In case you are wondering about why “Smash” executive producer Josh Safran chose to pair Julia off with Michael Swift of all people during the closing minutes of Sunday’s series finale, the answer is simple: That was never intended to be the endgame, with this character being the unlikable “other man” that he had been through much of season 1. Instead, it sounds like this is one of those rare stories that got shoehorned into the finale thanks to it being a plan for season 3, which was no longer able to come to fruition.
Just in case you are wondering what Safran would have done with Debra Messing’s character had the show not been canceled, here is what he told Entertainment Weekly about the aftermath to that Julia / Michael scene:
“That was a seed for season 3. That was a season 3 Easter egg. Our goal was to bring him back and do image rehab for his character. That actually wasn’t a series finale decision. She was always going to see Michael Swift and we were going to wonder whether she was going to be with him next year. But the way in which that happened changed. Initially she was going to bump into him at the Tonys and they were going to have an interaction in which she was very happy to see him and he wasn’t happy to see her. So it was going to be a reversal of season one and for season 3 she was going to find out that she had to work with him but he didn’t want anything to do with her and she was still in love with him. But in the end, when we knew it was most likely a series finale, we just kept it to the scene at the door.”
We wish we could tell you that there was hope for the show to continue beyond this year, but there’s really not. The budget is too high for another network to pick it up, and the ratings are far too low for a broadcast channel to continue it. At least the series got to go out with a few big moments, and end its run without being forced to become an internet-only affair.
Are you disappointed at all with the end to the Julia story? If you want to read our full review for the “Smash” series-ender, just be sure to visit the link here.