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Question: Now that Lisa Edelstein has opted not to return for House‘s eighth season and Jesse Spencer appears to be a lock to come back, should we be prepared for any other long-term castmembers leaving? —Melinda
Ausiello: The only remaining question mark is Olivia Wilde. Although she’s under contract for Season 8, her flourishing movie career will likely translate into another leave of absence — if not a permanent exit altogether. Exec producer David Shore concedes that there remains a great deal of “ambiguity” about the extent of Wilde’s involvement next season. “I expect she’ll be back,” he adds, “but I’m not sure how much she’ll be back.”
Question: I’m in serious need of some Psych info! Are you getting any vibes? —JessLayne
Ausiello: Not only vibes but tingles. After a hot hippie chick witnesses a murder, Gus thinks he’s died and gone to heaven. But there’s more afoot than romance. There actually is a crime to investigate in this upcoming episode, as well as the likelihood of a “name” guest star to play the leader of the commune where the aforementioned hot hippie lives. Personally, I’m seeing Bill Paxton in his first post-Big Love role…
Question: Now that NBC has decided not to pick up Ron Moore’s 17th Precinct, any chance another network will? —Cait
Ausiello: No. Bummer considering the fraktacular pedigree and cast. But an insider described the pilot as “confusing, overly-complex and the opposite of viewer-friendly,” adding, “It would make a good book or a big movie, but not a weekly TV series.”
Question: I may be alone, but I love Jackson and Lexie on Grey’s Anatomy. —Courtney.
Ausiello: You’re hardly alone. Considering that the season ended with the two of them on very solid footing, I think it’s safe to say Shonda Rhimes is a fan of the couple as well. And Jackson’s portrayer, Jesse Williams, is also on board — so by my count that brings the ‘shipper total to at least three. “I’m excited for Jackson to have a partner in crime,” the actor tells TVLine, “and to have somebody who’s a confidante and [explore] new avenues with… As an actor, [I] welcome the opportunity to have a relationship [on-screen] with somebody or have an enemy or rivalry or a new friend, anybody that gives you more work to do [and] makes the process more interesting. I’ve talked with the writers a little bit, and I think there a lot of different ways it could go.”
Question: Do you have any scoop on the second season of Rookie Blue? — Kelly
Ausiello: The June 16 premiere will shed some light on Dov’s backstory. “You [find out] that he has a little bit of a family tragedy in his past,” says portrayer Greg Smith, adding that the incident “may inform why Dov is so intent on being a cop and approaches the job the way he does.” Smith, meanwhile, hints that ABC’s summertime procedural may play host to an Everwood reunion in the near future. “Treat [Williams] is shooting [the feature film Blackbird] in [Canada] right now, so I had dinner with him the other day,” he says. “We were talking about trying to get him on [Rookie Blue], so we’ll see what happens.”
Question: So now that Terri Schuester has moved to Miami on Glee, does that mean she’ll go back to being Gina Russo from Nip/Tuck? —Mita
Ausiello: Why don’t you leave the comedy to me gumdrop, OK? Speaking of which, check out this hilarious six month-old Conan clip I found on the Inter Webs last night!
Question: I read that Fox will launch The Finder in Bones‘ Thursday slot this fall and then Bones will return in the spring, significantly shortening its season. Is this true? —Nancy
Ausiello: Nope, sure isn’t. Bones will launch in the fall, pass the baton to spinoff The Finder in January, and then return to the schedule in the spring. I hear producers may keep the spirit of Bones alive during its three-month, Emily Deschanel baby-fueled midseason hiatus by integrating some of the show’s supporting players into The Finder.
Question: Do you have any info on when Season 4 of Castle is going to pick up? Like how much time will have passed between the finale and the premiere? —Emily
Ausiello: That depends. How long do you think it takes to get from that cemetery to the nearest hospital? I’m going to go with more than 10 minutes but less than 30.
Question: I know it’s early, but got any How I Met Your Mother scoop? —George
Ausiello: Look for Robin to revive her dormant personal life next season — with or without the Barnster. “Robin didn’t do a hell of a lot of dating at all [last season],” points out exec producer Craig Thomas. “She was more [immersed in] switching careers. Now, Robin, who’s single and is looking forward a little bit, can’t help but wonder if what happened between her and Barney could have been something more had they been more ready. It’s always hard to see someone that you were once into and possibly still have this deeper connection with decide to go after somebody new [as Barney did with Nora]. That feels horrible.”
Question: I have a quick theory on How I Met Your Mother that has been circling my mind, and I wanted to bounce the idea off you to see whether it’s possible. When Barney met his dad in Long Island, he mentioned that he had two children, JJ (the one who plays basketball at school), and a sister Carly who is in college. Yet, we didn’t get a chance to see the sister. Why bring up the detail when it does not relate immediately to Barney meeting his dad? In the season finale, we see Barney as the groom of the mystery wedding. During the wedding, I am assuming he will most definitely invite his father and his family (after much debate and emotional roller coaster rides). We also know that Ted meets the mother at Barney’s wedding. Would it be possible for the mother to be Barney’s half-sister? I can see the set-up being hilarious, considering the fact that Barney has always made dirty Christmas songs for Ted’s sister. Do you think this theory holds up? —Olivea
Ausiello: If that was your idea of a quick theory I’d hate to see what a long one looks like. I think my attention span just suffered a coronary. Please boil the above manuscript down to 10 words or less and then resend it for consideration in next week’s column.
Question: Does Dave Foley’s new CBS pilot (How To Be a Gentleman) preclude him from returning to HIMYM next season? —Lanie
Ausiello: EP Craig Thomas concedes that the pilot will definitely “make it harder” to bring Foley back as Marshall’s potential new boss. Of course, we’re assuming Marshall actually gets hired. “I don’t want to say whether or not Marshall ends up getting that job,” Thomas hedges. “[But] admitting to your boss that you’re about to explode from both ends and running out of the room [is] not the best way to get a job.”
Question: I’m dying for some Hetty scoop after the NCIS: LA finale. Is Linda Hunt on board next season as a series regular? —Daniel
Ausiello: Yes, she’ll be back as a regular. In fact, I predict Hetty will be the last one standing on that show.
Question: Will we ever see Adam again on Supernatural? There could be Smurf paraphernalia in it for you. —Donna
Ausiello: Showrunner Sera Gamble puts the chances of an Adam comeback at a “very strong maybe.” Gimme my presents!
Question: Is Leslie going to run for mayor of Pawnee next season on Parks and Recreation? —Carter
Ausiello: That’s the question at the very heart of Season 3, according to exec producer Michael Schur. “[Leslie] will be dealing with the dilemma of whether to come clean [about her romance with Ben] or whether to give up her dream of running for office,” he previews. “I think it’s a dilemma that a lot of career women face. Sometimes it’s, ‘Do I choose my family over my job?’ Sometimes it’s, ‘Do I choose my husband’s job over my job?’ She’s a very strong woman — a feminist — and isn’t the kind of person who would say, ‘Oh, I’m going to date this guy and throw all my dreams away.’ On the other hand, she seems to really like the guy. The trick is going to be to figure out a storyline that allows her to stay true to her character in terms of what she wants to achieve. But also, making her happy because she likes the guy that she’s dating.”
Question: I’m dying over here! Is Aziz Ansari leaving Parks and Recreation now that Tom has quit his job in the parks department? I’m not sure if I could handle not getting my weekly dose of Tom Haverford. – Katie
Ausiello: Ansari isn’t going anywhere, but don’t expect Tom to go running back to city hall with his tail between his legs — at least not initially. “We don’t want to just come back [in the fall] and have everything back to normal,” says Schur. “We want to play out that he’s the guy who’s had this dream for a long time. I don’t think he’s going to give it up right away… The trick there is figuring out a way to have Entertainment 720 still in the show and have Aziz on the show as much as he’s ever been.”
Question: I thought we were going to find out who Michael’s replacement would be in the Office finale. What happened? —Jennifer
Ausiello: I suspect producers wanted to give themselves the summer to weigh all their options. I hear a five-second scene at the end of the episode that showed the field of candidates narrowed to three was excised at the last minute. Interestingly, none of those would-be finalists were rumored frontrunner Catherine Tate, which may explain why the clip was cut.
Question: I was hoping for a scoop from any one of the many USA shows. Psych, Burn Notice, White Collar, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains… I’m not picky! — Elizabeth
Ausiello: In that case, the third episode of Royal Pains, titled “Rash Talk,” will feature not one, not two but three notable guest stars. Shiri Appleby (Life Unexpected) plays a flibbertigibbet whose business plan doesn’t account for a health crisis, and Tony winner Joanna Gleason (seen last on The Good Wife) and David “Sledge Hammer” Rasche play a hoity-toity couple who — what a coincidence! — also require medical attention.
Question: Any scoop on the final season of The Closer? — Kaitlyn
Ausiello: You mean, in addition to the “unbelievably unexpected” event that happens in the July 11 season premiere? Well, Brenda may be about to meet her match. The show is casting the recurring role of a smartypants attorney with more tricks up his sleeve than arm. Said lawyer will be representing a slain gang member’s mother in her suit against our heroine and the police department in general.
Question: Any news about Dexter? —John
Ausiello: We may be looking at a time jump between Seasons 5 and 6. Examine the evidence: Producers are casting the recurring role of an elementary school teacher. When Season 5 ended, Dex and Rita’s son Harrison wasn’t even close to pre-school age. See where I’m going with this?
Question: Now that Peter doesn’t exist on Fringe, does that mean all bets are off with regard to other characters that were impacted by him — like his mother committing suicide? —Rachel
Ausiello: “That’s the right question to ask,” responds exec producer Jeff Pinkner. “And that’s what [next] season will answer.” Should fans be worried that nothing they experienced during the first three seasons actually happened? “Rest assured we won’t betray the audience,” Pinkner insists. “Taking Peter out of the story is another way to look at our series from another side. What would have happened in these people’s lives up to this point if [there was] no Peter?”
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can keep track of my scoops on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello. Thanks for playing! (Additional reporting by Vlada Gelman, Louis Virtel and Andy Patrick)