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'Smash' scoop: Showrunner Joshua Safran talks season two -- EXCLUSIVE

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Will Hart/NBC
Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Mary J Blige Essence Music Fest Will Hart/NBC[/caption]

The first season of NBC’s Smash was full of much-discussed moments, including a truly loony Bollywood fantasy dance number and a musical number set in a bowling alley. Well, Smash fans, don’t expect these flourishes when season two of the Broadway drama premieres on February 5 at 9pm. “There’s no bowling alley sing-alongs,”  executive producer Joshua Safran tells EW in his first interview since replacing creator Theresa Rebeck as showrunner of the series last spring. “There are fantasy sequences, but so far not on the level of the Bollywood cover.”

Also gone this year are Debra Messing’s fortune-teller wardrobe of chunky scarves and sweater coats, the target of much online chatter. “Coming into a show second season where there was so much discussion about positives and negatives about the first season gives you that rare chance to step back and go, ‘What can I change?’ So we were able to [revisit] things like the scarves. We address it head on.”

But Safran wants fans to know that the changes he’s making are not that severe and this will feel like the same show. Says the producer, “As a viewer, I really loved the show. It’s literally just reaching in and moving the tiny pieces that weren’t connecting, the gears that weren’t fully aligned. But it’s small shifts. If you loved Smash last year, you are not seeing a radically different show. And that was important to me because I loved Smash last year.”

For more of EW’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Safran on season two of Smash, including Jennifer Hudson’s role and the series’ new musicals, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now. 

Read more:

Former ‘Smash’ boss speaks out on departure

‘Smash’: Extended preview promises bigger, better, guest-starrier season 2 — VIDEO

‘Smash’ scoop: Liza Minnelli to appear in season two

Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack