Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Once, Vamp Diaries, Glee, Bones, Nikita, HIMYM, Community and More

Got a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Just want to say hi? Send any/all of the above to askausiello@tvline.com

Question: If anyone would have the answer to this, I know it would be you: Could you find out when the second season of Once Upon a Time will pick up (i.e. minutes later, weeks, etc.)? —Megan
Ausiello: How about instead I share with you two fun facts and one scooplet? Fun fact No. 1: The smoke that poured out of the well and swept through Storybrooke was originally going to be green, to match the mist that consumed fairytale land in the pilot. But it was changed to purple to be “more symbolic and magical,” Lana Parrilla tells us. Fun fact No. 2: Ginnifer Goodwin has a tattoo of a tiny apple (heh) on the inside of her right forearm, “though they won’t let me [display] it on the show,” she laments. And now for that scooplet: As Josh Dallas reminded us in our Q&A, we still don’t know Charming’s real name, but co-creator Adam Horowitz says it will definitely be revealed in Season 2. Please let it be “Morty.”

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Question: Can you tell us anything about the upcoming Bones episode (one of the extras, I believe) “The Gunk in the Garage”? —Ed Z
Ausiello: Mind if I instead share deets on another of the four bonus eps, “Patriot in the Purgatory”? Judging by how vigorously you’re nodding in my imagination, I’m going to say you don‘t mind. That being the case, I’ll tell you what series creator Hart Hanson tells me — that the sure-to-be-powerful hour has been eight years in the making. “We’ve been contending with how to do a 9/11 episode since the show premiered,” he says. “And no story [idea that we came up with] was in any way satisfying. And you don’t want to be exploitive. But then we had an idea that had almost all of the squinterns working together. Basically, they’re going through the backlog of unidentified remains and come across remains that link to 9/11. It’s really [interesting] to watch all those guys – just the guys, not Daisy – interact with each other, because they never do.”

Question: How many episodes was Private Practice renewed for? And is next season the show’s last? —Karen
Ausiello: TVLine’s Matt Mitovich made it a point to clear up any confusion and spoke to ABC prez Paul Lee at the network’s upfront soiree. Lee confirmed that yes, Private was renewed for just 13 episodes — for now — but he added that this is not necessarily the final season. Speaking of Shonda shows, Lee noted that Scandal, which aired just seven episodes in Season 1, will be back for 13 — maybe more, but very likely just that amount, since Rhimes seemed to like the shorter, State of Play-style schedule/pacing.

Question: A couple weeks ago, you guys did a “Glee Season 4 suggestions” story, and you later said there was truth to at least one of them. Since we are coming to the end of the current season, care to elaborate? Pretty please with Papa Smurf on top? —Morgan
Ausiello: I was referring to the first half of Slide No. 1.

Question: We all know the Big Three are coming back on Glee. But how about revealing if Dianna Agron, Mark Salling, Amber Riley, Heather Morris and Harry Shum are back, and if so, in what capacity? Regular or guest star?  I adore Quinn, Puck, Mercedes, Brit and Mike, so show some love for us and let us know their status…. pretty please! —Cindy
Ausiello: I’m fairly certain Morris will be back as a series regular. The rest are… um, I’ll get back to you on that.

Question: Do you have any news on any Santana/Brittany romance on Glee? —K. Patton
Ausiello: Yes, but it’s not necessarily good news. The lovebirds encounter a major roadblock in next week’s finale. Hint: The fit hits the shan at a pre-graduation dinner at Breadstix that’s attended by Santana, Brit and one Dame Gloria Estefan.

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Question: Can you give us any hints as to who’s dying in the Nikita season finale? —Kris
Ausiello: There are actually two deaths in Friday’s Nikita capper — one is significant; the other, semi-significant. Did that come out mean, or only semi-mean?

Question: Will Amanda pop up in Nikita‘s finale? —Jessica
Ausiello: “She will be back,” confirms leading lady Maggie Q. “But she doesn’t come back in the way you think.”

Question: Major importante pregunta! Is Community‘s 13-episode order final? Or is there room for a back nine? Inquiring minds need to know. Also, let’s all wish a happy 19th birthday to me.  —Quincy
Ausiello: I’ll wish you a happy 19th, but as for the rest of us all? Wait, I can picture them nodding. They’re doing it. OK, so happy 19th then, from all of us. As to your question, no, the 13-ep order is not final, so there’s a chance that the show could get a back-nine pickup (albeit a slim chance). Oh, and since I didn’t get you anything for your b-day, allow me to offer you some scoop: As previously reported, Breaking Bad guy Giancarlo Esposito guest-stars in the first of this Thursday’s three final episodes, playing a business associate of Pierce’s pop. But that’s only the half of it — Giancarlo is also Pierce’s kin! “It turns out that Pierce had a brother, and they play a videogame to win the inheritance,” Joel McHale told us at NBC’s upfronts event. And mind you, it’s no “next gen” game they compete in, but some clunky Atari 2600-caliber fossil.

Question: Recently it was revealed that a new Dale-similar character named Harold would be introduced in the third season of The Walking Dead. Is there anything else juicy from the third season that you can tell us about? —Matthew
Ausiello: Besides Harold, AMC’s monster hit will be adding to its canvas a recurring character named Manuel, who I’m told is strong, smart, kinda blue-collar and potentially the comic relief that the show has never really had.

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Question: I would kill for some “A”-mazing scoop on what’s in store for Pretty Little Liars new season. —Elyse
Ausiello: In hopes that you won’t resort to murder, Elyse, let me reveal that we’ll be meeting two new characters, both of whom could recur. First up is CeCe Drake, a beyond-charismatic twentysomething blonde stylist at a boutique that has one heel in the present, one in the past. Next there’s Kenneth, a middle-aged enigma who comes off as intimidating in large part because… well, he’s an enigma.

Question: Anything on the new season of Being Human? Travis
Ausiello: Yup. Brynn and Connor’s father — an alternately menacing and genteel chap by the name of Liam — is gonna show up out for blood… or at least out for blood-suckers. Curiously, though he’ll be a threat to Nora, he’ll also be kinda her dream dad. (Deep, huh?) Meanwhile, Nora and Josh will (potentially) get a bit of help in their search for Sally from Donna, a middle-aged, no-BS type who ladles out lentils at a nearby soup kitchen.

Question: Do you have any spoilers for Law & Order: SVU‘s season finale? Or any SVU spoilers, period? Thanks! —Axle
Ausiello: Kelli Giddish told us that in the renewed procedural’s penultimate episode of Season 13 (airing tonight), viewers will get a new, tiny peek into Detective Rollins’ world when “a man comes to town” and reunites with his old friend from Atlanta at a bar. Alas, just as things threaten to spark between the two, “work” gets in the way.

Question: Loved Monday’s How I Met Your Mother season finale! I’m happy Barney and Robin will tie the knot. But I’m wondering… will the marriage actually last? If you don’t have an actual answer, at the very least, what are your thoughts/feelings on the matter? —Rebecca
Ausiello: Loved the finale, love them together and my gut tells me the marriage will last. In related news, HIMYM co-creator Craig Thomas tells us that a certain iconic ’80s pop star may put in an appearance at the couple’s wedding reception. “If you’re Robin and you’re getting married and you’ve got a few drinks in you, how do you not get up and sing, “Let’s Go to the Mall” one last time?” the boss man muses when asked about the return of Robin Sparkles. “Maybe we’ll do it on her wedding day.”

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Question: Now that Elena has chosen Stefan on The Vampire Diaries, should we assume Damon will be getting a new love interest next season? —Beth
Ausiello: “Never say never,” replies EP Jlie Plec. “In the first part of the season, we’re going to be very much invested in what’s going to happen to Elena and what do each of the brothers have to say about it and what are each of them going to do to try to help her through this experience and what does it do to their relationship with each other? Then once the dust settles from that, we’ll see [about a new romance for Damon].”

Question: First off, a big woo-hoo! to TBS for rescuing my favorite show, Cougar Town! Second, tumor has it Dan Byrd will do the full monty in the season finale. Can you confirm or deny? —Jeremy
Ausiello: First off, I second your “Woo-hoo!” Second, let’s ask Mr. Byrd your question, shall we? “I cannot not confirm nor deny that information,” he deflects. Argh. OK, hypothetically, should Travis drop trou in the May 29 season-ender, what would the circumstances be? “They would involve a wedding cake,” Byrd teases, “and me getting very up close and personal with it.” And here’s another little tidbit about the episode: I’m in it! And I’m spectacular!

That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to askausiello@tvline.com. (Additional reporting by Vlada Gelman and Meg Masters)