EW Staff
July 23, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Is new Grey’s doc the right Rx for Meredith?
Jsmes Tupper is the only thing standing in the way of the Grey’s Anatomy docs returning to work this fall. The recent Mercy M.D. is joining the ABC hit as a trauma counselor brought in to help Seattle Grace recover from that season-ending bloodbath. ”I have to clear each one of them before they can go back to making life-and-death decisions,” explains Tupper. ”Some doctors are doing okay. But there’s one I’m having a problem with.” Our money’s on Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) being the difficult patient — she nearly lost McDreamy, after all — but Tupper would neither confirm nor deny that. The 44-year-old actor surely doesn’t want to get in trouble with Grey’s boss Shonda Rhimes, who is still deciding how long to keep his character around. Originally slated for just two eps, ”it’s now up to three,” reveals Tupper, who claims he’s fine with Grey’s fans commandeering the ”McTreemy” moniker he was tagged with during his Men in Trees days. ”It’s a nickname,” he chuckles. ”You have to go with what they give you.”


Damages rescued by DIRECTV Damages fans, meet your new BFF: the satellite dish. After months of negotiations, the savior of quality television that is DIRECTV has reached a deal with Sony Pictures Television to acquire the critically acclaimed yet low-rated Glenn Close drama from FX. Under the terms of the pact, DIRECTV’s The 101 Network will air two additional seasons of the Emmy-winning show — each consisting of 10 episodes — beginning in 2011. The arrangement is similar to the one DIRECTV brokered with NBC for Friday Night Lights, save for one key difference: Damages will air only on DIRECTV.

Nicole Richie spies Chuck return
After a two-year absence, Nicole Richie will reprise her role as Sarah’s high school nemesis-turned-spy, Heather, on Chuck in October. Also making their way to the NBC comedy this fall: The Daily Show‘s Olivia Munn and Rocky IV villain Dolph Lundgren.

Spoilery alerts on The Mentalist, Big Love, 90210

The Mentalist
The CBS drama is searching for a thirtysomething actor to play Patrick Jane’s (Simon Baker) brother-in-law, a con man whose devil-may-care swagger masks a tortured soul.

Big Love Ex-24 president Gregory Itzin will spar with Bill Paxton’s lonely polygamist, Bill, on the upcoming fifth season of the HBO drama. Itzin will play the Republican majority leader of the Utah State Senate — of which Bill is now a member.

In addition to a major male character coming out of the closet, the soap’s third season will feature a death in the Sept. 13 premiere. And no, it’s not Nat.

Amber Tamblyn’s in the House
Erstwhile Joan of Arcadia Amber Tamblyn is checking into Fox’s House for multiple episodes this fall. She’ll play a whip-smart med student House (Hugh Laurie) recruits to fill in for MIA Thirteen (Olivia Wilde, who’s off playing Cowboys & Aliens with Harrison Ford).

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