Jaimie Cepero's 'Ellis' May Still Return to SMASH


Vulture.com reports that the much maligned character 'Ellis', played by actor Jaimie Cepero, may still be featured on the upcoming second season of NBC's SMASH. At this weekend's Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, executive producer Neil Meron told reporters, "Ellis is still alive."

In an interview this summer, Cepero told Vulture that the news of his character's demise were false, maintaining that nothing had been confirmed by either the network (NBC) or new showrunner Josh Safran. "It's hard to know right now who's coming back and how," he said. "Nobody knows anything. It's not confirmed."

According to the report, the show's producers as well as Safran listened carefully to viewer tweets and critiques of the freshman season of the musical series. Explained Meron, "there were certain story lines that you pinpointed that we said, 'Yeah, they're right, they could be a little more impactful.'"

As a result, Safron promises big changes for the upcoming season."It's bigger, with more music, younger in some regards," he commented, "but I hope the people who watched it still see the same show they loved."

In Season 2, SMASH will introduce a second new musical, 'Hit List', which will compete with season one's Broadway-bound 'Bombshell'. "If you look at Broadway, there are shows that take place in the 1800s and shows that take place today," explains Safran. "I wanted to represent that [on our show]."

The second season of SMASH will include a growing list of high-profile guest stars, including Hairspray'sNikki Blonsky, Jesse L. Martin, Sean Hayes, Liza Minnelli, Jennifer Hudson and Bernadette Peters. The second season is set for a February 5 premiere on NBC.

"Smash" is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire - to be a Broadway star. The series stars Emmy Award winner Debra Messing ("Will & Grace"), Oscar winner Anjelica Huston("Prizzi's Honor"), Jack Davenport ("Pirates of the Caribbean" films), Tony Award winner Christian Borle("Peter and the Starcatcher"), Katharine McPhee ("American Idol"), Megan Hilty ("9 to 5: The Musical"), Tony Award nominee Jeremy Jordan ("Newsies"),Andy Mientus("Spring Awakening"), Leslie OdomJr. ("Leap of Faith") and Krysta Rodriguez ("Spring Awakening").

Photo courtesy of NBC