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‘Smash’ Gets a New Showrunner: ‘Gossip Girl’s’ Josh Safran

Safran will replace "Smash" series creator Theresa Rebeck, who will stay on as a writer and producer for the Broadway-themed NBC series

A loss for "Gossip Girl" is a gain for "Smash."

"GG" showrunner Josh Safran will take over as the showrunner for its musical drama, which has been up and down in the ratings during its first season, NBC has announced.

Safran, who has worked on the CW's "Gossip Girl" since 2008, will take over the "Smash" duties from series creator Theresa Rebeck, who stepped down in March. NBC last month renewed the backstage-Broadway-themed series for a second season.

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Rebeck, who wrote the first three episodes of "Smash," is a Broadway playwright who based the show's lead character, Julia (Debra Messing), on herself. Rebeck will remain with the show as an executive producer and writer.

Meanwhile, Safran's departure leaves another question mark on the future of "Gossip Girl," which has yet to be renewed for a sixth season.

The show, which often drew more than three million viewers during its second season, drew under one million for its most recent new episode on April 23.

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