The Ausiello Files: April 24, 2009 |


The Ausiello Files: April 24, 2009

EW's TV scooper on ''24'''s location change, Jan's return to ''The Office,'' and more

24 scoop: Jack Bauer bound for the Big Apple
After six hellish all-nighters in Los Angeles and one in D.C., next season Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is taking his one-man show to the city that never sleeps: New York. ”24 has always lived in the shadow of 9/11,” says exec producer Howard Gordon. ”And setting it in the city most profoundly affected by 9/11 seemed right.”

Season 8 also boasts the arrival of Slumdog Millionaire’s game-show host, Anil Kapoor, as a Middle East leader, as well as the return of Jack’s original employer: ”CTU is back, reconstituted,” Gordon reveals. ”But this isn’t the CTU of the past — it’s a CTU set five minutes in the future.” Calling the shots at the revamped CTU will be a new, as-yet-uncast male character, helped by a returning Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub). And, says Gordon, ”with all its systems and procedures overhauled, she is a bit out of her element.”

In addition to Rajskub, Day 8 will welcome back Cherry Jones as President Taylor and Annie Wersching as Jack’s protégée-turned-lust interest, Renee. ”There’s unfinished business between her and Jack,” Gordon teases. ”And some part of her past will be necessary in the context of the next crisis.”


Leonard lands a Big clue
The Big Bang Theory’s unrequited Penny-Leonard love story kicks into high gear on May 4, when Kaley Cuoco’s not-so-dumb blonde goes on a date with someone other than Johnny Galecki’s Leonard (in this case, pal Stuart, played by Ugly Betty’s Kevin Sussman). ”The date doesn’t go well,” explains exec producer Bill Prady, ”and Leonard comes to possess a piece of information that makes him very happy.”

CSI: NY star delivers…twice
After giving birth to a real child earlier this year, Anna Belknap returns to CSI: NY on May 6 to pop out a fake one. ”You see her for a second and then her water breaks,” reveals exec producer Pam Veasey of Belknap’s still-very-pregnant character, Lindsay, who has been absent since the March 25 episode. What does she have? ”It’s a girl,” says Veasey. ”I won’t tell you the name because we don’t know if the audience will respond to it.” Forensica?

Tomlin gets Desperate again
Lily Tomlin will be back on Desperate Housewives for the show’s May 10 finale to help her sis, Mrs. McCluskey, end Dave’s reign of terror.

Revolving Office door: Jan’s back!
The Office’s Melora Hardin, who’s been largely MIA this season as Michael’s ex Jan, will reappear next fall. ”We’re [talking] about what we are going to do with her,” says the actress, who was just cast in FX’s boxing-themed pilot Lights Out. ”[But] they assure me they need me next season.”

Additional reporting by Carrie Bell