Smash season two...or Smash 2.0?

The NBC musical drama, one of the most talked about series in 2012, is back in February with a new showrunner (Gossip Girl's Josh Safran), a new vibe and new castmembers. But according to Safran, viewers won't feel that the show itself is new.

"The stuff that you love from last year is still there, and the stuff that people thought maybe went off on tangents, we've looked at. Maybe bigger, more music. Maybe younger, in regards to the new castmembers," Safran said during Smash's panel at Sunday's Television Critic's Association Press Tour. Even though some changes are being made, Safran insisted that he didn't go into his new showrunner gig with plans to gut Smash.

"There was never anything that I outright didn't like," Safran said. "I just thought [season one] was interesting to watch. It was somebody else's world. It was fun to be an audience member and then come in and put my ideas in."

Those ideas include focusing on musicals outside of the Bombshell world, more original songs, and more musical sequences per episode. Want more scoop? Here are some other tidbits from the Smash panel:

  • The Ivy (Megan Hilty) and Karen (Katharine McPhee) dynamic will be different than in season one, but the bumps will be the same. "I love our relationship. It is on a constant roller coaster and you never know if they're actually going to be friends," Hilty said. "We have all these beautiful moments, and then someone goes and ruins it. It will always be that way."
  • By the end of season two, Smash could possibly be two shows within one show. "Bombshell is ongoing, but Josh found a way to start a new musical that is so different from Bombshell that is having its own course and own life," executive producer Neil Meron revealed. Speaking of, we got to preview a number from the other musical featured in season two starring new castmember Jeremy Jordan and it looked phenomenal. 
  • We could possibly see the dreaded Ellis (Jaime Cepero) sometime this season. "Ellis is still alive," Meron said coyly. "How can you forget Ellis?"
  • Ivy's mom, played by Bernadette Peters, is coming back for several episodes.
  • A Bombshell musical coming to real-life Broadway? Not yet. "Our first priority is to make the show," Meron says. "Whether that would happen in the future…it'd be great."
  • Prepare for the powerhouse that is Jennifer Hudson.  "She was phenomenal. She is a force," Hilty gushed. "Her voice is unlike any others. She's a very generous and kind person."

Check out the new trailer for Smash's second season (which premieres Feb. 5) below!

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family).

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