Fall TV Preview

TVLine Items: Vampire Diaries Dish, Shield Vet Joins Drew Peterson Pic, OTH Encore and More

The Vampire Diaries will kick off its third season on Sept. 15 with — yep, you guessed it — a big party! “Our first episode is Elena’s 18th birthday,” exec producer Julie Plec tells TV Guide Magazine. “But as is the pattern in Mystic Falls, the event never reaches its climax.”

Speaking of Elena, her love life, as expected/counted on, will only get supernaturally complicated. Says Plec, “[O]ver the course of the season, Elena will be struggling with a deep, deep attraction toward Damon. That’s going to be a big problem for her.”

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well….

The Shield alum Catherine Dent has joined the cast of Lifetime’s Untouchable: The Drew Peterson Story, starring Rob Lowe, TVLine has learned. She’ll play Sheryl, ill-fated Stacy’s (Kaley Cuoco) BFF who had a hand in getting Drew hauled off to jail. Also, Lost alum/Tom Cruise cousin William Mapother has been cast as Drew’s stepbrother, Variety reports.

Hot Shot: Rob Lowe as Suspected Wife-Killer Drew Peterson

• Supernatural‘s Alona Tal has joined FX’s superhero pilot Powers, a rep for the cable net confirms. The Veronica Mars alum broke the news on Twitter, but didn’t provide details about her character. Her casting comes amid buzz that she may be reprising her role as Jo on Supernatural for an episode or two this fall — something a show rep would neither confirm nor deny. In other Supe news, Firefly‘s Jewel Staite will guest star in this season’s third episode as a childhood friend of Sam’s, Zap2it reports.

• Also per Zap2It, actor/musician Tyler Hilton will be a part of One Tree Hill‘s final season, reprising his role of Chris Keller.

• Newcomer Lamorne Morris is joining Fox’s buzzy new Zooey Deschanel sitcom New Girl to fill the void left by original cast member Damon Wayans Jr., who is otherwise engaged to ABC’s Happy Endings, TV Guide Magazine reports. As TVLine first noted, Wayans will still appear in the series pilot, then his “Coach” character will move out.

• NBC is finally confirming the worst kept secret in the soap biz: Deidre Hall is returning to Days of Our Lives. The suds vet will reprise her role as Dr. Marlena Evans beginning Sept. 26. Can Hall’s onscreen leading man Drake Hogestyn (John) be far behind?