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Question: How is it that whenever I ask for NCIS: LA scoop, you give me zippo? Mister, you better be holding out on me because you have something especially awesome. —Amy
Ausiello: Is it too early to start teasing the season finale? No? Splendid. “Someone’s gonna die that we know well,” confirms exec producer Shane Brennan. “I’ve got the target, I’m just choosing which missile to fire. And there’s a character or two coming back to tie some things up.”
Question: It’s about time you gives us a scoop for NCIS: LA. —Gisela
Ausiello: There’s a big Kensi-centric double episode coming up titled “Blye, K.” that Brennan says “goes to the very heart of why she joined NCIS” and sets the stage for the big NCIS: LA/Hawaii Five-0 crossover during May sweeps. In possibly related news, the show is looking for an actress in her late 40s to play the estranged mother of one of the show’s female characters. Hmm…
Question: I would love some scoop on Addison from Private Practice. Got any? —Laura
Ausiello: Kate Walsh says “there’s some craziness” in the upcoming episode that finds Addison and Jake traveling to Palm Springs for a medical conference, adding, “Addison is a little out there. Shonda Rhimes wrote some fun stuff for us to do. She really wrote the hell out of that episode.”
Question: Do you have any scoop on Addison’s baby plans on Private Practice? —Laura
Ausiello: Don’t assume there will be a man in the picture when motherhood comes calling. Rhimes, herself a single mother, says the end game for Addison won’t necessarily involve “a husband and a typical nuclear family… That’s not the goal for that character.” While we’re on the subject of Private Practice‘s end game, Rhimes is optimistic the show will be back next season. And if not? “I would hope that if this is Private Practice‘s last season I would know that well in advance before we were cracking the final episodes so we could really give some closure to characters,” she says. “But I don’t know what the plans are for the show at this moment. It does well in the ratings and [ABC] seems happy about it, but we’ll see.”
Question: Any scoop on what’s coming for Private Practice‘s Charlotte and Cooper? Are we going to see Cooper’s son Mason factor more into their lives? —Allison
Ausiello: Yes, but not in a negative way. “I’ve been getting some tweets from [fans] who are like, ‘We hate Mason,’ which I think is odd to hate an 8-year-old, but whatever,” Rhimes shrugs. “I think it’s because they somehow believe that Charlotte and Cooper are going to break up or something, and that’s not what this story is about. It’s about watching Cooper find parts of himself that he didn’t know existed, and Charlotte finding parts of herself that she didn’t know existed. Watching Charlotte learn to become a mother and realize that this relationship [with Cooper] is exactly where she wants to be and there’s nothing better on the horizon… is a beautiful journey for her. I love where she’s grown to and where we’re going to continue to see her grow to. The Charlotte that we first knew would have walked away [from this child]. But the Charlotte that we know now is such a very different person it’s really beautiful.”
Question: I just watched Season 1 of Shameless in one day and am itching for some Season 2 spoilers! Can you help me out? —Elizabeth
Ausiello: Sure can. Look for the family to put some “pressure” on Lip to flee the flock and “go to school and make something of himself,” Jeremy Allen White tells us. “I think the conflict there is Lip really wants to be one of the working class, one of the neighborhood. He loves it there. So there’s tension with Lip and the family.” Bonus tease: Mom Monica is coming back, which can only mean one thing: trouble!
Question: I’m a big fan and have been for a while. Also, I’ve been trying to figure out who could be the subject of your latest blind item… Any chance it could be Booth? There might be something Smurfy in it for you —Virginia
Ausiello: Really? You think Bones is going to kill off David Boreanaz? Really? Especially after Sue Sylvester’s shout-out? Try again, Virg.
Question: So I just caught up on four weeks’ worth of NCIS in one day (as well as working a nine-hour shift) and now I’m desperate for some spoilers! —Megan
Ausiello: The arrival of Tony’s ex-fiancée, Wendy (played by Entourage‘s Perrey Reeves), “comes out of left field for him,” previews NCIS EP Gary Glasberg, adding that the reunion takes place in the Feb. 14 episode written by co-executive producer Steve Binder. As for nitpicking that Wendy was long ago established to be a music teacher versus a journalist, Glasberg says, “Steve speaks to that in the script — she decided that she wanted more out of life, so she took on a journalism job. She wants to write for TVLine!” That would explain the letter I got yesterday from CBS asking for permission to mention TVLine in an episode! Amazing! If only it were true. Sigh…
Question: I just watched the pilot for Smash and I’m dying for some more. Any scoop you can part with? —Ellie
Ausiello: The second episode is just as good. I’ve seen many a promising pilot crash and burn in Episode 2, so it was an enormous relief that Smash maintained its quality week-to-week — save for one glaring plot contrivance involving Katharine McPhee standing up her onscreen boyfriend. Note to producers: There’s still time to reshoot that scene!
Question: I was just wondering if what you do is your job or if it’s a side job or even a hobbie. —Rachel
Ausiello: As it happens, Rachel, it is my job. And sometimes, when I’m leaning, it becomes a side job (though left or right side depends on the direction in which I lean). My hobby is actually correcting the spellings of words like “hobbie.”
Question: Any news on how long Kal Penn is sticking around on How I Met Your Mother? – Monica
Ausiello: I don’t think much longer. Exec producer Craig Thomas says an upcoming episode will find Robin realizing that “the waters don’t run as deep with Kevin as they do with Barney.” Or, for that matter, Ted, who come February will be forced to deal with his unresolved feelings for Robin. “Stuff happens that makes Ted and Robin question their living arrangements,” adds fellow EP Carter Bays. “When they broke up back in Season 2 they asked themselves the question, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ Robin thought she’d be living [overseas]. And now it’s five years later and she is still in this apartment, exactly where she was when Ted asked that question. There’s an episode where they literally do the five-year reassessment off that one line in their breakup in Season 2.”
Question: Will we definitely learn in the HIMYM season finale who Barney is marrying? —Doug
Ausiello: Yes. And that’s not the only precious piece of intel we’ll uncover during the flash-forward. “There’s a huge thing we’re going to learn going back to the future wedding day,” teases Bays. “I don’t want to say what it is though.”
Question: You got anything on the Grey’s Anatomy alternate reality episode about Meredith and Derek? —Jessica
Ausiello: As if the photos from the can’t-miss hour left any doubt, the episode features “hilarious performances” from the cast, raves Shonda Rhimes. “They fully embody their characters in completely new ways. Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey all bright and shiny is one of my most favorite things to see because it’s painful but it’s also really funny.”
Question: Got any Grey’s Anatomy scoop on Callie and Arizona? —Tim
Ausiello: Rhimes says they will remain the show’s “stable couple,” adding, “We’re exploring Callie as a doctor, which has been really fun. To see her being a badass bone surgeon has been great. And Arizona is dealing with training Alex and what all that means.” Looking ahead to the show’s “really fun” Valentine’s-themed episode, Rhimes says Calzona “fight for some sexy alone time together.”
Question: I was wondering if you had any scoops on Hawaii Five-0? —Samantha
Ausiello: Is it too early to start teasing the season finale? No? Splendid. The ongoing Shelburne mystery that seemingly concluded in this Monday’s episode will rear its ugly head again in May. “It’s not over yet,” reveals exec producer Peter Lenkov. “It’s going to wrap up at the end of [the season] and it’s a pretty significant turn in our show.”
Question: Please, any information about Ringer? I need it! —Mark
Ausiello: Bridget’s gonna spill the beans to Andrew, the only question is which beans will she be spilling. “Bridget has to come clean to Andrew on some really major secret that deals with identity,” says exec producer Pam Veasey.
Question: There will be a huge hole in my life after Chuck ends on January 27. Any last bit of final season spoilers out there? —Chuck
Ausiello: Zachary Levi breaks down the two-hour swan song thusly: “The first hour is super-intense drama and action and some tears are shed. And the second half also has some drama, but there’s a lot of comedy, too.”
Question? How long before Kalinda and Alicia are officially friends again on The Good Wife? —Ingmar
Ausiello: Oooh, good question! Let’s ask exec producer Robert King. “That [relationship] is the driving force of the season,” he says. “These are two people who probably have the biggest betrayal between them. Is it possible for them to come back from that? Other events will impact that. Because right now they’ve warmed up a bit. But they’re not there yet. But Alicia misses it, and Kalinda misses it, too.” And me three!
Question: What can we expect from the epic 100th episode of The Big Bang Theory? —Tim
Ausiello: You can expect to have a very strong reaction to it. “If it’s not hated, it will be loved,” predicts exec producer Bill Prady. “There’s an odd thing that happens in it, but at the moment you realize the odd thing, you also realize you’re not [being] gypped. It has consequence. I think it’s neat.” Put another way, “This episode feels like we had a lot of fans coming over to our house for a party for the 100th episode, and we went and looked at some recipes and we tried something ambitious,” Prady explains metaphorically. “And now we’re watching you eat it and we hope you like it because we worked really hard on it and we really want you to.” I like parties with lots of food, so this episode sounds right up my alley.
Question: So if I’m to understand this week’s Gossip Girl correctly, the new man to come between Chuck and Blair is… God? —Aram
Ausiello: Yes, and exec producer Josh Safran is here with an explanation. “Religion has [always] been a part of Blair’s life,” he argues. “She went to confession as far back as Season 1. Even though she didn’t fully believe in it, she was there. We really did believe, especially in light of what has happened to Blair after the accident, that she feels even more strongly about this connection and this pull. It’s something that we’re not shying away from. It’s something that we will delve into in future episodes.” Safran concedes that the heavenly roadblock “is definitely a different thing in our show. But we believe in it, and we believe that this is where Blair is right now. Belief is a very personal thing, and it’s also very monumental. We’re not treating it lightly.”
Question: Serena is starting to feel like a guest star on Gossip Girl. What gives? —Emily
Ausiello: That’s pretty much the question I posed to Safran. “If you feel like Serena has been lighter this year, it’s honestly just where the story has taken us,” he tells me. “Last season was very much about Serena. That was the way we sort of looked at it. She had Juliet last year and that was the big driving story. This year we gave Blair the big driving story. And next season — if there is a next season — I would imagine the driving story, should it be the last season, will be the two of them and their friendship.”
Question: Is there any hope of Lisa Edelstein (Cuddy) returning to House for a couple of episodes? —Anaiis
Ausiello: Depends if this turns out to be the last season. If it does, “that is a conversation” that will probably happen, says exec producer Greg Yaitanes. “If it’s not the end, I don’t think it’ll happen [this season]. But that’s just my personal opinion. We would love to have her back.”
Question: Do we know yet how Finn will figure into Glee next season? —Robin
Ausiello: No, but Cory Monteith sure sounds pumped about it. “I’m really excited,” he tells TVLine. “I think that the idea they came up with, Ryan Murphy specifically, to incorporate the people who are graduating and still keep the paradigm of the McKinley High School active is great. It’s still very much the show that people know and love, but incorporates people who aren’t at the school anymore. I think it’s going to be very interesting to see how it all develops and I’m really excited about it.”
Question: Having recently devoured all the episodes of Grimm since the winter semester ended, I am left wondering one thing: Has the engagement ring Nick purchased in the pilot been forgotten about? According to the story, he was proposing to Juliet that night, but I haven’t spied a ring on that finger. —Erin
Ausiello: “Nick did buy the ring, but his newfound Grimm abilities have interrupted his romantic plans — and his life in general,” responds EP David Greenwalt. “Nick and Juliette’s relationship will be tested this season as Nick continues to hide his new abilities — yet Juliette’s suspicions keep rising after she finds something of Nick’s…and also finds herself in danger.”
Question: Got anything on Suburgatory? —Claudia
Ausiello: Jeremy Sisto’s reunion with Clueless crush Alicia Silverstone gets off to a rough start. Word is their characters first date ends with a trip to the emergency room.
Question: I loved the Alcatraz premiere! Do you have any scoop? —Lily
Ausiello: An upcoming episode will focus on the “segregated block” of prisoners, says EP Jack Bender. “All of the black prisoners were not allowed to mingle, eat with [the rest of the inmates]. This was 1963, so we’re starting to deal with those issues.”
Question: The official CW description for an upcoming episode of Vampire Diaries said Klaus holds a dinner party. Any intel on what goes down? —Julia
Ausiello: Sounds like there will be blood for dessert. “There’s always a little bit of violence involved in anything Klaus does — even if it starts as a sit down meal, it’s all going to end in violence,” reveals the host himself, Joseph Morgan. “There will be some things which aren’t strictly within dinner party etiquette. Also, it’s incredibly charged. Imagine having this powerful hybrid hosting a little dinner party. Who will be his guests? And what will the conversation be? And what will he serve for dinner? What will his table etiquette be? It’s a really interesting idea. We’ve seen so much of him in physical confrontation with people, it’s interesting to see a little bit more of his cultured side, his charm and his elegance there at the dinner table.”
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Additional reporting by Vlada Gelman and Meg Masters)