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'Gossip Girl's' Josh Safran Takes Over as SMASH Showrunner

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, 'Gossip Girl's' EP Josh Safran will take the helm of NBC's freshman drama series SMASH. Safran will replace the show's creator Theresa Rebeck who gave up her post in March.  Rebeck is expected to remain involved as a writer and executive producer for SMASH's second season. 

Rebeck was the inspiration behind the series lead character Julia (Debra Messing). The Broadway playwright penned the show's first three episodes and has been involved in the series since its beginning when it was originally scripted for the Showtime cable network. 

The series stemmed from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg ("ER," "Schindler's List"). The pilot was written by acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck ("Mauritius," "NYPD Blue"). David Marshall Grant ("Brothers and Sisters"), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning "Chicago," "Hairspray") and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey ("United States of Tara," "The Borgias") also serve as executive producers. Original songs are written by Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ("Hairspray," "Catch Me If You Can"), who serve as executive producers as well.

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