Is Criminal Minds‘ Hotch headed for heartbreak? Is NCIS finally pulling the trigger on “Tiva”? New bromantic tension for Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke? What kind of gal will pop Nolan’s collar on Revenge? Read on for answers to those questions plus other teases from fall and summer shows.
Criminal Minds | We kick off this week’s column with a bit of housekeeping. As Bellamy Young shared with me, she will reprise her role as Hotch’s honey Beth for a few episodes this season, while segueing into her full-time gig as Scandal‘s First Lady. But that does not mean, it turns out, that a certain BAU agent is heading for a break-up. “Because we love Beth so much and because we don’t feel Hotch is a serial dater, we didn’t want her to go away,” show boss Erica Messer explains. So, in the first of Young’s three appearances, which comes in Episode 3, “You’re going to know why Beth will be absent for most of this season,” Messer previews. “She has a job offer in another city, so they’re going to do a long-distance thing for a little while.” That way, “[Hotch] can be on the phone with her, or go away for a weekend [to see her]… She’s alive in his world.”
White Collar | If you’re a TVLine newshound, you may have put two and two together to realize that this “Sam” fella whom Neal’s aunt Ellen has vouched for will be played by Treat Williams (Everwood), and he first appears Aug. 28. “He comes in as this mysterious figure who worked undercover in the D.C. precinct,” Matt Bomer told us at the start of the season. “He’s the only other person that Neal is aware of who knew his father, and knew all the ins and outs of why his father was convicted of murder.” Well, Sam must give Neal quite the download, because two episodes later, Bomer says he got to do “some really fun, intense scenes” with costar Tim DeKay. “Neal and Peter’s mistrust of each other really comes to a head.”
NCIS | When Season 10 opens on Sept. 25, two hours will have passed since the May finale ended with a bang. Tony and Ziva have spent that entire time trapped in an elevator — and they will remain there a bit longer, as they “emotionally connect,” says showrunner Gary Glasberg, adding: “I look forward to what’s coming up for them.” As does Coté de Pablo, whom I asked about the season-opening quality time. “Every single time Michael [Weatherly] and I work together, and especially when we haven’t seen each other in a long time, we really enjoy the chemistry,” the actress says. “It comes back in waves, and if you’re smart enough to capitalize on it, you’ll start writing for it.” So is this the season NCIS goes there with “Tiva”? “I don’t know if they’re going to go there,” de Pablo winks, “but they’re definitely going to explore, which I love. It’s such a fun relationship to explore.” Alas, it may not be all fun ahead for the gorg’ NCIS agent. Says Glasberg, “There will be a big sort of turn — an unexpected reveal — for Ziva about halfway through the season.”
Political Animals | Speaking of relationships worth exploring, fans of this USA Network series soon will how journalist Susan Berg gets on with her mother, Barbara, played by Fringe‘s Blair Brown. In a word (or two), Carla Gugino calls the dynamic “very complicated,” stemming from the fact that Barbara long ago gave up her career as a doctor to play parent. “Susan has always rebelled against that, as children tend to do. And I think that’s one of the reasons she emulated Elaine.” Susan’s deep-seated regard for the onetime First Lady ultimately was turned on its ear as she famously exposed the White House marriage’s many sordid flaws. “When Elaine actually didn’t leave Bud, it really threw Susan,” Gugino says, “in terms of who she thought this woman was.” Brown shows up in the penultimate episode, airing Aug. 12.
NCIS: Los Angeles | As reported this week, the real-life moms of four cast members – Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen – will pop up in this season’s third episode. The inspired casting came after series boss Shane Brennan attended a party at O’Donnell’s home, where he met and promptly offered the host’s mother, Julie, a gig on the CBS drama. Moments later, Brennan was introduced to Ruah’s mother, and then Olsen’s… and before he knew it, he was writing a scene where the matriarchs play a gaggle of gal pals gambling at a casino. When O’Donnell heard that this was actually happening, “I thought it was a practical joke — that maybe it was April Fools or something,” the actor tells me with a big laugh. “Not in a million years. Not in a million years. But it’s going down, and I’m horrified!” Mrs. O, however, is “very excited, to say the least,” her son shares. “It’s going to fun, it will be a good laugh,” he notes, “and I’m sure she has not stopped talking about it back in Michigan.”
Bunheads | Ken writes, “Do you have anything on my one of favorite guilty pleasures, Bunheads?” Indeed, I literally have a little somethin’-somethin’ to share from Sutton Foster, whose Michelle will move on from not-entirely-weeping widow status by season’s end. “It’s a little soon [after Hubbel’s passing] for her to get serious with anyone, but she starts to open up those options” — both with “someone you have already seen and someone new,” she shares. “Michelle definitely gets a little somethin’-somethin.'”
Revenge | It’s been scooped that Nolan will get a female romantic interest in Season 2, so the question becomes: Having seen how the likes of Tyler floated his
boat yacht on the other end of the Kinsey scale, what might be the tech titan’s type when it comes to the fairer sex? After joking that “Nolan will kind of take what he can get,” Gabriel Mann offers that “if we’re looking for something more lasting than a night of torture and butcher knives, there needs to be a bit more complexity in the person. So I would say that she may be not from this country – just a hunch – and she may [work] in my world of technology as well.” Though the ABC sudser has yet to lock in an actress for the role, “Some of the names I have heard as potentials are very intriguing, and exciting,” Mann teases. “I have some favorites [among them], so… knock wood.”
If there’s a show you’d like the Inside Line on, email email@example.com, and maybe it’ll get some love the next time around! (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)