Smash 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.
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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.”
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