carrying, as it looked like their hopes of adopting were “Smashed”. Pardon the pun. I am assuming based on the scene in the last episode in which Julia, threw up, and said the last time she threw up was when she was pregnant with her son. It is probably no realistic, but hey it is a tv show after all.

          • Amanda says:

            She’s probably pregnant with Michael Swift’s baby, and that’s why Frank ends up leaving :-(

          • I thought that she was pregnant 2 because of that same scene, but If she really is pregnant then I think its Micheal swift his baby not franks.

            Glad to see Dev, ellis go, Ellis his character wasn’t all that bad, i liked him for his evilness, he was just to damm stupid. the show doesn’t need Dev at all
            Micheal swifts leaving i don’t really care, i didn’t really like him but i didn’t hate hil either

          • JeanE says:

            I really enjoyed Frank & Julia, and appreciated seeing a couple choose to work at marriage (feels like a bold move & a refreshing departure from what seems to be the norm these days). But now I’m stuck assuming she’s pregnant, guessing it’s not Franks, and wondering how they ever had a kid in the first place (who’s kid IS “their” son). Yikes!!

      • Kathleen Kenney says:

        Hoping Frank will stay too. Get rid of the boyfriend and give the married couple a chance to get it together.

  3. cody says:

    im excited to see ellis gone, but not dev.

    • kate says:


    • Me too! Ellis is too annoying but I really liked Dev. Sorry to see him go. Although Karen would have eventually outgrown Dev. Its probably better they break up now!

      • Danielle H says:

        I really liked Dev.. until the last 2 episodes. Sleeping with Ivy was completely unforgivable. Just absolutely sickening on every level. Nothing Ellis ever did came close to making me as sick as seeing them in bed together, and that’s saying something because Ellis is completely cringeworthy!!
        I’ll miss sexy Dev though, but I can see why showrunners are cutting him out. They are trying to tweak this to get to a season 3.
        Biggest thing that needs to go is the Julia family BS. TERRIBLE!

    • Christina says:

      Same. Ellis was such a deplorable character. He wasn’t even likable as a villain. They don’t even need to bring him back to wrap his story up. He was fired by Eileen, the end!

    • jake will says:

      Aw I’ll miss Dev, he was cute

    • Magically Suspicious says:

      Agreed. I liked Dev.

  4. DL says:

    Oh my God… you do exist! Thanks for answering the prayers of Smash fans everywhere!

  5. Shey says:

    I liked Dev, I could even stomach the flirting and kiss of his reporter friend but when he slept with Ivy he died for me! I want too see Karen humanize Derek I just hope it won’t be too soon so he won’t leap from Ivy’s/Rebecca’s arms to Karen’s

  6. Larissa says:

    I feel like I’m the only person that actually sort-of liked Ellis. But, I don’t really mind that either of them are gone either way.

    • rubytu says:

      I liked Ellis. I’m sad that he’s going to be gone, he really helped drive the plot. And, I found him amusing.

  7. John Berggren says:

    There are characters you love to hate, and characters you just hate.
    They missed the mark and made these guys the latter.

  8. abby says:

    I never minded Dev, though I disagreed with many of his choices; I was interested to see if/how his and Karen’s relationship would develop.

    I am THRILLED that Ellis is getting the axe. That was not a “love to hate” character – he was damn near unwatchable. Thank TPTB for getting at least one decision right.

    • Shannon Hollsten says:

      My thoughts EXACTLY. (Pshew! Now I don’t have to put my thoughts into words!)

    • blair says:

      i totally agree. dev had his mistakes, but it wasn’t something that was annoying to watch. besides, it wasn’t like karen was the best girlfriend in the world, so i was sort of interested to see them develop, maybe try to fix themselves and work things out regardless of the mistakes they both made in their relationship. it sounds somewhat realistic. but i guess they’ll just turn it into an ivy/derek/karen triangle even more now, which… bleh, i’m already bored about it.
      props on the ellis thing though, absolutely right.

    • julia says:

      Exactly! Now I can start watching again and not pressing “mute” when Ellis is on the screen.

  9. Katie says:

    Agreed!!! Glad they are both gone :)

  10. Aria says:

    Soooo pleased about this.

  11. Nick says:

    Error in graph 3 “Ceperno” should be Cepero

  12. BTM says:

    Can they get rid of Karen, next?

    How about “everybody but Tom?”

    • 777 says:

      THIS about Karen!

    • Leila says:

      Ha! Tom is the best character no doubt about it.

    • blair says:

      this show needs to become the tom/ivy show just because megan and christian
      with special appearances of julia and derek because reasons
      and derek/tom as the main storyline

    • lilly says:

      I’d keep Derick and Ivy as well. Getting rid of. Karen would help but it won’t happen.

    • Erin says:

      I wish. I think she’s mighty talented and lovely but she’s so, blah, she’s missing something in the charisma department. There’s this blandness going on, even when she’s standing up for herself and kicking butt. And I like dev, he only went through a character assassination in the last few eps to prop up Karen, make her the heroine even and give her some obstacles. Which was a bad choice as her sweet relationship with him was one of her better traits.

      Couldn’t care less about Ellis though.

    • rubytu says:

      I’d vote her off!!! Do we get a vote?

    • Evyn says:

      This!, but sadly it will never happen.

  13. Lis says:

    Now if only they’d get rid of Julia’s son…

  14. jen says:

    awww dev :( but good riddance for ellis!! but i am kinda worried the show is under Josh Safran now.. I mean really, he destroyed gossip girl so so bad.. i have a feeling SMASH will be the same :(( which is sad cos i love smash!!

  15. I.C. says:

    Happy about Ellis, hate him more than one should hate imaginary people. But I am sad about Dev and his hotness leaving, gonna miss those eyes.

    • Jeff Johnson says:

      Ahhh yes “those eyes” . . . . those cheatin eyes.

    • Siggy says:

      So with you. Dev is a cutie. And I didn’t mind him on the show. Ellis on the other hand…. The only thing I found more ridiculous than Ellis was the writers expecting us to believe he was straight and had a girlfriend. I mean, let’s get real here.

  16. Adam says:

    this is the best news ever

  17. MDEP says:

    I think both characters brought something to the show and am sorry they are being written out. Although, I do not know how Karen would be able to forgive Dev, so it makes sense for Dev to go. I had a hard time believing his character would sleep with Ivy to begin with and they ruined his character when that happened. It just did not make sense. I am not one of the viewers who want Karen and Derek together. I hope that is not on the horizon.

  18. Anne says:

    I liked Dev in the beginning when he played the supportive boyfriend, but when they added all that cheating drama, he became a completely different person. I wish they didn’t ruin his character because it would’ve great to show at least one solid, non-cheating relationship on the show.

    As for Ellis, I don’t really have anything to say. Lol.

    So, any news on Leo? It would be great if they could recast the actor…

  19. Mandy says:

    Well that’s a good start. If we could only get rid of Julia’s son by giving him a scholarship or something then you would’ve gotten rid of three of the biggest problems on the show but not the biggest one: everyone seems to be smoking/drinking something that makes them believe that Karen is the best choice to carry this musical.

    I mean this within the show. I’m not saying that some characters inside the show cannot favor Karen over Ivy, everyone has their opinion, but the fact that EVERY SINGLE PERSON falls in love with Karen IMMEDIATELY and completely rejects Ivy is starting to be boring and it’s the crappiest way to manipulate an audience to tell them who they should root for. Karen’s personality and voice are not everyone’s cup of tea and the fact that there is NO ONE in the show who dislikes her, NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON gives me too many Mary Sue vibes.

    There HAS to be someone who thinks Ivy is better and fight for her right? Eileen and Tom seem to think so but none of them actually have the guts to say “NO” to Derek and it bothers me SO MUCH.

    • Ana says:

      Agreed. I like Karen enough and she does have a great voice but something about her falls flat whenever she’s on the screen. It’s hard to explain for me. She lacks a certain charisma…Ivy on the other hand screams ‘Marilyn’. She has the stage presence and the voice for the stage.

    • rubytu says:

      I totally agree with Mandy and Ana.

    • blair says:

      mary sue vibes YES thank you!
      not to mention that, realistically speaking, there is no way she could have learned the entire show AND a new song in like, what, 6 hours? come on
      my only hope is that despite the audience liking karen’s show, they get bad reviews and they have to re-think their position if they really want to make it on broadway, taking into consideration everything and not just the fact that the director of the show thinks with his penis
      if nobody in the show is going to dislike her, i hope at least they make the critics do so, but then again, they’ll twist that to victimize karen once again and then give her broadway and make it seem like she earned the whole thing because oh boo poor little karen, ugh
      she doesn’t even /want/ this thing as much as ivy does, that’s my second problem with her aside from the mary sue-ness. she doesn’t want to be marilyn, she just wants to be a star, to succeed, she wants to become rebecca duval or whatever other random celebrity. she wants fame, generally speaking, she doesn’t want THIS show and to become THIS character and MARILYN. and it’s just upsetting to see her succeed so easily.

    • ramification says:

      But Eileen and Tom both fought Derek on this and he pushed through his vision for Karen. That was part of the story, that not everyone could see her as a ‘star’, that she was too green/ inexperienced, and that Ivy was the more seasoned/ better performer. Eileen had a massive fight with him over it in the finale. Not every single character fell in love with Karen. I preferred Ivy as Marilyn personally but I found how the story played out internally consistent and realistic. Also, about Dev, I think the plan was to make him so desperate leading up to the point where he sleeps with Ivy so that Karen as a character can experience just the right amount of heart ache to really nail Marilyn.

  20. Chloe says:

    I hated that Dev cheated on Karen but I couldn’t understand Karen’s reason for not being able to give him an answer to his proposal, either. So it was ‘tech’. So what? He wasn’t suggesting they elope right away or that she drop everything to plan the wedding. All she had to do was say “yes”. I’m NOT excusing Dev but I can understand why he was upset. It’s just too bad that he didn’t deal with his upsetment in a different manner.
    As for Ellis, I enjoyed watching him. He was a troublemaker but he stirred things up & made them interesting. I wouldn’t want to know him in real life [ugh!] but watching him on TV was a hoot.

    • blair says:

      honestly, i wasn’t even surprised that she wasn’t giving him a proper answer. she’s spent the entire season being a horrible girlfriend, only caring about herself and then getting offended when he had some issues and wanted some support. yeah his choices were horrible and not excusable, but everyone (including karen) acting like she’s done nothing but being wonderful? PLEASE.

  21. Behzad says:

    Frankly, In Dev’s case, his character just never got the proper writing. Hopefully the writing staff is also being shaken up for season 2.

  22. Ana says:

    Excellent news! There are villains you love to hate, like womanizer, egomaniac Derek, but Ellis was just intolerable. I cringed every time he appeared and I think it has to do with how the actor portrays him. There is absolutely nothing attractive about him. No redeeming qualities. I was ambivalent about Dev but when he cheated the first time flags went up. After he went all the way with Ivy I was done. So its a good thing he’s gone as well. Although I loved him doing the Bollywood number…

  23. Jacqi says:

    Now Karen and Derek can get together! He is obviously into her.

  24. Lauren says:

    I didn’t mind Ellis, hated Dev. So glad he’s gone. Sorry for the actors though.

  25. This might be the best news I’ve read all day. Dev doesn’t bother me much but sooooo glad Ellis is gone.

  26. Josh says:

    Ergh Ellis was the worst! I didn’t love to hate him! I just hated him!

  27. davey says:

    Hmm.. I won’t miss Ellis but I liked Dev shirtless, LOL. Interesting that two people of color are elilminated in a show that needs as much diversity as possible since all the major characters are white. But why should I not be surprised!

    • Seriously? says:

      Oh please. You know this had nothing to do with race and everything to do with appalling characterization. Stop looking for scandal where there is none.

    • tarc says:

      And the casting has gone out for two people of color and one not already…

  28. Steven says:

    Ellis confessed to poisoning Rebecca… given her well-publicized peanut allergy, I think this counts as assault with a deadly weapon. Eileen should let Ms. Duvall’s people know, so they can press charges.

    I think we all know exactly how Ellis — a little Napoleon-complex known for overhearing secrets and switching allegiances — would fare in general population of a prison for violent offenders. And I approve.

    • blair says:

      please, it would be fabulous. i wouldn’t mind if his last scene was everyone laughing and pointing at him while he’s in jail.

  29. Rob says:

    Dev was the most boring character ever.He was the thing I disliked about the show. glad to see that character gone. Dont shoot me but I enjoyed the creepiness of Ellis.

  30. Lucy says:

    finnally!!!!… .every time i saw ellis on the show i wanted to throw a shoe to the tv or something haha seriously! my gosh!!! how annoying

  31. Trina says:

    Thought it was so funny that Dev used the Ross excuse – We were on a break!
    Please leave Ellis on the show, everyone needs a villian so the hero gets something to do!

  32. Che says:

    I keep saying that they should promote the ensemble characters. The two gay guys are hot and we should explore their lives. I don’t know their names and that’s exactly the point. Instead I bringing new ones invest more time in the ones we already know.

    • Steven says:

      Their names are Tom and Sam, and you can be forgiven for not knowing Sam’s name — perhaps that’s where they should focus, to remind people that there is another black guy on the show — but if you don’t know Tom’s, then you just weren’t paying attention. At all.

  33. Jo says:

    Can we please get rid of Michael Swift, too? Permanently.

  34. John says:

    Well, Ellis being annoying was the point. So it worked.

    Dev was more meh as written, for me anyway.

  35. madhatter360 says:

    I think they gave Ellis a decent exit that the actor doesn’t need to return to wrap anything up. I think it would make for sense to have one more episode with Dev to wrap things up though.

  36. Katy says:

    Jo, considering that Julia is most likely pregnant…I guess Michael will be around for a while.

  37. Larissa says:

    Really? They are seriously getting rid of all the lead males. What, are they like completely recasting the entire show?!

    • Lyn says:

      That banshee wail you hear is the sound of Debra Messing’s character whining …..all next season…..

  38. mikeystyles says:

    and by bear attack….I hope they mean that Ellis gets bitch slapped by some big burly gay guy and runs away lol

  39. Jake says:

    Seems like their getting rid of all the annoying characters all the fans hated, first Dev and Ellis are gone and now Michael and Frank. all thats left is Leo now! lol

  40. lilly says:

    I could have enjoyed Ellis in theory if they had just left him as being entitled and overly ambitious. Part of the problem was that the actor didn’t give him enough of a personality beyond being bad. Another problem was that he made trouble just to further the story when the character reason to do these things.

    Dev’s problem is he isn’t in show biz so he doesn’t really fit into the show unless he’s a love interest. The political stuff didn’t work.

    • Leila says:

      I know, there wouldn’t be enough time on the show to develop a political side story that was good enough to make us care about it. Reality is, once you’re in the entertainment business you tend to have relationships within that environment because it’s too intense and time consuming. I doubt that a playwright like Julia would be married to a school teacher and make it work.

  41. matttucker76 says:

    Looks like Mr. Gossip Girl actually took all of the glaring flaws of Season 1 to head & heart and did something about them. (Too bad about Frank. I actually enjoyed Frank & Julia in the beginning of the season, stupid adoption storyline or no. But that whole thing fell apart by season’s end and the interest was gone.)
    Looking forward to more changes.

  42. Dev could have been interesting if the writing was better; everyone else in this show is theater theater theater so it was nice having someone from an outside perspective to look at Karen getting immersed in it and being able to gauge the ridiculousness of it. At least, I feel that’s what they intended for his character and never achieved. His political blah-blah made no sense in this show. Also, the Dev/Ivy plot could have been a lot more interesting if it had been given time, perhaps some buildup.

    My Ellis send-off involves him going down a line where every character on the show throws a drink in his face, and THEN a bear attacks him.

  43. David says:

    The Ellis character was awful. And the actor playing him had a hard time playing straight! Just saying. But I did like Dev but didn’t like how the writers made him sleep around.

  44. murley says:

    i quite liked dev’s character until they randomly flipped the switch and made him a insecure cheater. i wish they had the guts to actually give them an interesting relationship instead of going for tawdry drama but that was one of the mistakes they made this season on smash. given the direction they took the character i am not surprised he will be gone next season and at this point i am not sorry. they ruined the character, they might as well get rid of him. ellis is no big loss although the more challenging and interesting thing to do would be to try and redeem him.

  45. Paige says:

    Yikes. Talk about getting rid of half the male cast. So we basically still have Derek, Tom, and the guys in the ensemble (assuming they aren’t getting the axe too?) Whether I liked the characters or not I hope they wrap up these characters storylines, otherwise it’s not only rude to fans of the characters but the actors as well.

  46. Ana says:

    Wow, so both Julia’s lover and husband are leaving. She will be all alone now. Well, clean slate. The lover thing was distasteful, even though the actor is cute, and the husband is another character that brought nothing to the show. Who did the casting for this? They seriously missed the mark big time! And I hope the writing improves also so that characters can be properly developed.

  47. tw says:

    re: Julia’s men – Here’s hoping that means Leo is a goner too! He may be a perfectly lovely young man, but wow, is he a terrible actor.

    • tw says:

      I’m actually in kind of mixed mind about the other. Loved Will Camp and happy to see (and hear) an enormously talent B’way star on TV regularly. Hated the character of Michael Swift though…

  48. So does this mean that the Julia-is-pregnant subplot that was oh so subtly foreshadowed in the finale will be aborted? (Yes, pun intended.)

    • coral says:

      Maybe she’ll have a miscarriage over the summer, or maybe she just has food poisoning or a sudden attack of peanut allergy. Please don’t let her be pregnant. The onlly hope for the show is that they get away from the truly soapy elements and focus on the behind-the-scenes show biz stuff on making a musical make it to Broadway. That’s a whole lot more interesting than another pregnancy out of wedlock story. Sheesh!

      • Watson77 says:

        Yes. More behind the scenes. Enough soapy garbage everywhere else on the dial. Do something different, something we haven’t seen before.

  49. I think so far the new show runner is doing well, Ellis would bring the show down make it dark and ugly-he wasnt needed so goodbye

    Dev was okay and super cute but didnt let Karen grow or make her look bye bye to him too

    Frank needed to go the most out of everyone,he brought nothing to the show.

    Micheal should stay because he was useful but I guess they have bigger things plan for juila.

    This show had a lot of cast/crew that was not needed so i am fine with all 4 guys leaving the show.

    • Donna says:

      I agree except for Michael Swift. He was a great Joe DiMaggio. He told his wife about him and Julia so I see no reason why they cannot be together now with the pregnancy storyline. Now if they could just recast the part of Leo with an actor that was not monotone and could actually act.

      • Leila says:

        Yeah, and why would Frank leave once Michael is out of the picture? Either one or the other.

      • KathyNYC says:

        I respectfully disagree. He was a terrible Joe DiMaggio since he was nothing like the real Joe. Michael was sophisticated and slick and a big city guy… and Joe was an educated ball player who was sort of tall and gawky and the opposite of slick. That’s why Marilyn loved him. He was the “Mr and Mrs. Smith” of the song..Michael was not. Plus, for me, I would never want Julia with Michael – Michael was a sleaze. The man had no morals, pushed himself on Julia, sat in her living room with her husband and son without guilt, & cheated on his own wife without a care. After he was rehired to the Marilyn show, he pursued Julia again, not caring who would get hurt. Julia deserves way better – and I don’t even like Julia much. I say good riddance – Michael cannot leave soon enough for me.

      • Leah says:

        Oh My Gosh I Totally Agree . I LOVE Michael & Julia, I Love That Couple Alot And I Really Want Him To Stay . He Does Make An Amazing Joe DiMaggio & The The Chemistry Between Him And Julia Is Amazing & Real . He Better Not Leave Forever .

  50. Lisa (@KittyKay3) says:

    I want Ellis to disappear by falling down an elevator shaft like the lawyer from LA Law!