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The Ausiello Files for August 22, 2008

EW's TV scooper has a ''Lost'' spoiler plus dish on ''Law & Order: SVU,'' ''Private Practice,'' and more

Production on Lost's fifth season gets under way this week, and you know what that means: They're throwing fresh intel down my hatch! Exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have put the finishing touches on the season premiere's script, titled ''Because You Left,'' and it's said to feature two new characters, both recurring at first with an option to become series regulars in season 6.

First up is Caesar, a physical brainiac between the ages of 35 and 45. Although his intentions are unclear, he's as good at winning people over as he is at knocking them off. (Scary.) The other newbie is Ilanna, a European in her late 20s to early 30s who — stop me if you've heard this one before — is also as intelligent as she is dangerous. And she too is a charmer who's used to getting her way. At press time, actors had yet to be attached to either role. In other words, the all-knowing Ben probably already has copies of their SAG cards, first auditions, and latest dental records.

'Greek' Gets a New Pledge

It was as inevitable as a Speidi photo op: The acting bug has bitten Lauren Conrad. The Hills star will appear in the Oct. 28 season finale of ABC Family's Greek. The gig won't require her to go all Meryl Streep on us, though. Conrad will be doing what she does best — playing herself.

Ask Ausiello

Q: Hook us up with some juicy scoop on Law & Order: SVU. —KJ
A: I always suspected Chris Meloni's damaged detective had some serious mommy issues, and now we're about to find out for sure. SVU has tapped Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn to play Stabler's estranged mom in an October episode. ''They've been on the outs for years,'' explains exec producer Neal Baer. ''He has never spoken about his mother to Benson [Mariska Hargitay], and we'll find out why.'' The Shield's CCH Pounder will add even more star power to the episode, reprising her role as lawyer Carolyn Maddox.

Q: Office news. You have it. I want it. Give it up! —Pamela
A: Given all the tomfoolery that transpires at Dunder Mifflin, it's kind of shocking to think that we've yet to meet this guy, but this season The Office will finally be introducing the paper company's head of HR. However, since he'll be heard before he's actually seen in Scranton, there's still time for Michael to remove that hidden camera in the ladies' room.

Q: How about a Grey's Anatomy spoiler? —Tina
A: How about one on its spin-off instead? Turns out Addison's got an older brother we never knew about, and he looks a lot like Grant Show ('70s 'stache not included — I hope). The Swingtown bed-hopper has been cast on Private Practice as Kate Walsh's sib, who'll shed some light on the doc's upbringing.

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Originally posted Aug 15, 2008 Published in issue #1007-1008 Aug 22, 2008 Order article reprints