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Question: What’s going on with Katherine Heigl? Is she ever going to be returning to Grey’s Anatomy? —Hannah
Ausiello: Last I heard, she’s due back on the Grey’s set at the end of the month, which means we probably won’t see Izzie again until late April. Coincidentally, that’s right around the time a very special patient will be checking into Seattle Grace: Alex’s brother! Sources confirm to me exclusively that Grey’s is currently casting the role of Karev’s estranged sibling. For those keeping score at home, this will be our first time meeting a member of Karev’s troubled clan. Look for bro to dredge up a lot of ugly family history, including that nasty business about daddy beating mommy.
Question: What’s up with the Mercy West residents on Grey’s Anatomy? Will they be sticking around next season? —PT
Ausiello: I’m fairly certain one of them won’t be. A reliable source tells me that one of the four has received his/her walking papers and will exit the show before the end of the season. Guesses? Scroll down to the comments!
Question: Will House try to break up Wilson and his new/old girlfriend on House? —Nikki
Ausiello: And how. As series creator David Shore explains, “This isn’t just House being protective of Wilson, this is him being protective of Wilson against somebody who arguably knows Wilson as well as House does. And I think that’s what makes the scenes [between Hugh Laurie and Cynthia Watros] so interesting. You have these two people who apparently care about Wilson, although they’ve both made some dramatic mistakes in that regard, kind of fighting over him.”
Question: Do you have any more details about Cynthia Watros’ character on House aside from her being Wilson’s first ex-wife? —Gavin
Ausiello: Her name is Dr. Sam Carr, her area of expertise is radiology, and she’s “smart, capable, and a little offbeat,” says David Shore. “Anyone who is going to be involved with Wilson is going to be a little bit different. We wanted her to be worthy of Wilson’s strengths and worthy of Wilson’s weaknesses.”
Question: What will Booth’s new love interest mean for Booth and Brennan on Bones? —Ellouise
Ausiello: I don’t think there will be any long-term fallout, especially since Rena Sofer is only on board for one episode at this point. But in the short-term, the date will “cause a little turmoil” in their emotional lives, according to exec producer Stephen Nathan, who adds, “It’s nice to confuse Booth and Brennan every now and then. You don’t want the show to become predictable or complacent.” Nathan also points out that “Booth has really neglected his personal life. We wanted to see what it would be like for him to [briefly] explore a potential life with another person… and let him see what it’s like to just be a guy.” THIS JUST IN: Big Bones scoop!
Question: I do not like this whole Booth with a new love interest nonsense! Any hope for Booth/Brennan fans by the end of season 5? —Shorty
Ausiello: Exec producer Stephen Nathan hinted that Booth’s big date with Sofer’s Catherine — which is slated to air in the April 22 episode — will help move B&B “forward towards a bit of a change in their lives.” What does that mean exactly? Grrr. Let me come at this from a different angle: How does the date go? “I guess how the date goes depends on what you think of Booth and Bones and the show Bones. Some people are going to like it, some people are not going to like it.” Let me come at this from a different angle: Nah, I give up.
Question: Need some Bones scoop, please! —Amy
Ausiello: Cam’s getting a new love interest! “We have an episode coming up where Cam meets someone,” reveals Nathan, “and it complicates her relationship with her adopted daughter, Michelle.” Nathan adds that we’ll meet Cam’s suitor in “a very bizarre way.”
Question: Are Leonard and Penny ever going to break up on The Big Bang Theory? —Beth
Ausiello: Gee, Mr. Negativity, how do you really feel? I actually don’t know what lies ahead for Penny and Leonard. For that matter, neither do the producers. “Unlike the series Lost, we have no idea where we’re going,” confesses executive producer Chuck Lorre. “We really are learning as we go, and we make decisions based on the best choices and information we have at any given moment. It really is just a gut check as to what feels right. I wish I could say yes, we have these magnificent plans and an overriding arc to the season, but nothing could be further from the truth. We’re not really sure what’s going to happen next week. It really is a mad scramble.” Ah, honesty. How I’ve missed you.
Question: How about some good Nip/Tuck scoop since there are only a few episodes remaining? —Brandon
Ausiello: The psycho transsexual bitch is back! I’m referring, of course, to Famke Janssen’s Ava Moore, who returns for the show’s last two episodes on Feb. 24 and March 3. And get this: The gender-bending nutjob (see what I did there?) has the cojones (and again!) to show up at McNarmara/Troy to ask Sean and Christian for a surgical favor. She also pays her ex, Matt, a visit, and she offers him and his fiancée, Romona, a six-figured wedding gift! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Ava’s ex-husband, plastic surgeon Dr. Barrett Moore (played by Alec Baldwin), will not be back. But he has a good excuse. Turns out the doc’s dead!
Question: What year are the Glee kids in high school? Will they ever graduate? —Mike
Ausiello: Sounds like series creator Ryan Murphy is keeping his options open. “The thing about the show that’s important is we try to be real, but it is also a fantasy high school,” he says. “I don’t know. We’re still trying to get through [season] one. I think it’s important to have new voices and new kids come in [each year]. That’s definitely something that we’re doing.”
Question: I followed you here from TV Guide and was hoping my loyalty would win me a favor. Please promote and sign the Save Better Off Ted petition. —Rachel
Ausiello: Done and done.
Question: I could probably be persuaded to send you a case of your favorite flavor of Snapple if you’ll give me some The Good Wife scoop. Pretty please? —Brooke
Ausiello: I’m told the next three episodes — airing March 2, 9 and 16 — will set the tone for Alicia and Peter’s future. Also, Alicia will finally find out about Zach’s secret sleuthing and the mysterious packages that had been left at her door.
Question: I am red hot mad with ABC over the offing of Ugly Betty! They are ending one of the best shows on television! What are the chances that it can be moved to another network? —Melissa
Ausiello: The chances are about zero to none. As far as I know, there’s no effort underway to find Betty a new home. On the bright side, I have some scoop for you: Aaron Tveit (a.k.a. Nate’s cuz and Serena’s ex from Gossip Girl) has been cast as a playwright who Betty goes on a date with in a late March episode. According to my Ugly insider, “The relationship starts great and ends horribly.” Not unlike every single episode of Saturday Night Live.
Question: How about another hint about who’s getting married in the Ugly Betty series finale? —Carol
Ausiello: It’s a heterosexual couple whose names rhyme with Silda and Cobby. In related news, the lovely, talented, and loose-lipped Ana Ortiz confirmed over the weekend that Hilda will marry Bobby in the Ugly Betty series finale.
Question: There’s buzz that the talented Joe Flanigan will be cast as the lead in NBC’s Rockford Files remake. Is this true? —Joan
Ausiello: Definitely not true. I think that rumor got started in a Stargate chat room.
Question: How many more episodes of NCIS will Rena Sofer be in? —Kate
Ausiello: She resurfaces in the March 2 episode and she’ll be back for at least one more after that. And even Sofer doesn’t know where producers are taking her relationship with Mark Harmon’s Gibbs. “Mark doesn’t know either,” Sofer tells me. “We talk about it every time we do a scene. We don’t know. Personally, I think it’s more fun to play the ambiguity. Once you go to bed with someone, it’s over. Where do you go from there? There’s a part of me that hopes we never know.”
Question: I’m thrilled that Big Love was renewed for a fifth season, but do you know how many episodes there will be? Hopefully it’s more than the nine we’re getting this season. —George
Ausiello: I can confirm that season 5 will be longer than season 4, but just barely. HBO ordered 10 episodes this time around.
Question: In light of Smallville not being renewed for the next season yet, I am feeling down! I need some juicy scoop to feel better! —Anibal
Ausiello: Two characters will soon discover each others’ secret identities.
Question: Thanks for the Cable Renewal Scorecard, but you forgot to include Legend of the Seeker. Will it be renewed? —David
Ausiello: I think you forgot that Legend is a syndicated show. That list only covered cable shows, hence the words “CABLE EDITION” in the headline. Capiche? But to answer your question, I’d say the cult fave is a safe bet for renewal. In related news, I’ve got more scoop from exec producer Ken Biller! In the episode airing the weekend of March 20, “Kahlan is going to have a very powerful spell put on her, and, in order to save Kahlan’s life, Richard is going to have to protect Kahlan’s greatest enemy, who is the only one who can remove the spell,” he says. “But at the same time, Kahlan is forced to go and confront her father (played by Michael Nouri), who is the man who abused her terribly as a child.” Confession: I have no idea what he just said.
Question: You haven’t had any juicy tidbits on Burn Notice lately. Pretty please with yogurt on top? —Vanessa
Ausiello: The new season of Burn Notice will find Michael going where he has never gone before: Somewhere other than Miami! “Michael goes on a field trip somewhere in South America,” reveals series creator Matt Nix. And by South America he means “Florida’s foreign-ish areas.” Fiona won’t be tagging along, but Nix hints that certain unnamed “frenemies” will.
Question: Anything happening in the world of Law & Order: CI? —Neal
Ausiello: Can I interest you in a Tracy Pollan guest stint? Mrs. Michael J. Fox has just been cast as a super-successful and extremely attractive magazine writer. Full disclosure: I served as a consultant on this episode.
Question: Got any Desperate Housewives scoop about Lynette and Tom? —Serena
Ausiello: This woman is about to turn their life upside down.
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can follow me on Twitter via @ewausiellofiles. Thanks for playing! (Additional reporting by Archana Ram)