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Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Castle's Time Trip, Supernatural, Revenge, Secret Circle and More

Is Castle fabulous in the ’40s? Which Revenge mainstay is about to become a lot more popular? Who is Sam Winchester’s “old friend”? Read on for those scoops, plus other teases from TV’s hottest shows.

Your January Premieres and Returns Calendar

Castle | The more we hear about the ABC drama’s 1940s-set noir episode, the more killer-diller it sounds. Thus far we knew that Castle’s retro alter ego is a Sam Spade type, while Beckett transforms into a gangster’s moll – specifically, the arm candy of a crooked club owner played by Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural, The Closer). “Stana [Katic] looked fantastic,” Pellegrino told me of the costumed shoot. “I mean, she was dressed to kill.” Not that the fellas were slouches. “I loved being in those double-breasted suits, the pinstripes, hair slicked back…,” Pellegrino raved. “It was definitely a great thing.” Summing up his character, Pellegrino says that whereas Nathan Fillion made like Spade (“And he was so good at it”), he himself channeled James Cagney, rat-a-tat speech patterns and all. And though Beckett may be his gangster’s gal, Pellegrino says the brunette beauty’s angsty chemistry with Castle’s ’40s sleuth “mimics” what the duo share back at the NYPD.

Castle Is Heading for a Wedding – Will It Get Rick and Kate Ready for Romance?

Revenge | During Emily VanCamp’s visit to our NYC office, yes, I made the joke that Emily Thorne should seek revenge on Mother Nature for the hit-and-miss sun there in the Hamptons. But I also asked when Jack might seek some revenge for owning perhaps the least-crowded watering hole in summertime Hamptons history. “Yeah, but that’s about to change. You’ll see!” she smiled, hinting at happier days for the sad little Stowaway. “It’s about to become a pretty happening place!” What do you think brings about this boom in business? (Perhaps Amanda tending bar in her Daisy Dukes?)

Revenge Finds Its Grayson Patriarch in Knots Landing Alum William Devane

Hart of Dixie | If you reckon that Zoe will be angrier than a wet hen in a tote sack (thanks, Google!) when she sees her “dad” (guest star Gary Cole) for the first time in three years, you’d be right. She’ll have a whole speech planned, seeing as he, like her mother, concealed the truth about her actual paternity. But you know what they say about best laid plans, and Zoe’s rant – which Wade helps her script — will be at risk of going South when the elder Dr. Hart A) greets her with an unexpectedly warm embrace and then B) promptly invites her to assist him at the local hospital in a fancy-pants surgery.

Midseason Report Cards: Which Freshman Shows Are Making the Grade?

Supernatural | Speaking of TV shows flashing back to the 1940s – and we were – The CW has shared a provocative vittle about the Jan. 13 episode of Supernatural, in which the God of Time (Veronica Mars‘ Jason Dohring) sends Dean to 1944, where he is promptly cuffed by Eliot Ness (X-Files‘ Nicholas Lea). According to the official synopsis for the episode, “While trying to figure out how to retrieve his brother [from the past], Sam is surprised by the reappearance of an old friend.” Thus far, we’ve got two theories on this blast from the past. One, maybe Bobby is revealed as dead in the winter premiere (airing Jan. 6), and he’s the one who resurfaces. Or, Sam crosses paths with Sheriff Jody Mills, which jibes with actress Kim Rhodes’ recent tweet that she will reappear in an upcoming episode. What’s your theory, Superfans? (And keep in mind, it’ll be a couple weeks too soon for this return.)

Supernatural‘s Jim Beaver Set to Return to FX’s Justified — and Maybe For a While

The Secret Circle | TVLine recently tried to get some hints out of executive producer Andrew Miller about the second Blackwell child, but it was like trying to break into Fort Knox. Heck, he wouldn’t even spill whether it’s a guy or a girl. “I wish I could tell you!” he exclaimed. “I will say the identity of the second Balcoin kid will absolutely be revealed and is part of a much bigger piece of the mythology that we don’t yet know. So I would love to tell you who, but it would tip off some of the other super cool stuff that’s coming.”

Parenthood | Here’s hoping that the holiday season gifts you with much Kleenex, because before the NBC charmer’s third season wraps (on Feb. 28), Max is going to get a true blue, genuine f-r-i-e-n-d. I’d tell you more about how the lads, who are veritable twins, meet, and how Kristina and Adam react to the news of their first playdate, but we’d all get preemptively weepy, and as Tom Hanks once famously said, “There’s no crying in spoilers!”

Parenthood Exclusive: Dexter Grad Courtney Ford Makes a Play For Crosby

90210 | Though this CW series will [SPOILER ALERT] occupy a space on TVLine’s Most Disappointing Shows of 2011 list (posting next week), we admit to being a bit curious about what Michael Steger told us about the first episodes airing in the new year. “They’re going back to Season 1 and resolving some old storylines,” he teased. “Fans are going to really, really enjoy what they’re about to see.” Does this “interesting” bit of revisited history involve Navid himself? “I can’t really say anything,” the actor hedged, “because it’s a big reveal. And it is a good one.” Speculate away!

If there’s a show you’d like the Inside Line on, email mattmtvguy@gmail.com, and maybe it’ll get some love the next time around! (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)