Like a new manager tasked with cleaning up the glitter-and-killer-peanuts mess left behind by his predecessor, Josh Safran began his tenure as showrunner on Smash with a clearing of the deadweight on the payroll. Most headline-worthy: Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey’s demotion from series regulars, a choice that fans will likely cheer—nobody likes Cepero’s scheming assistant Ellis, and Jaffrey’s character cheated on Katharine McPhee so “boo, hiss” and whatnot—even if kicking conniving, philandering personalities to the curb doesn’t exactly jibe with Safran’s Gossip Girl bona fides. Cepero and Jaffrey can be found harmonizing around a trashcan fire next season, joined by both of Debra Messing’s Smash love interests, Will Chase and Brian d’Arcy James, meaning the latter will miss his chance to encore his horrifying Rock Band plug/Bob Marley homage from season one. Eliminating the show’s least-liked character and keeping the husband character offscreen and off the Marley: Such are the difficult decisions faced by someone in Safran’s position.
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