Theresa Rebeck, the creator of NBC's 'Smash,' has opened up about her departure from the series. She removed herself as showrunner in March, eventually being replaced by Gossip Girl executive producer Josh Safran.
Rebeck says that the series, which deals with making a musical on Broadway, took a turn for the worse when the producers wanted characters to act in ways that did not fit Rebeck's vision for the series.
“One of the points of contention last year was that the network thinks they have the right to say to the writer of the show, ‘We don’t want her to do this. We want her to do this,’ ” Rebeck said. “And I would sometimes say back to them, ‘She would never do that.’ And they’d look at me like I was crazy, and I’d be like, ‘Nope, it’s not crazy, it’s just who the character is.’ You have to respect who the character is. It has its own internal truth and you can’t betray that. And if you don’t betray that, it will not betray you. There is this sort of sense that if you don’t f--- with the muse — if you don’t f--- with the muse, the muse will stand by you.”
She believes that a showrunner is similar to an architect and that NBC disagreed with her on what her powers should entail.
“If they say, ‘Take the wall out,’ and you say, ‘I can’t take the wall out, the building will fall down' — but they don’t want to hear that!" she said. "It turns into bigger questions about power and art, power and storytelling. Is power itself bigger than storytelling? And I would say no.”
Rebeck also revealed that Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) was not the original focus of the series, saying that “people found her to be a very attractive character, so they asked me to write that, I was OK with it. I was like, I’ve got that in my back pocket.”
Do you agree with what she says? Or was NBC right?