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 EW.com.

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


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196 Comments
  1. Kevin H. says:

    I feel bad for Raza, Jamie, Brian, and Will–they seem like very talented actors that were given crappy material.

  2. tvismyradio says:

    I’m glad they’ve made these cuts. Dev was pretty harmless, until he followed cheating with a proposal, but mostly he was just a boring character. I liked Will Chase, he’s a great singer and I thought he was good as Joe in “Bombshell”, but his storyline with Julia was terrible and made her character pretty unlikeable. Brian was wasted on the show as Frank. Ellis… well… bear attack please! Now can we just get rid of the annoying kid Leo?

    Also… to put it in very simple terms: Karen needs to become less naive and Ivy needs to be less of bitch. Basically the only character I like is Tom. Well, I do like Ivy because it’s hard not to love Megan Hilty and ignore her talent, but the writers have done their best to make us favour Karen and in doing so haven’t been kind with their presentation of Ivy. Derek I enjoy watching, but sleeping with Rebecca, really? Heh. Gosh, I’m glad I’m not Josh Safran -this show has so many kinks and character problems to work out!

  3. Kelly says:

    I really liked Raza when he was on MI-5. I think he suffered from a badly written character here. I will miss him, if not Dev. As for Ellis, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving character.

  4. Paul says:

    Now if only they would get rid of Katharine McPhee, I would enjoy watching the show so much more! I can’t stand her role, plus, she can’t match 1/2 the talent of Megan Hilty!

    It is a shame to see Will Chase go, he was really good in the role.

    I hope the writes give more screen time to Anjelica Huston. She & Megan are the best two roles on the show!!!

  5. Kelly says:

    Wow, I posted before I saw the update. Lots of cuts of the men on this show. I think both the actors who played the men in Julia’s life were wonderful but their characters were underdeveloped or just unlikeable. I hope they show the exit of those two because something has to happen for Julia to be down two men all of a sudden. I just hope it’s not relating to a pregnancy storyline.

  6. Jenny says:

    With these characters going, maybe this show will actually be more about the struggle to put together a musical and not just personal drama. I may actually tune back in next season with some of these changes.

  7. Donna says:

    4 down, now Leo needs to go next. Worst actor ever! Whoever cast this show did a HORRIBLE job for a lot of the background players. I’m not thrilled with the Thorston Kaye character (Eileen’s bad-boy bartender boyfriend) either.

  8. RaineriRRC says:

    Sooooo happy about this! Cant believe they wont make me watch Ellis again! Great start for Josh Safran, looks like he watched the show too. Lets just hope he does good work on the stories too

  9. Tania says:

    I liked both Ellis and Dev. Sorry to see them go.

  10. I’m sure Brian D’arcy James, A genuine Braodway musical star– has better things to commit to than a non-singing bit part on this show. I doubt he would object to being cut. (Although I’m sure the checks were nice.) Anyone know why they would cast him as this character in the first place? It’s like using a sword to cut a pat of butter.

    • lilly says:

      TV pays better than the stage. The creators of Smash come from Broadway and probably wanted to give their friends a chance to make good money.

    • Mel.P says:

      Saw an interview where Brian said he had actually auditioned for Tom. He (obviously) didn’t get it but then they asked him to audition again and this time for Frank.
      It’s an interesting little tidbit and I could only imagine what Brian’s take on Tom might have been…but, oh well.

      And I also came upon an interview (somewhere on iTunes/podcast) with the kid who plays Leo and apparently he has connections everywhere. It’s like his entire family is in the biz…

  11. lilly says:

    I feel bad for these actors. The writers wrote the characters into corners and there was no way to rehabilitate them plots wise.

  12. Fernanda says:

    I really missed Michael Swift (Will Chase).. but I want a last confrontation between him and Frank, then Joshua Safran could fire the actors.

    If Michael is gone the producers will hire another “Joe DiMaggio” and that character will become a new love interest for Karen, even for Ivy.

    We never saw “JK Kennedy” character on Bombshell

    I want to see more Ellis. But The former Gossip Girl producer would think another villian for the show. Someone like Blair or Chuck Bass.

  13. BrianR says:

    Good news about Dev. Karen needs to be single and available to be wined and dined as a new star and not chained down by the depressive Dev.

    • diane says:

      Dev is the second main reason why Karen doesn`t work as a character, aside everyone`s over the top gushing about everything she does. The actors have ZERO chemsitry, no, scratch that, SUB-ZERO chemsitry which is a death for any movie or TV couple. No chemsitry = bad scenes. They were boring and bad writing didn`t help. Also, his only function on the show was that of a boyfreind. When he lost that status he was done. Plus, eevryone who now goes “sucks for the actor, I liked Dev,etc” say that because they got rid of the problem so they cna afford to be generos and sympathetic. Had he stayed on the show there would have been negative reactions through the roof and rightly so. The character was always peripheral and not meant to be a a regular yet they focused second galf of the season on him. And ratings suffered. Not only because of him but his problems that nobody cared about didn`t keep viewership.

  14. Abby says:

    The poll for Ellis is missing an option: All of these things occurring simultaneously. I vote for that.

  15. josh says:

    sooo… hint that julia is pregnant and then dont bring the two guys who possibly are the father back… par for the course of this show.

  16. This is good news. Although, as the season went along and Ellis’s screen time decreased, he was a bit less annoying. As for Dev, I disliked him because more him meant more Karen which I am not a fan of.

    I wonder how they will write out Frank – if he and Julia are getting a divorce, or if they will just stop showing Julia’s home life so he’s still in the picture, but not on screen.

    So glad about Michael Swift leaving. Gah, I yell at the screen everytime he appears with his smarmy smile.

  17. Linderella says:

    Glad to see they are going to do a reset of Julia’s character (with Michael & Frank out of the picture)! As for Dev – not a fan of the character, but I liked the actor. There are no words to describe how glad I am Ellis will have an opportunity to exceed in another career field…he seems rather adept at making peanut smoothies. Maybe Dairy Queen is hiring.

  18. Real Broadway Fan says:

    Poor Brian D’Arcy James! One of the most talented leading men on Broadway and he was relegated to playing a complete and total wimp! What a waste! Smash is a terrible show and should have been put out of its misery.

  19. amadeline says:

    I stopped watching because ALL the characters are pretty much unlikeable, especially Ellis and Dev, and I can’t stand Catherine McPhee. Maybe if they give people someone to like I’ll watch again.

  20. Megan says:

    I have to admit that I’m slightly upset that Brian D’Arcy is leaving. I really feel that didn’t give his character a chance and Brian is incredibly talented, it seems like a waste.

  21. Jacqi says:

    I agree with the Dev/Ellis on not coming back. But Michael AND Frank leaving. I wanted Julia to end up with Michael. (they have way more chemistry then her and frank)

  22. Nick says:

    Sad to see Dev go, but thrilled about Ellis. Ellis blows, but I had hopes Karen and Dev would work it out. Mostly because they are both hot and make the steamiest couple on TV.

  23. Chris says:

    With Will Chase gone, I wonder who will play the actor that will play Joe DiMaggio next season?

  24. Amaia says:

    Dev started being a great guy and ended being an idiot. He cheated on Karen… with Ivy!!! Follow your political dreams Dev, bye bye. And Ellis… The hated Ellis…. Eileen fired him, who is going to miss him?

    But I think Julia needs Frank and the show needs Michael Swift because he’s great.

  25. Sad for Dev though. I hoe they will give at least an episode to say goodbye properly!

    I hope the news about Brian and Will are not true!!! LET BRIAN SING A PROPER SONG FIRST!

    Am i the only one who hates Tom and his boyfriend? I love Christopher Borle, but his character is annoying.

  26. Anon says:

    Im glad Ellis is gone his character was so annoying and predictable.

    Thought Dev was boring- but I don’t get why people emphasise his cheating on Karen but people still like Derek, he’s a cheater too.

    Didn’t care for the Julia/Michael storyline, but wish Will Chase has a great voice so I hoped they would keep him but give him a new seperate storyline.

  27. spookyspacekook says:

    Funnily enough, Raza Jaffrey (Dev) has just joined the cast of the musical, Chicago over here in London…so I guess he is getting his own Smash-style exit, playing Billy Flynn! So I’m guessing there may be a new love interest for Karen next season? Glad to see the back of ‘evil’ Ellis, possibly the least threatening TV ‘villain’ in history!

  28. KathyNYC says:

    I hope the new actor playing Joe DiMaggio will be something like Joe DiMaggio – Will was a good singer but he was nothing like Joe Dimaggio and was totally miscast. Also Will has charisma on stage but boy was he dead wood on TV – the worst written character of all and not one redeeming factor. If it’s true that he is gone, that news makes my day.

  29. hperry says:

    The show has enough villains! I mean every character has been a villain at some point. They have just written completely unlikeable characters with a great score and dance numbers. They need to work on character development next year. Show me people and why this means what it does tothem. Not just I am gonna lose money or this can’t fail. Those are not reasons those are complaints. Who are these people and why is this musical bringing them together. Derek is the only character I do like because he has some passion for the project and isn’t running around whining. Though if they have him use sex as a tactic one more time, I’m out.

  30. Jones says:

    How about instead of losing Frank, we lose Julia? I can’t stand her! Let her and Michael Swift run off together and take her whiny son with them into the sunset, never to be seen or heard from again. May sneaky Ellis haunt and taunt her for the rest of her miserable life! Sorry about Dev, though. He was a jerk toward the end, definitely, but he was getting interesting. Karen, on the other hand, is beautiful and very talented, but just blah. Where is this spark we’re all hearing so much about, but not seeing? At least I’m not seeing it.

  31. Ken says:

    So, basically, the character of Dev, a good character portrayed by a good actor and Karen, a good character portrayed by a good actress, were given a ridiculous …. apocalyptically ridiculous story arc to play out when she freaked when he proposed and then he popped into bed with her rival. It wasn’t the character of Dev who should be booted, it was the writers!!!!!!! The relationship up to that point was fun, believable with just enough spice what with Dev upset about his job.

    And then they get rid of Julia Messing’s husband too.

    Again…..keep the characters and actors but fix the writing.

    It seems as if the show is trying to go at things a bit ass backward here.

  32. sarah says:

    Well I am glad Ellis is gone. I would like for Dev to still be on the show so they can wrap up the story line.
    As for Will Chase and Brian D’arcy James, I am upset that they are both gone, I think Will is a great singer and they had Julia and Frank fix their marriage and now they give Brian the boot!?!?

  33. Jeri says:

    Wonder what will happen to Debra Messing and Will Chase’s real life affair now that he is exiting the show.

  34. T. says:

    Why is Julia’s son staying?!

  35. Temis says:

    I didn dislike Dev, was he really that bad? Ellis wasn’t a very good villain. This show needs a sharp schemer and Ellis just came up with brainless ideas like committing attempted murder and then expecting Eileen to thank him for making her an accessory after the fact. In real life, Eileen’s next step would be to call her lawyer and then call the cops, to avoid being entangled legally in Ellis’s BS. So Ellis goes to jail and he’s off the show. Done and done.

  36. Good casting call. Ellis was a one-dimensional evil character without a backstory or clear motivation. Also, too openly evil to be credible.

  37. Gerald says:

    PLEASE Tell me that the son leaves with the Dad Frank, or he gets in an accident and undergoes plastic surgery and comes back as a completely different actor. He is a HORRIBLE actor. Not blaming the writers for his story. It is all his bad acting.

  38. lloomis says:

    I loved everything about the show, besides Ellis and Dev going behind Karen’s back and cheating with Ivy! I hope Frank and Michael Swift aren’t gone, especially Frank.

  39. Suzanne says:

    They should get rid of Eileen’s boyfriends or whatever. And KAREN. OMG. And I cannot believe that Derek’s into her. Awful, simplistic story telling and SO stupidly obvious. I hope the writers figure out plot lines less like a bad soap opera.

    • Lisa (@KittyKay3) says:

      I love the Cougar Eileen story line. She is seeing herself as beautiful and sexy for the first time. It gives her character depth beyond being a strong, competent business woman. We watched her become less hurt and more confident with the occasional chance encounters with her ex.

  40. Theresa says:

    I hope Karen and Derek don’t get together. He pretty much falls in love on a whim. He’s using Ivy and looked like he was going for Uma for a sec. He seems wishy washy in that department.

  41. David Wilson says:

    Really disliked Elis and every coniving thing he did. Frank was an emotional pain in the ass and I don’t see why Julia married him in the first place. No wonder their son is a bore! Michael was a ratbag carrying on like he did while having a wife and child – really glad he is gone. Dev leaving is OK, he was pretty spineless being manipulated by that chick he worked with – I bet she caused him not to get the job. I liked the bollywood number he did though ;-)

  42. I like the character Karen, gives the audience another view. Sometimes even the obvious person doesn’t get ‘cast’ in a role for one reason or another, hence Ivy not getting the role of Marilyn. While I think Ivy has a beautiful voice, I think Karen’s “innocence” was better suited to fit the Norma Jean Becomes Marilyn… storyline.

    I could not stand Ellis.. but I think we have not seen him “for good”… it’s possible he might pop in to “stir the pot” on occasion. He knows too much but then again maybe he will just “conveniently” disappear.

    Julia’s family could be handle “offscreen” with a occasional appearance of her husband on screen. I think that if she is pregnant (with Michael’s baby) that will be the proverbial straw for Frank and he will leave.

  43. Titina says:

    Yay. Now finally Karen can be free so that the potential love story arc between her and Derek keeps progressing.
    I love those two together! The chemistry is off the charts! Can´t wait to see them hook up!

  44. MichaelandJulia says:

    Am I the only one who is obsessed with Julia and Michael.
    It must continue—it MAKES the show! MICHAEL AND JULIA <3 <3

  45. Sandy says:

    I really disliked Ellis and Michael’s characters…even though they added drama…Dev would have ruined Karen’s carer if she stayed with him. Glad to see him go…he started out strong but as his own career cratered…he became a liability for her…but doesn’t this often happen in real life… Now what about Derrick and Karen….?????.I love this show and can’t wait for the next season…please don’t say that we have to wait til next year…

  46. Gail says:

    No loss on Ellis but I think that Dev should remain on the show. Someone outside the business would keep it a bit real for Karen and it would be in line with her character to forgive and grow from teh experience. I don’t think enough writing was done on their development while too much was on the Michael Swift angle. I liked Frank as well and thought that he was a great balance to Julia’s character. I may be one of a few but KEEP DEV

  47. SCRUZRN says:

    I’m sad that Frank is being written out. I had hoped his character was going to expand utilizing his great voice. He is probably one of the most likable characters! :-(

  48. Adam B. says:

    Dev wan’t well written, but I kind of liked him. I really likeded the idea of a main character having a strong relationship instead of the usual trying to balance finding your dream love while chasing your dream job, which is where this will probably go now.

  49. Damhill says:

    Good Bye Ellis! Glad you’ll be gone!

    But, c’mon guys! Dev exiting?!?! NOOOOO! My dreams are over :(

  50. Judy says:

    Am I the only SMASH fan who thought that Dev was a great character, and was treated like a scruffy toy by Karen? I cried when he showed up in Boston with those beautiful flowers and she couldn’t be bothered spending even a few minutes with him. Karen was my favorite, but after she dumped so badly on Dev, I see her as a rather dumb little girl who has her priorities all backwards. She doesn’t know what she wants!!!
    So sorry to see Raza Jaffrey leave the show. He is an excellent actor and Im wish bigger and better things for him.

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