When Smash Season 2 premieres on February 5, viewers will see new faces, a new Broadway production and nary a scary around Julia's neck.
These were just a few of the changes teased yesterday by new showrunner Josh Safran at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
Attempting to satiate fans from last year, while also bringing in those who quit on the critically-lambasted series, Safran explained to reporters in attendance:
"I don't think it's changed that much. Stuff from last year that you loved is still there, and maybe stuff people thought went off on tangents we've looked at [and] sort of tried to find a way to put back together.
"But it still is the same Smash, maybe bigger, [with] more music [and] a little bit younger in regards to some of our new cast members."
Those cast members include Jennifer Hudson as an award-winning stage veteran and Jeremy Jordan as a love interest for Karen. Gone are Julia's husband and son, along with Dev and the ever-irritating Ellis.
Season 2 will also feature a competing musical for Bombshell, which will run into many challenges as it aims to debut in New York.
"What we're really proud of and excited about is that Bombshell is ongoing, but Josh found a way to find another show on a parallel show on its own course," said Executive Producer Craig Zadan.
Was the series aware of your negative feelings about it? Were producer privy to the concept of "hate watching" that seemed to develop around Smash? Oh yes, said EP Neil Meron.
"I read the love, I read the hate, I read the bad. I read everything," he said. "I hope I was objective enough to say, 'Well, that makes sense.' And there were certain things that were written that I actually thought made a lot of sense that people were saying. When Josh came in for the second season and addressed all of those issues, it seemed that it was really the right fit to me."
Smash returns on February 5 at 9/8c. Will you give the revamped version a chance?