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Question: How about you try something new in Ask Ausiello this week and talk about Lost. Remember that show? —Eddie
Ausiello: Hmmm… I think that’s the show I just got some exclusive casting news on. According to a well-placed insider, Fisher Stevens will resurface this season as the late George Minkowski. That’s the show you’re talking about, right?
Question: I’m literally dying for True Blood news. Please save me from dying a slow, painful death. —Demi
Ausiello: Your life-saving scoop has arrived! It’ll take three villains to replace last season’s one Big Bad, Maryann. “We have a triumvirate of evil this season,” reveals exec producer Alan Ball. “I’m talking about Franklin Mott, Russell Edgington, and Debbie Pelt. They are all bad to the bone. They’re not just crazy, they’re evil.” Speaking of the yet-to-be-cast Debbie Pelt, Ball tells me that Alcide’s psycho ex will actually have a bigger role than first thought. “We actually beefed up Debbie,” he says. “She’s going to be in more episodes, so maybe that will have an impact on [what actress] we can get for her, which is a big question right now.”
Question: Loved the pic you snapped of Alex Skarsgard at the Golden Globes. Did you by any chance get any True Blood scoop out of him? —Jessie
Ausiello: No, I just took the picture and ran off. Of course I got some scoop out of him. Specifically, I asked him to give me a preview of Eric’s season 3 journey. “I’d say it’s about revenge,” he told me. “He will continue to explore the whole Sookie thing and what that’s all about. He’s trying to figure out what’s different about her. He’s intrigued by that. And in addition to that, there’s something that happened a thousand years ago that he’s still carrying in his heart. All I’ll say is he’s trying to avenge someone.”
Question: It’s looking more and more like they are paving the way for Katherine Heigl’s exit on Grey’s Anatomy. Do you know if she is going to stay or not? —Kate
Ausiello: I don’t. And neither does Heigl. While I’m sure she’d love nothing more than to move on at the end of the season, the decision is not hers to make. Heigl’s got at least another year left on her Grey’s contract, so her fate rests with ABC and Shonda Rhimes. My gut, which has rarely steered me wrong in the past, tells me they’ll let her walk.
Question: It’s so obvious that Idina Menzel is going to turn out to be Rachel’s mom on Glee it isn’t even funny. —Joel
Ausiello: Series creator Ryan Murphy, who acknowledges that the two share an almost spooky resemblance, isn’t ruling out such a twist. At least not completely. “I don’t think I’ll do that,” he says. “We wrote her part as a sort of Faye Dunaway of Network. She’s the female coach of Vocal Adrenaline. That’s what she plays.” Murphy says Menzel will appear in the first episode back on April 13 and then return for the regional showdown with New Directions in the season finale.
Question: Can you tell us anything else about Kurt’s boyfriend on Glee? —Andy
Ausiello: Rumor has it he’ll be *n *h* *o***a** *e**.
Question: Any news on the gender of Jim and Pam’s baby on The Office? —Ronnie
Ausiello: Looks like the show’s writers are taking the old-fashioned approach — they’re waiting until the final draft of the script is due to find out. “I don’t think we’ve finalized it yet,” says producer/co-star BJ Novak. “But I can confirm exclusively to The Ausiello Files that it will be a baby.” I’ll take it!
Question: I watched last week’s Bones very carefully but there was no positive pregnancy test in sight. Next week’s episode, maybe? Or is it just happening this season and you don’t know the exact episode? —Sofia
Ausiello: My bad. I got my dates mixed up. The positive pregnancy test happens in this week’s episode. In my defense, I’ve been a little busy with press tour. And the Golden Globes. And a lot of other important stuff, so get off my case, dammit.
Question: Any scoop on Bones? – Manu
Ausiello: The most shocking thing about the upcoming 100th episode is “how much Booth and Brennan really like each other when they initially meet,” reveals exec producer Stephen Nathan. “And to see the evolution of that relationship through the case, and how it changes their relationship for the next five years, is interesting.”
Question: My guess is that Angela and Wendell will be the couple that gets married on Bones. Am I right? —Sandra
Ausiello: I was scanning the transcript of my recent interview with exec producer Stephen Nathan for clues, and here’s what I found: “The story with Wendell and Angela has evolved to a point where that is a more complex relationship than just an intern that comes and goes. And we will be resolving that in the second half of the year.” Thoughts? I think his use of the word “resolving” is key. Sounds like they’re headed for a breakup, not a wedding. But that’s just me spit-balling.
Question: Do you know when Elena will turn into a vampire on The Vampire Diaries? I am dying to know. —Crystal
Ausiello: If you’re holding your breath for it to happen, you actually might die. Elena’s conversion, says exec producer Julie Plec, “is a fundamental part of the books — it’s, in fact, most of the books. So it’s not something we are going to ignore. But right now it’s a little too Twilight similar for us to feel comfortable dabbling in it.” Beyond concerns about Elena being written off as a small-screen Bella, “the best thing about her is, she’s a non-genre, non-supernatural, true-blue ingénue,” says Plec, “and we don’t really want to mess with that. She’s the relatable character. To pervert that too soon would be a mistake.”
Question: Is anything ever going to happen between Elena and Damon on The Vampire Diaries? —Cupid
Ausiello: Patience, Cupid. And lots of it! “This show is cemented in a love triangle over the whole run of the series,” notes exec producer Julie Plec, “and right now we’re very much embedded in the pure love [of] Stefan and Elena.” So not even a kiss? Yes, Plec teases, but “probably beyond season 1.” Adds boss man Kevin Williamson: “This show is always going to be about Stefan and Elena. It has to be. They’re soul mates.”
Question: Have any One Tree Hill scoop? —Khaela
Ausiello: Even though I’ve never been an OTH fan, I have to admit the Feb. 1 episode sounds pretty cool. Titled “Don’t You Forget About Me,” it’s an homage to the late John Hughes, complete with an ’80s-theme dance, reenactments of scenes from his classic movies, and a performance by Cheap Trick.
Question: Is it true that Hayley’s mom is returning on One Tree Hill? —Margaret
Ausiello: Yes, Bess Armstrong is reprising her role for a handful of episodes, all of them fairly sad.
Question: Supernatural? Anything? —Christopher
Ausiello: A somewhat pivotal character will die soon. Guesses? Head to the comments.
Question: Please give us some dish on things “heating up” between Addie and Sam on Private Practice. I really hope Pete isn’t the “additional complication.” He is not a fit for Addie. —Annabelle
Ausiello: No comment on the Pete thing (wink, wink), but there will be a fair amount of Sam/Addie action coming up, which will please Kate Walsh as much as you. “I love the dynamic between them,” she says. “I think it’s very natural that these two people who end up running a business together and living next door to each other and hanging out would want to explore a relationship.” But, she observes, “there’s a huge, massive obstacle in the fact he used to be married to her best friend.”
Question: My friend Lisa smells like a goat; you can imagine what a social outcast she is. It would make her day — and who knows maybe she’ll take a shower — if you give us some information on the Chuck and Blair break-up on Gossip Girl. Please? She really smells! —Alianna
Ausiello: You’re a good friend, Alianna. Lisa’s lucky to have you in her life. I mean that. Please tell her that the rumors are true: Chuck and Blair will hit a significant (and potentially irreparable) rough patch at the end of the season.
Question: Love the casting of Gena Rowlands as Gibbs’ mother-in-law on NCIS, but which mother-in-law is she playing? The guy’s been married four times! —Laura
Ausiello: She’s playing the mother of Gibbs’ first (and late) wife, Shannon.
Question: Did you ever see this? —Jill
Ausiello: Saw it. Tweeted it. Ordered a poster-sized print of it at Kinko’s FedEx Office.
Question: Please explain the awfulness that was the abrupt end to Kitty’s cancer story on Brothers & Sisters. Four months of build-up only to give her a ‘miraculous cure’ in five minutes? Is that really the end of that plot point? —Jenn
Ausiello: It’s the end… for now. As showrunner David Marshall Grant points out, “Kitty is in remission, but there’s no absolute certainty of where Kitty will be at any given time. Cancer is not something you can just forget about.” Regarding her miraculous made-for-TV recovery, Grant insists it was strictly a creative decision and not something foisted on them by the network (as has been rumored). “We chose to do a sort of a Hail Mary pass for Kitty — an episode where she risks it all,” he says. “And in this case, it worked.”
Question: Can we please get some Brothers & Sisters scoop? —Jess
Ausiello: In what has become something of an annual tradition, B&S will stage a special two-hour episode in April. As I first teased last week, the eppy will flash back to 1973 and 1986 and require casting younger versions of the entire Walker clan. “The episode is in search of two secrets from the past,” reveals exec producer David Marshall Grant, “one is devastating, and one is trying to uncover the hidden value to Ojai Foods.”
Question: What can you tell us about Melanie Griffith’s upcoming stint on Nip/Tuck? —Robin
Ausiello: She’ll end up in the sack with either Sean or Christian. I can’t spill much more without spoiling this week’s big twist.
Question: Any news if Michael Rosenbaum (Lex) is returning to Smallville anytime soon? They keep teasing us, but nothing ever comes of it. —Tim
Ausiello: I don’t think it’s going to happen this season. I hear a major sticking point is that Rosenbaum really likes having hair.
Question: Do you mind if I refer to you as my new BFF? And can I have a good Big Love scoop? —Amanda
Ausiello: No, I don’t mind. And yes, you can. At the Golden Globes on Sunday, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin dealt a major blow to the sexist stereotype that says all programs with predominantly female casts are tension-filled war zones. The three of them were practically inseparable at HBO’s post Golden Globes bash. What’s more, Tripplehorn and Goodwin seemed genuinely happy for Sevigny, who deservedly picked up best supporting actress honors. “Her winning is honestly the only thing I remember all night,” Goodwin gushed. “Everything else is a blur.” The trio also helped me make sense of Big Love’s depressingly paltry nine-episode order this season. “[HBO has] a lot of shows and only so many Sundays,” explained Tripplehorn. Added Goodwin: “The Pacific takes our timeslot the week after our finale. That was planned before our show was [renewed].” Sevigny is confident fans won’t know what’s missing. “We pack a lot in those nine episodes. You won’t be disappointed.”
Question: Please tell us something about Life Unexpected! I know that only the pilot has aired so far, but I’m already hooked! —Maddy
Ausiello: You’re not alone. The stellar premiere earned The CW its best ratings in the hour in more than a year. Next week, we meet all of Lux’s little orphan friends. We’ll also encounter a gaping plot hole when Cate, bowing to pressure from her station manager, takes to the airwaves to deny that she has a daughter — never once thinking that said daughter probably owns both a radio and a set of ears. It’s so annoying when good shows do dumb stuff like that.
Question: Dude! Please, please, something, anything on How I Met Your Mother? —Rebecca.
Ausiello: Look for Neil Patrick Harris to channel his inner Don Draper in the upcoming episode guest-starring Carrie Underwood. Also, Harris’ real-life boyfriend, David Burtka, returns as Lily’s high school stalker, Scooter. Spoiler alert: He’s still really into her. Oh, and did you hear? The producers confirmed during our set visit on Monday that we will see Robin Sparkles again, albeit in a slightly different incarnation.
Question: I received an email today that I had won the Lost “Message in a Bottle” sweepstakes. I have never won anything, ever, and I hope that this ends up being a super cool prize. Have you heard much about the prize at all? Will it be too much of a spoiler before the first episode airs? —Chris
Ausiello: You know, just to be safe, you should probably messenger that bad boy over to my office in midtown so I can de-spoiler it for you. I wouldn’t want anything to compromise your enjoyment of the premiere. Even better, I’ll waive my usual fee.
Question: Please help spread the word about the RedCupaThon going on at savegreek.com. —Kim
Ausiello: Consider the word spread!
Question: Is there anything you can tell me that might be happening to Nurse Jackie’s insane and adorable Zoey? —Mayara
Ausiello: I’ve got two words for you: ********* scare.
Question: Yvonne Strahovski has said that we’ll find out Sarah’s real name on Chuck this season, which leads me to assume that we’ll have a Sarah-centric episode at some point in these first 13. Any clue when that’ll be? — Mary
Ausiello: Episode 8 — the first one back after those damn Olympics.
Question: Did you get any House scoop from Lisa Edelstein at the Golden Globes? —Erin
Ausiello: No, I just snapped this picture and then ran away. Of course I got some scoop out of her. Lisa conceded that Jennifer Morrison’s exit earlier this season was “weird” for everyone. “It’s a very strange thing when somebody’s gone,” she admitted. “We’re all in the same boat as actors. We have very little control over our lives, so you can’t help but relate —whether or not the person it’s happened to feels it’s a good or bad thing. It’s hard for everybody… But it’s really great to see her back.”
That’s a wrap! Send questions/comments/anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks for playing!