Question: Another episode of House this week with little or no Cameron and Chase. David Shore promised we’d see more of them – but when? –Aleki
Ausiello: Soon. “I think your audience feels that we’ve teased them on that too many times, but this is not a tease,” Shore told me yesterday. “The last four episodes of the season, [Chase and Cameron] are going to have a larger part.” And what about next season? “I haven’t mapped out next year yet,” he hedges, “but, certainly, it would appear so.”
Question: Are House and Cuddy ever going to talk about the fact that he tracked down her old med school desk and had it delivered to her office? –Zathrina
Ausiello: I asked David Shore about that, too. “No, it’s too late,” he says. “We had it in that one episode, and it was a wonderful thing. It turned her around and he, of course, found a different way of screwing it up, and she found a way of screwing it up, and we just left it at that.”
Question: Can you give at least a hint about what’s ahead for Wilson on House? –Monica
Ausiello: Big Robert Sean Leonard episode coming up on March 9 when Wilson at long tracks down his mentally ill, homeless brother. With Taub’s assistance, Wilson gets his bro back on his meds and into an institution – but he does so behind House’s back. At least he tries to do it behind his back.
Question: Enough with all the Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy and Supernatural scoop. I want some dish on the hottest zip code, 90210! –Gina
Ausiello: Supernatural it is. The show is dedicating the March 12 episode to its late, beloved director Kim Manners, who passed away on Jan. 25. I’m told the ep will conclude with a 10-second photomontage followed by a brief message.
Question: I can’t wait for Greek to start up again, and I am dying for a little scoop. –Matt
Ausiello: Bummed that Rusty and Dale are no longer roomies? You’re going to be very pleased with what happens in the closing minutes of episode 4. Also, get ready for Rebecca Logan: Double Agent.
Question: So, you’ve seen the Pushing Daisies finale (you lucky bastard). Can you give us any scoop about it?! –John
Ausiello: As a regular episode of Pushing Daisies, it was an absolute triumph. The main plot pits Vivian and Lily against their old synchronized swimming rivals, The Aqua Dolls (played by Wendy Malick and Nora Dunn). As you can imagine, inspired silliness ensues. Highlights include enough bitchy one-liners to fill a dozen EW SoundBites columns, Jaws-themed scene transitions that are a perfect blend of cheese and cheesier, a cameo by a very grown up (and rather buff) Wilson Cruz, and an unrecognizable Josh Hopkins as the Aqua’s bitchy, bleach-blond manager. Now, as a satisfying conclusion to the series, the episode falls a little short – but through no fault of Bryan Fuller and his extraordinary team. Remember, this was never intended to be a series finale. Fuller & Co. had to piece together a prologue using existing footage and some well-placed CGI, and the finished product is pretty amazing. Will it leave you wanting more? Probably. Is it better than the alternative (i.e., ending on a cliffhanger)? Damn straight it is. I’m more than happy with the end result, and I have no doubt you will be, too. Speaking of which, tickets to the Paley-hosted finale screening go on sale today. If you can’t make it to Los Angeles because you live somewhere far away like, I dunno, Belgium, then buy the DVD when it comes out. And it will come out. Eventually. “I was just going over the specs yesterday with the DVD people,” Fuller tells me. “They don’t know when it’s coming out because it’s contingent on when/if ABC airs [the final three episodes]. ABC has the rights to air them through September. So they’re hoping that they’ll know when so they can schedule a release date because the DVDs can’t come out before [the final episodes] air.”
Question: About a month or so ago, you were doing an episode of Ausiello TV from your desk, and I noticed you had one of J.J. Abrams’ limited edition Bad Robot statues. Do you know where I can get one of those? –Sue
Ausiello: In the lobby of EW’s New York offices tonight at 7 pm/EST. The catch: You’ll need to stop at the bank first. E-mail me for further details.
Question: Why, oh why must you deprive us of our Ausiello TV. You tease us with one then take forever to give us more. –Jennifer
Ausiello: That’s my bad. I forgot to advise you that ATV is now running on a bi-weekly schedule, with new episodes premiering every other Tuesday. The grind of headlining a weekly show just became too much for me. I honestly don’t know how Hugh Laurie does it.
Question: I need something on Damages. Got anything for me? –Andrew
Ausiello: The Patty-Ellen conflict will be “dealt with and exposed” by the end of the season, reveals exec producer Todd Kessler. And if you’re worried that FX might try and take back the early third-season pickup on account of the show’s relatively soft ratings this season, don’t be. “No one is saying we need to look at the numbers before we move forward with a third season. [FX president] John Landgraf has said he hopes the show will be on for many more seasons. People can change their minds, [but] Glenn Close is contracted for six seasons. We hope we can do at least six seasons.”
Question: I heard that someone on 90210 is gonna die in the season finale. Who is it? –Isabela
Ausiello: It’s (drumroll, please) no one! At least not that I know of. In other news, Sara Foster has been cast as Naomi’s sister, Jen. She’ll debut in April and make a beeline for Mr. Matthews.
Question: You haven’t given us 90210 scoop in a while. Care to share some? –Derek
Ausiello: Word around the Peach Pit is that producers are once again pursuing Brian Austin Green for an episode. Timing may be in their favor: Sarah Connor Chronicles wrapped production last Friday.
Question: We know that Tom Welling will be returning for Smallville’s ninth season, but what about the rest of the cast? –Bill
Ausiello: My Small mole assures me that all principal cast members are on board for next season, with one possible exception: The dude who plays Doomsday. (I’m blanking on his name and I’m too lazy to look it up.)
Question: Do you have anything new on cable’s ever-so-addicting Burn Notice? –Garrett
Ausiello: The over-arching theme of the show’s third season will be Skeletons in Michael’s Closet. “Michael has to deal with a whole new set of problems as various people from his past come back to haunt him,” teases my Burn mole. In possibly-related news, the show is casting the role of Michelle Paxon, a Miami PD detective who’s hell-bent on uncovering the truth about Michael.
Question: Will we ever get to see the six unaired episodes of ABC’s Commander In Chief? –Garrett
Ausiello: It’s time we had a little chat, Garrett. Just you, me, and Guy Finley, author of The Secret of Letting Go, available on Amazon for as little as $10.17.
Question: How about some 24 scoop? –Josh
Ausiello: Longtime executive producer-director Jon Cassar has left the show after failing to come to terms on a new contract. “I will not be involved with the upcoming eighth season,” he tells me. “Although that’s sad for me to leave after six years, it’s also very exciting to be back in the marketplace working with different people and facing different challenges.” (First up for Cassar is CBS’ new Ed Bernero pilot, Washington Field.) His split from 24 is particularly surprising considering the close relationship he formed with Kiefer Sutherland. In fact, Sutherland himself expressed confidence that Cassar’s contract negotiations would yield a positive result when I spoke to him last month. “There is no more integral part to the success of 24 than Jon Cassar, and I think [exec producers] Joel Surnow and Howard Gordon will tell you the same thing,” he said. “We’re a whole unit, and one part doesn’t work without the other. He’s also obviously one of my best friends and someone that I absolutely adore working with. I have all the faith in the world that things will work out, as they have over the last seven years.” Or not!
Question: I’m beginning to think you have something against Goths, Ausiello! Please, please, please can we have some NCIS scoop – even if it’s not about Abby! –Jo
Ausiello: But it is about Abby! Seriously! In an April episode, Tony and McGee must take over duties in Abby’s lab after she’s recruited to work a secret mission for the Army CID. Now, picture for a moment Tony and McGee trying to do Abby’s job in Abby’s lab. Hilarious, no?
Question: The trailer for Brothers & Sisters’ big two-hour movie event makes it look like Rob Lowe’s character is kicking the bucket. Is he? –April
Ausiello: Appearances can be deceiving. Now, replace the “can be” with an “are” and you have your answer.
Question: Does Sarah’s miscarriage on last week’s Big Love count as one of the major deaths this season? –Deanna
Ausiello: No. The two deaths I’m referring to are of the non-fetus variety.
Question: Holy crap. I just watched the new episode of Big Love and it was so intense! I’m getting anxious about the two deaths. Do you know if they’ll be airing soon or is it a season finale thing? –Kristina
Ausiello: One in the season finale and one before.
Question: How ‘bout some scoop on The Office? –Jacqueline
Ausiello: Done. Producer-co-star Mindy Kaling plans to ruin Jim and Pam’s wedding. “America just loves [them] so much,” she notes, “and since we are one of the only shows that doesn’t [score its episodes], the worst thing we could ever do is, like, score [their big nuptial kiss] with some Edwin McCain song. So I am going to probably pitch that we do that.” What a little troublemaker!
Question: It’s been a while since I’ve seen some good Prison Break series finale scoop. Do you have any spoilers on how it will end? – Leah
Ausiello: Personally, I’m hoping producers pull an Alias and make the last scene a flash forward that shows us Michael, Sara, and their child living happily ever after in some remote location. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I really hope they go in that direction (wink, wink).
Question: Got anything on CSI: Mothership? –Claire
Ausiello: You already know that Taylor Swift plays the D.G.T.W. (dead girl of the week) on March 5, but we also learn in the episode that Nick suffers from the Buffy Birthday Curse. The ep starts on his b-day with the discovery of Swift’s corpse, and a good part of the hour is comprised of flashbacks to previous cases (including another one on his birthday) that involved Swift. Poor guy breaks down at the end, thinking he could have prevented her death if only he had tried harder on those other cases.
Question: I would be eternally grateful if you had any 411 on when Shane West’s second appearance will be on ER. –Susan.
Ausiello: Finally, I have some news for all you Reela nuts! His second ep airs March 19, and an ER insider tells me that Ray’s return “disrupts Neela’s equilibrium.” Loosely translated into Spanish: She wants to get into his pantalones.
Question: How about a Without a Trace spoiler? I heard something about an accident. –Lily
Ausiello: Maybe we have the same mole, because I heard the same thing. Let’s see what Trace’s leading lady, Poppy Montgomery (Sam), knows: “All I can say is that something happens to Samantha, Jack (Anthony LaPaglia), and Brian (Adam Kaufman) that throws [the love triangle] into a tailspin,” she teases. “It’s shocking, it’s disturbing, it comes out of nowhere, and it changes everything for these characters.”
Question: I’m dying to know who is playing Alpha on Dollhouse! Rumor has it it’s… –Lelia
Ausiello: Let me stop you right there. Trust me, you do not want to know who’s been cast in this role. Knowledge of this person’s identity will ruin a major Alpha-related twist that Dollhouse boss Joss Whedon has been desperately trying to keep a lid on. Loosely translated into riddle form: What if we were to meet Alpha without knowing we were meeting Alpha? You with me, Lelia?
Question: Do you think the major-ish character that will be killed this season on Lost could be Juliet? Please say no. I have a girl-crush on her. –Michelle
Ausiello: Join the club. Nah, Juliet is considered a major character, no “ish” about it, so I think she’s safe. In other Lost news, look for the season finale to intro two new, potentially recurring, characters: Jason is a former soldier whose gravitas makes him a natural-born Pied Piper; and Samuel is a J.R. Ewing (minus the Stetson, accent, and drunk wife) whose day isn’t complete without a corporate takeover.
Question: Is Penny dead on Lost?! OMFG, what is this show doing to me! –Gaby
Ausiello: Penny, on the other hand, definitely falls under the “ish” category. And even more ominous than the big fat target on her forehead is the fact that her portrayer, Sonya Walger, has landed the lead role in a new ABC pilot that, appropriately enough, is already drawing comparisons to Lost. The show is called Flash Forward, and it’s based on Robert J. Sawyer’s apocalyptic tome that chronicles the mass chaos that comes after everyone on the planet blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. The flash-forward part applies to the vision of the future that everyone experiences during the blackout. But even if ABC orders the show to series, as many expect it will, that doesn’t mean Walger is done with Lost. Quite the contrary. As a well-placed Lost insider tells me, “She will juggle both shows.”
Question: I saw you walking down 8th Ave. We locked eyes. You looked at me like I was a creeper, which I am. I had a brain fart and couldn’t place your face to your name until it was too late and you had walked out of my life. I apologize. With that apology, can I maybe get some 30 Rock scoop? –Jackie
Ausiello: If you promise never to lock eyes with me again, sure. Jack and Tracy are both about to get new relatives. For Jack, the fresh blood is Milton, a scholarly octogenarian who offers parental guidance (hey, it’s never too late). For Tracy, the insta-kin is a 40 year old who, by dressing like he’s half that age, thinks he can pass himself off as the funnyman’s son – at least long enough to collect enough back allowance to open his own dojo.
Question: Can someone please explain to me how it is that year after year the award season comes and goes without The Unit even being mentioned? It is the best show on TV, more real than “reality” TV with compelling story lines and characters portrayed by actors who actually have bona fide talent! I demand a recount! –Kathryn
Ausiello: It’s the curse of the CBS procedural, Kathryn. You can’t fight it. But maybe I can distract you from it with some scoop. What would you say if I told you that the team and their families have to fight for their lives when a deadly gas attack strikes a little too close to home on March 15? Still fuming, huh? Well in that case, what if I told you that CBS will run four back-to-back original episodes beginning March 8? Still seeing red? You’re on your own.
Question: Any news on Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 7? –Jim
Ausiello: Only that Sharon Lawrence is on board. And I do mean only that. “I can’t talk about what I am going to be doing this season,” she told us at last Friday’s Women in Film pre-Oscar party. “I will say I had a blast on that show. You get a chance to experiment.” Um, good to know. The NYPD Blue alum was significantly more forthcoming about her hopes to return to Privileged as Megan’s mom if that show is renewed. “I want to come back and try to redeem my character – apparently, she had a very good reason why she took that money. She is not as hard-hearted as one might think. Or so I was told by the writers.”
Question: Anything on The Mentalist? I’m not sure if I have ever seen it mentioned in Ask Ausiello, and it’s becoming one of my favorite shows. –Big D
Ausiello: Amanda Righetti says “they are planning to play a lot with the budding relationship between Grace and Wayne. But it is always two steps forward and four steps back in terms of my character’s love life.” But enough about Grace. Anything on Jane? One episode that we recently shot has a case where he is temporarily blind. That was a lot of fun to shoot. Without giving away too much, Simon [Baker] plays it to the hilt.”
Question: Do you have any juicy Ghost Whisperer spoilers? –Mary
Ausiello: For real, yo. Exec producer P.K. Simonds teases that “the rest of our season isn’t about death – it’s about new life.” Say what? “[That] isn’t to say, in a show called Ghost Whisperer, that no one will die,” he quickly clarifies. “Obviously, people will die – including someone close to one of our main characters.” Whew.
Wow, that was a long column this week. Kudos to me. Send questions/anonymous tips/Bad Robot bids to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for attending AA! (Additional reporting by Carrie Bell, Lynette Rice, Oriana Schwindt, and Andy Patrick)