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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Bethany says:

    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.

  2. Steveo says:

    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.

  3. mike says:

    I’m sorry where’s the community love mentioned in the title?

  4. Ashley says:

    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).

    • Clarissa says:

      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.

    • Rinka says:

      I hope the Abby retrospective next season is not because she is one of this season’s fatalities.

  5. Rob says:

    Community could do a whole episode about Abed making the group play *Squeels* PENNY CAN! Next season, that would be awesome.

  6. Renee says:

    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!

  7. Scott says:

    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.

  8. jace says:

    No more origins for NCIS, just give me competent Tony and more scene with Gibbs and I’m happy.

  9. Clarissa says:

    YESSS to an Abby backstory episode. I need it to be next season NAO!

  10. side3 says:

    Ted is back? I hope it is a reoccuring role. Sam Lloyd was one of my fav’s on “Scrubs”.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Ted turns up in Hawaii, yes, and he is still a very, very sad man. And aces with a guitar!

  11. Peggy says:

    Abby was originally a blond, or at least Pauley was when she appeared on “Special Unit 2”. ;-)

  12. Kat says:

    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?

  13. Matt says:

    When will we find out about Auggie’s nanites?

  14. AJ says:

    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.

    • Me says:

      Palmer is the more likely candidate for the P2P killer than McGee.

      • AJ says:

        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.

  15. Lorie says:

    Why, Kyle Massey, why?!

  16. CB says:

    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.

  17. topoopon says:

    Less Marsha Thomason please. She’s annoying.

  18. brutony says:

    Cant wait for White Collar-Marsha and Moran? Friggin SWEET! That should bring in American Idol-sized ratings!

  19. iRandy says:

    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!

  20. John says:

    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.