Exclusive: Smash Boss 'Saddened' By Saturday Move, Says Season Is Building to Series Finale

Smash Series Finale Spoilers Season 2Smash showrunner Josh Safran admits he was “saddened” by NBC’s decision this week to banish the struggling musical to Saturdays beginning April 6.

He was also surprised.

“I didn’t see it coming, being relegated to Saturday,” he tells TVLine. “We’re all aware the show is not successful, but I guess I had hoped we would see what happened when The Voice came back [or] maybe they’d move us to a better time slot. But I understand from the network’s point of view. We hit a number and we stuck there.”

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The number the show hit when it returned for Season 2 last month was a 1.1 demo rating, a decline of 25 and 39 percent from its freshman finale. It slipped further in Week 2, stabilized in Week 3, and most recently ticked up a hair to 2.9 million viewers and a 0.9 rating. But as Safran points out, going up a tenth of a point “is not really going up.”

If there’s a silver lining here for fans, it’s that all of this season’s remaining 11 episodes will air (the next three on Tuesdays at 10/9c and the final 8 on Saturdays at 9/8c). And, according to Safran, Episode 17 “was constructed as a series finale.”

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“I don’t want [viewers] to think they are going to be left hanging, because they won’t be,” he assures. “The season has a beginning, middle and an end… [And] it just gets better and better.

“Everyone here from the top down is incredibly proud of the work,” he continues. “I know that there are people who have their opinions and that’s totally acceptable, but that doesn’t change our viewpoint that we’re really proud and we love the show.”

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  1. the show is a mess. it’s amazing how the writers of the show can write to fix their fictional Musical, but then they write something that completely ignores all their own advice.

    The only good parts of the show are the songs. There’s too much forced drama and mishaps and backstabs. It all distracts from what could be a good show.

    So many times I’ve yelled at the screen to just get on with it. I watch every episode because the music is awesome. McPhee is amazing. But there is no vision for the show, just as Derek critiqued Hit List. It has no purpose.

  2. Art Vandelay says:

    The production of Smash was a mess and it was very expensive to produce. I think that NBC realized that it was hemorrhaging money and is trying to minimize their financial hit, given the rest of the garbage on their schedule.

  3. Robert Marar says:

    I love the show and even accept all the little problems and quirks with the story development and character flaws. It’s unfortunate that the show developers have had sooo much drama behind the scenes (too many chefs in the kitchen). The show has great potential and just needs to find its voice and audience but as it looks right now it’s on its way to cancellation. Frankly this show would have been better with a little more edge/darker and dirtier like the entertainment industry really is and placed on a pay network like HBO or showtime. They try to be edgy with the undertone of drugs, sex, betrayal but it just comes across as fluff. We would have seen at least 6 seasons had they went in that direction. Oh well, I’ll take it for what it is and enjoy whatever little time I have left with this Broadway baby :).

  4. brianc2012 says:

    That’s because NBC is Stupid and the WORST Network..all they had to do was keep it until The Voice came back and put it back to it’s reg time and it would be ok..they are showing that they just don’t give a damn by still not putting it back after The Voice to try and save it…NBC does not care , so viewers should not care anymore about Anything on their lame -ass network!

  5. Phil says:

    NBC please don’t cancel Smash!!
    It’s the only time I turn on my tv!!!
    Keep the classy shows like Smash going amidst so
    Much trash on TV !!!! I agree Smash should follow the Voice & a regular time slot people remember ! Debra Messing has already signed a new show so this must mean NBC will cancell Smash!
    So sad !
    NBC stand by your show!!!!

  6. Jeff Eletto says:

    Safran ruined the show! I can barely watch it anymore and I looked forward to it each week last season…why would they film all 17 eps without getting audience reaction first?!

  7. melbtvs says:

    that’s a shame the show is cancelled now cause I think season 2 is much better than season 1 and keeps getting better. I wish it would go on..

  8. Ashley says:

    I love smash sorry to see it go makes me not want to watch NBC programming because the network always cancels shows with out giving them a chance. But what did I expect from the network that air firefly out of order then canceled it too.

  9. maxfabien says:

    I am trying to like Smash, I really am. But there is not one likeable character on the show. I wouldn’t want any of them for a friend.I really don’t care for any of them. They’re either too arrogant or too whiney or too one-dimentional.. If I don’t care about a character then I don’t care what happens him/her. If I don’t care what happens, then I have no interest in the storyline, so why watch? Jimmy’s and Derek’s arrogance makes me cringe. Karen and Ivy are a couple of spoiled brats. Julia’s “oh woe is me” act has exceded it’s shelf life. Kyle is a wimp and a rug for Jimmy to walk all over. Eileen and her husband are too shallow and self-centered, made for each other. And Tom’s know-it-all attitude is a big turn off. Just my opinion, i know. But that’s what I think is the problem with the show. Give me some characters that are likeable so I care what happens to them, so I will come back for more.

  10. Jessica says:

    They should just give the show to ABC, ABC is great with marketing and they’re ending a lot of their shows this season, I personally think the show is awesome, all of it. If not ABC then HBO, and put more sexy into it!

  11. amber says:

    So sad. . Best show on tv!

  12. gw says:

    i adore this show!!!! i look forward to it everyweek and it would be a total bumer if it got cancelled!!!!!! :( i absolutely loooooved the episode ”the bells and whistles”!!!! it was amazing!!!!! after i saw it i watched “i heard your voice in a dream” over 20 times…..in a row!!!!

  13. boomiesmom says:

    The casting of the Jimmy character was absolutely awful He looks about 17 and Karen has become so incredibly wishy washy about him. I loved the first season – the struggles, the evolution of the musical. This second season will most probably be the last as the story line, casting, the whole feel of the show has spiraled down. A real shame. some talented people in the cast (with the major exception of the Jimmy character and his writing partner looks even younger and no more impressive) the music is great but the fragmented story lines are grasping at straws. The behind the scenes puppeteers are bad, worse, worst and an innovative show is being ruined from it.

  14. Charlene Barot says:

    I personally think the writing went astray this season. Too many stories. The decision to hook Karen and Jimmy up was definitely a very bad decision. There is absolutely no way Karen would have EVER gotten involved with the likes of Jimmy. I think that turned a lot of people off. You lost viewers. You could see the chemistry between Derek and Karen last season…you should have build on that. Now it’s too late.

  15. Jan Crane says:

    Being a theatre fan, I love the show. The director, choreographer, producer interactions are so on the mark. I like Debra Messing as a mature actor and I’m getting used to Angelica in a different role than usual. “Smash is Glee for Grownups”. You can use this slogan with my blessing.

  16. PsychoNunly says:

    Each of the things that these comments hold are true. The ratings went down. The things that we expected going from Season 1 to Season 2 played out, some didn’t. I feel as though SMASH should not be cut short just because people don’t feel like watching. It’s excellent songwriting. Even if the topics covered in the plot of this show don’t appeal to every person out there that doesn’t like musicals. The topics are very universal, in that at least once in someone’s life they will encounter a situation as much as this shows plows them out. Betrayal, lies, suspicious activity. The number of things goes on and on. I’m not saying that SMASH shouldn’t be cut short. I’m saying people should begin to realize what potential this show has and get to watching what “might” become the final days of it. If a network wishes to cut it short, that’s their choice. But I just hope they don’t expect to have such a huge flush for other shows that won’t be able to recreate what has been made here.

    That is all I have to say.

  17. Connie says:

    It would be a shame is SMASH is cancelled. I would love to see a whole production of BOMBSHELL and HIT LIST before it goes off the air. If either of these were really on broadway I’d have tickets for sure!

  18. Colleen says:

    I was just looking up how to buy season 2, I am heartbroken reading this. As an old theater person myself, this show gave me a great outlet. I lived through these characters. Why are all the good ones gone? Get rid of Voice, Idol, all of them… And keep Smash!!!!!

  19. Ika says:

    I am so in love with this show. There hasn’t been another show around for years that touches me on so many emotional levels. If season 2 is the end of Smash, NBC will have lost all my future viewing. I’m so sick of crap tv sticking around for years while good shows keep getting cut because they don’t have over 3million views. It’s asinine to say the least. Smash is amazing and I sincerely hope another station is smart enough to pick it up!

  20. Alyssa says:

    I like this show. Even though some issues are solved within an hour (CSI solved a crime in an hour and that was a mega popular show. There wasn’t too many people complaining about it being solved too quickly.) In cases, things can be solved within a short time other times, they just can’t be solved or take awhile to be solved in between people and other things.
    I love theatre, I’ve been in and out of theatre in school and still continue to support it by going to shows. There’s a lot of stuff which holds true: betrayal, broken promises between writing partners; failures of shows; producers dropping out; taking awhile to lift the plane off the ground for shows, etc.

  21. Hilary says:

    I would buy a ticket to see Bombshell on Broadway. Agree would be fun to see the whole show live! Also think it is a fun show. So much nicer than most of the crap out there. That includes The Voice.

  22. Beth says:

    I love Smash! Katherine is amazing! I love her voice and her character. Such a great show! I really hate to see it go.

  23. Dave says:

    This was the best musical show ever as long as you had Karen and Ivy singing. When you moved them to backup behind the others you lost it. And the Jimmie character is off the mark in trying to contlnue. The latest “That’s Life” song by the two was one of the best ever.
    Love the show

  24. anonymous says:

    What about the Gatsby musical? Leave me hanging on that, why don’t ya?

  25. Cristina says:

    Why is Smash in it’s final season? I love this show and Debra Messing is one of the most amazing actresses around. She doesn’t get enough credit for her dramatic flare. I love the story line. But let’s face it, people now a days hardly attend the theater except for peeps in New York of course. I couldn’t wait to see every episode! And Megan Hilty is awesome!!! Please bring back Smash for at least a couple more seasons. I really want to see “Tom” and “Julia” collaborate on “The Great Gatsby”.

  26. melissa says:

    i think NBC is insane to cancle this show.. it has the glee factor these kids like. they are useing poorschedualing and is so doing killing more then 30% of theyre better shows. you want the ratings”modern family” gets you want Cwto look twice at you when they have Vampire diaries”? its never gonna happen if you keep cutting everything befor it has time to level… get better focas groups this show could GOLD.

  27. Trebor says:

    I guess it was bound to happen that Smash would be smashed. With the turn in today’s morality how can a show with no murders, no violence, no excessive sex scenes, good music, a light hearted storyline, for the most part, and no cursing be expected to survive. Sorry Smash, we will miss you, you were just too good to last in today’s world. So sad to see you go!

  28. sue evans says:

    This season is so ridiculous. No one would believe Karen would be with anyone as annoying as Jimmy. At the end of season one, they lead us to believe Karen and Derek had a future together. What I really don’t get though is the Boston show was a success, but when season two began we are to believe it was a flop. ???? They really screwed up what was a promising show with the poor writing.

  29. Stana Capron says:

    Smash is an amazing show!! I love that I can watch live theater in my own front-room!!
    After watching the entertaining Smash finale, I could only picture what the new season would bring. Unfortunately, a new season is not to be! Why wasn’t this show promoted properly, for the second season? Why was it moved to Saturday night? It’s obvious that the actors put 100% into their work. This show is awesome!! It is being canelled!! Someone messed up!!