Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on NCIS, Fringe, Cougar Town's Love for Community, and More

Got the Monday blahs? Let’s see if I can perk up the start of your week with a flurry of scoops, teases and sound bites from some of TV’s hottest shows and stars.

NCIS | Coming off of last week’s enjoyable “origins” episode featuring Tony DiNozzo, NCIS fans wonder whose colorful past might get explored the next time around. Abby’s? Ducky’s? Exec producer Gary Glasberg tells me that no plans have been locked in for the next flashback subject, but acknowledges, “We still have a couple people that we could in theory look at” — Abby included — “and it’s something we will definitely talk about for next season.” Glasberg credits JAG/NCIS creator Don Bellisario for crafting a series where “just now, at this point in the show’s life, we have this extraordinary opportunity to dig into the characters’ pasts.” So whether we ultimately learn that Abby used to be a WASPy blonde named Bitsy or that Ducky used to be invisible, “The sky’s the limit!”

Fringe Finale Exclusive: Producers Answer (Some) Burning Questions

Fringe | I know that series bosses Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman gave fans plenty to chew on — first with Friday’s season finale, and immediately afterward with their TVLine “debriefing.” But one vittle I saved has to do with the nature of the “bridge” that Peter created to connect the two universes (as opposed to destroying them). Wyman told me that moving forward, that room inside the Statue of Liberty will serve as “sort of an airlock” via which VIPs can cross to and fro. “You go out one door and you’re in our universe; you go out the other door and you’re in theirs,” he explained. But despite its location within a landmark, this “bridge” won’t be getting added to any NYC tourist maps. “No,” Wyman confirms with a laugh. “It will be a well-kept secret.”

Season-Ending Cougar Town Scoop: Hawaiian Heartbreak, Baby Blues and Crazy In-Laws!

Cougar Town | Over the weekend I watched the hour-long Cougar Town season finale (airing May 25), and as I texted to coworker Meg Masters right afterward, it was epically good, on several fronts. The Hawaiian location shoot was put to good use, Busy Phillips has perhaps never been better (or given as dense of material, as Laurie broaches a delicate topic with Travis), and there’s also an emotionally rich storyline for Courtney Cox and Josh Hopkins. But what elevates the episode to a new level of awesome is the presence of Scrubs sad sack Ted Buckland (played by Sam Lloyd), who winningly steals every scene he’s in. As an extra cherry on top of it all: Cougar Town returns Community‘s abundant love — which is punctuated this Thursday in the NBC comedy’s own finale — in a way that is as hysterical as it is wonderful to watch.

White Collar | Fans of this USA Network series who felt they got a bit underserved last season on the FBI Agent Diana Barrigan front have this to look forward to when Season 3 premieres June 7: “I have a lot more to do,” Marsha Thomason effused to me at USA’s upfront event. “Both with regards to [Diana's] personal life and her working with the FBI.” As previously scooped, White Collar viewers will be meeting Diana’s lady love, played by Crash knockout Moran Atias, whom Thomason concurs is “sick, just so stunning, and such a lovely girl.” And how.

Exclusive First Look: We Spy Sexy New Covert Affairs Promo Art

Covert Affairs | Speaking of USA Network faves: I also circled back with Chris Gorham, who months ago at the Golden Globes had just gotten word that some meaty pieces of Auggie’s backstory would be dropped during Season 2. He now confirms, “We get a big revelation about his past, and it’s something fans will really like.” Gorham was also thrilled to report that the spy drama has been shooting on location more, taking the Toronto-based production to destinations such as Puerto Rico and Paris. Still to come, he teased, “They’re sending me to an as-yet-undisclosed international location off the continent – way, way, way out of the office.”

If there’s a show or hot topic you’d like the Inside Line on, email, and maybe it’ll get some love the next time around!

Comments (33)

  • I thought Auggie was being written out of the show and/or the actor was not returning? I swear I read that a few months ago.

    Comment by Bethany – May 9, 2011 09:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If I remember correctly, we got news that Auggie was being replaced in his operations management position, and everyone assumed that meant Gorham would leave the show, and it was later confirmed that he would not be.

    Comment by Steveo – May 9, 2011 09:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m sorry where’s the community love mentioned in the title?

    Comment by mike – May 9, 2011 09:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It is in the Cougar Town section…

      Comment by Geoff – May 9, 2011 09:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It is mentioned in the post about Cougar Town.

      Comment by Lukas – May 9, 2011 09:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’m so excited to see this! Presumably it won’t mention fake pooping one’s pants, but it. will…

        Comment by RP – May 9, 2011 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • LAUGH!! This was hysterical!

          Comment by Christine – May 9, 2011 10:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d love to see an Abby origin story on “NCIS”! It would be interesting to find out how Abby came to NCIS and what her first interactions with Gibbs were like. P.S. The only disappointing thing about the DiNozzo origin story was that it didn’t include his introduction to Abby (it was implied in an early episode that it took her awhile to like him).

    Comment by Ashley – May 9, 2011 10:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That was my only gripe about the episode too. I love the Tony/Abby friendship. Too bad they’ve been ignoring it the past couple of seasons.

      Comment by Clarissa – May 9, 2011 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I hope the Abby retrospective next season is not because she is one of this season’s fatalities.

      Comment by Rinka – May 9, 2011 12:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Community could do a whole episode about Abed making the group play *Squeels* PENNY CAN! Next season, that would be awesome.

    Comment by Rob – May 9, 2011 10:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • hah that needs to happen

      Comment by Lou – May 9, 2011 10:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Especially if they have to reveal secrets every time they miss.

        Comment by Becca – May 9, 2011 10:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • FINALE FUN FACT: Penny Can isn’t called Penny Can in Hawaii ;)

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – May 9, 2011 10:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Awww thanks Matt! Two of my favorite characters mentioned and pictured in the same article Abby/Auggie. Would LOVE to see more of each of their shows or hey even each others! I’m game!

    Comment by Renee – May 9, 2011 10:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to say that I’m loving the mutual respect between two of my favourite shows in Community and Cougar Town. Just when I thought “Modern Warfare II” a.k.a. A Fistful of Paintballs couldn’t get any better, we get two guest CT cameos. And the Cougar Town finale is a whole hour? I’m so there.

    Comment by Scott – May 9, 2011 11:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No more origins for NCIS, just give me competent Tony and more scene with Gibbs and I’m happy.

    Comment by jace – May 9, 2011 11:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • YESSS to an Abby backstory episode. I need it to be next season NAO!

    Comment by Clarissa – May 9, 2011 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ted is back? I hope it is a reoccuring role. Sam Lloyd was one of my fav’s on “Scrubs”.

    Comment by side3 – May 9, 2011 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ted turns up in Hawaii, yes, and he is still a very, very sad man. And aces with a guitar!

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – May 9, 2011 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Abby was originally a blond, or at least Pauley was when she appeared on “Special Unit 2″. ;-)

    Comment by Peggy – May 9, 2011 12:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why won’t anyone spoil whether Eilon Bailey/Ben Mercer will be back on Covert Affairs? Do you not know or are you too chicken to spill?

    Comment by Kat – May 9, 2011 01:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They’re showing him in the most recent trailer for the show on USA.

      Comment by Liz – May 9, 2011 07:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When will we find out about Auggie’s nanites?

    Comment by Matt – May 9, 2011 02:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is it just me or is McGee getting less and less and less screentime on NCIS to the point that you wonder if he is about to, oh I dunno, get P2P murdered? I know he had a new contract recently so I guess not but at this point, I don’t think I would even notice if he was gone.

    Comment by AJ – May 9, 2011 02:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Palmer is the more likely candidate for the P2P killer than McGee.

      Comment by Me – May 9, 2011 03:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • With two deaths coming on NCIS it’s still possible he is one, but he can clearly be seen helping Ducky load a body in the promo where they say someone close to the team dies. Could just be the “body of the week” or it could be the death that is coming. Palmer isn’t connected enough anyway, the P2P killer is trying to get at Tony for some reason. That makes EJ the best target, but something just seems off with McGee on the show this season and he and Tony are friends. We’ll find out soon enough.

        Comment by AJ – May 9, 2011 03:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why, Kyle Massey, why?!

    Comment by Lorie – May 9, 2011 03:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m a fan of Eion Bailey/Ben Mercer on Covert Affairs.Will he be in season 2? I never find any info about him in connection with Covert Affairs. I can’t wait until June 7 to find out if he lives or dies.I hope he lives.

    Comment by CB – May 9, 2011 06:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Less Marsha Thomason please. She’s annoying.

    Comment by topoopon – May 9, 2011 07:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Cant wait for White Collar-Marsha and Moran? Friggin SWEET! That should bring in American Idol-sized ratings!

    Comment by brutony – May 11, 2011 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love the Statue of Liberty “bridge” idea for Season 4 of Fringe. I can’t wait for the new shows – heck, even Season 3 on DVD would be great. Fringe rocks!

    Comment by iRandy – May 11, 2011 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought Ducky worked for a super-secret international organization based in New York. But I could has sworn he spoke with a Russian accent.

    Comment by John – May 11, 2011 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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