Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Once's Mad Return, Glee, Fringe, NCIS, Political Animals and More

Will Once Upon a Time go mad again? What should we make of an NCIS promotion? Is a Glee couple still heading for a wedding? How wild is the Animals finale? Read on for answers to those questions plus other teases from fall and summer shows.

Once Upon a Time | We open this week’s column with a tweet from @RumpleFacts asking for “news about Mad Hatter/Jefferson, please.” The good news: When I recently spoke to Sebastian Stan (currently playing a different kind of a bad boy on Political Animals), he was totally game to take another trip down the ABC drama’s rabbit hole. “I love that character, and it’s a great show – a very different thing than I’ve ever done,” he raved. “So if the timing works out, maybe!” The better news: The timing worked out. A well-placed source assures me that the manic milliner “is indeed coming back” in Season 2 (premiering Sept. 30).

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Mystery: Is a True Blood Baddie Be Playing the Real [Spoiler]?

NCIS | Next, Marla wants to know: “With Brian Dietzen being promoted to series regular, does this mean we’ll see more of him in Season 10?” Show boss Gary Glasberg told me that Dietzen’s upgrade “was simply long overdue, and something we’d been talking about for a very long time.” The intimation of a steadier presence for Palmer just so happens to make sense storyline-wise, as Ducky is forced to take new stock of life after his season-ending health scare. “Palmer also has an eye-opening experience in the first few episodes [starting Sept. 25], where he really has to step up his game and recognize his own strengths and weaknesses,” Glasberg previews. “He’s basically the acting coroner, and it’s a lot to take on — and that will carry over in the way he handles himself and the rest of the team.”

RELATED | NCIS Family Reunion Scoop: Tony’s Father, Abby’s Brother Poised to Return

Glee | “Wemma” fans would be wise to keep their hearts in check this season, because as speculated by Matthew Morrison, the gr’ups’ romance might not merit much screen time – though the season gets off on a good enough note. “When I look at the first two episodes, I’d say that relative to last year they have a lot to do,” EP Brad Falchuk tells TVLine. “But I will say that they are probably pulling back from that a bit. Those two characters are vital to the show, but their relationship will be less of a focus.” OK, but… still heading for a wedding…? “I still think that they’re going to get married,” Falchuk allows — so go ahead and order that Tiffany Purell dispenser off the registry!

RELATED | Exclusive: Glee Exec on Season 4′s Big ‘Breakup’ Episode: ‘It’s Like Titanic – Not All Will Make It’

Political Animals | This Sunday marks the season finale of USA network’s “limited summer event” series, and wow, a lot happens in the craftily plotted hour. Since the episode title is “Resignation Day,” it’s no spoiler to say that Elaine alerts President Garcetti to her intention — and POTUS reacts to the FYI in a way that surprises not just her and us, but also manages to stun ex-prez Bud Hammond. Elsewhere, Doug declares what he believes to be the end of his backroom/bedroom deal with Susan Berg, though the ripple effects of his latest leak prove quite detrimental to at least one person; fiancée Anne will think she is seizing control of an amok sitch, only to realize she can never act outside of the Hammond family vacuum; and every time you think you know what (any possible) Season 2 will be about, you’ll discover you are wrong. Mr. Berlanti knows how to line up his dominoes, for sure.

Because the Inside Line is an ever-evolving, no-prison-can-hold-me, rule-breaking rogue, this week I’ll sign off with a rat-a-tat answering of a few questions.

Do you know if the new scenes that Josh [Jackson] and Anna [Torv] did for the Fringe trailer from Comic-Con will stay in the show? —Wendy
“In some way, shape or form,” yes, says showrunner Joel Wyman. To remind, the cast did Wyman a solid by “pre-taping” new scenes for an ersatz trailer that he “wrote in about five minutes” and used to coax Fox into ordering a 13-episode farewell season. (The “future” moments include Olivia and Peter remarking on their remarkable daughter Etta, and the proud parents touting a plan to fend off the circa-2036 Observers with “fringe” events of their own making.) Says Wyman, “You’re going to see this really messed up nuclear family that’s trying to hold it all together.”

I just watched the whole season of Jane By Design and I loved it. Any word on it being renewed? –Bonnie
It’s not. An ABC Family rep confirms that the show has been cancelled after one season. I hear it proved to be an especially “tough call.” Keep in mind, last month’s finale (1.2 million viewers, 0.4 demo rating) held onto barely half of its Pretty Little Liars lead-in. (In related news: More Bunheads, Switched, M&J and Baby Daddy comin’ at ya!)

When is Fox going to air the remaining episodes of Breaking In? –Scott
Fox at this time has no plans to burn off broadcast the rest of Season 2, while a rep for production studio Sony’s home video division did not get back to me on deadline with the status on any DVD set. UPDATE: All 13 episodes of Season 2 will be released on DVD in November.

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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Maria says:

    Thanks for the NCIS scoop, but instead of “strengths and witnesses” did you mean “strengths and weaknesses”?

  2. Elyse says:

    hoping Jane By Design gets a season 2. i love it!

    • Sienna says:

      I didn’t love it at first – it needed some time to find its footing – but it’s become appointment television for me. Really hope it gets renewed.

  3. Michelle says:

    Wemma is the only good/sane thing about Glee. Thanks Brad for making Glee the stupid Rachel Berry show.

    • didn't know weem a fasn would lame too. says:

      Start paying attention they just said the other day they were pulling away from all the relationships. Stop blaming everything on Rachel Berry.

    • Michelle says:

      I am sorry you are right they are doing that with all the relationships. Plus I love Rachel Berry one of the main reasons to watch. Just frustrated I want my Wemma.

  4. xav says:

    By ‘source’ about Jefferson do you mean shots from several weeks ago of him filming on set?

    • Danyelle says:

      Why the attitude? I for one barely have time to visit TVline let alone worry about paparazi pics on what a fan site. It’s called having a JOB. \\\\ GREAT NEWS ABOUT OUAT

      • xav says:

        It’s not an attitude… It’s been reported quite a lot on several sites that Jefferson is back. But I like the insult like you’re implying I don’t have a 40+ hour a week job too.

        • Keep in mind, xav, that not everyone – employed or not – is the kind of fan who searches the web for any and all pics, spoilers, etc. I, for one, am not that kind of fan. This is the first I’ve officially heard that the Mad Hatter/Jefferson is returning and am happy about it. Bring on season 2!

    • murley says:

      well it is news to me and good news at that. more Sebastian Stan is always a good thing.

  5. Laurel says:

    I Love Political Animals , I hope they bring it back for another season.

  6. LP says:

    Its like they’re doing everything they possibly can to get their show canceled. Way to go Glee writers. Make it all about the kids and lose the last shred of respect you had from your industry back in season 1.

    • keik says:

      You need to reread it. The romance is not going to get a lot of time not the characters. They have said that for the “kids” too. Less focus on relationship over around.

  7. lauren says:

    LOVE the official news about Jefferson and OUAT!!!! Wish he was a regular but love him on USA too.

  8. Mel says:

    Thanks for the NCIS scoop Matt. I can’t wait to see Palmer stepping up his game. I hope the team all come together and support him and each other. This has some interesting potential and I’m excited for Brian Dietzen to get this opportunity. Great question,btw!

  9. are the last 13 episodes of Fringe going to air uninterrupted, or will there be breaks?

  10. katy917 says:

    Thanks for the Fringet tidbit – I’m both sad and excited for the last season!!!

  11. So is there going to be a season 2 for Political Animals? I have been worried people haven’t found this gem.

  12. Drew says:

    I’ve been wondering if Ella will be seen again on Fringe. We saw her in the season 3 future, but not the season 4 future… though we did hear that her life was quite different in this new timeline, so who knows where she’d end up?

  13. Amanda says:

    Remember when Glee was about Will’s journey in the front 13 of season 1….and arguably the best episodes of the entire run. As soon as they made it nearly all about the kids…it suffered in quality.

  14. Renee says:

    Thanks for the info Matt. I’ve been losing interest in NCIS the last two years and thought I might take it off the DVR this year. But the thought of watching how Jimmy handles all this interests me.

  15. Thank you, Matt, for posting my question & Gary’s answer to it! So thrilled that Brian will be seen on screen a bit more this season and the challenges Palmer will face in the first few episodes….he so deserves it as he’s been a part of the NCIS family for so long. I’m really looking forward to the season premiere as well as Season 10. :-)

  16. Julie says:

    Jefferson will be back on Once and then it will be revealed that he is Bae. Oh wait that is only in my head.

  17. beej says:

    “Breaking In” was a pretty decent show the first several episodes of the first season, then they introduced that goofy boyfriend douchebag and then totally killed the show in the second season by bringing in Megan Mullally’s character. I love her, but the writing was horrid and her character was incredibly annoying and detrimental to any decent plot.

  18. We’ve known for over a month that Jefferson was coming back, thanks to E! News. So no real news there… But thank you for all the amazing spoilers you give us otherwise :)

  19. Sean C. says:

    The Will/Emma romance got very little focus last year too, given how much their part of the show has withered on the vine.

  20. Kristina says:

    Good news about Will & Emma, the adults are the worst thing about the show. Felt like they were given a little less focus last year, which made the show more enjoyable for me.

  21. Shari says:

    The less adult storylines on Glee, the less I watch. Will was the center of the show the first season, and still somewhat the second season and Glee received Emmy nominations for best comedy series and best writing. For season 3 Glee was nominated for best makeup and not much else.

  22. j says:

    Wemma is cute!! I can’t wait for their wedding!!

  23. As always, thank you for the scoops! Especially the NCIS one. Ever since I started watching it 2 1/2 years ago I’ve been waiting for Brian to be part of the opening sequence. After all, Palmer seems to be in more scenes than Vance and yet Rocky Carroll is part of the opening. So glad that he’ll finally be added! At the same time, it’ll be weird (to me, anyway) to see him in the ME position instead of ME’s Assistant. This’ll be fun and interesting to watch :)

  24. angela says:

    I hope the Breaking In DVD release includes the first seven episodes because I think it’d be pretty pointless without them.

  25. Kelly says:

    So glad Jefferson/Mad Hatter will be back. S. Stan was great on Once Upon a Time. I’d also really love to see them get Andrew Lee Potts from Primeval and Syfy’s Alice miniseries on the show. I think he’d make a great fairytale character.

  26. lala says:

    Agree about Glee. I relate way more to the adult Storylines. Unfortunately the writers saw fit to throw Will’s character under the bus in Season two. And have been going back and forth doing that since then. Although Season three was much better. Jayma Mays is unbelievably good and so is Matt when given good material. The fact that Matt doesn’t sing anymore on this show or barely dances and it is treated as a plot device is sad and a waste. It would have been so interesting to me to juxtapose Rachel going off to fulfill her dreams and Will struggling with that. His passivity with his own life is something they have merely touched on and it makes him extremely interesting to me. Emma is hilarious in her sessions with the kids and also poignant sometimes. She used to be a voice of reason. Her character went through the wringer last year too. They redeemed her quite a bit in Season three. But I just want to see them doing their jobs and interacting with the kids and other teachers. The Bieste Storyline would have been so much better and made so much more sense if it was the adults offering her advice instead of the kids. I agree the writers have given better material to the kids but that is their own fault and easily fixed. I think less focus on romance is a good thing but I don’t think it should disappear altogether. Romance is something that people root for in TV. IMO it would be ridiculous to get rid of it all together. I don’t think it will though as there are spoilers indicating that there will be some focus. But the idea that the 18 yr old kids have all found their soul mates is a bit silly. They need to grow up and explore.

  27. Vanny says:

    Glad to hear that Brian Dietzen is now a series regular on NCIS! I was alwasy really worried that Palmer would be killed off, and hope they don’t do it now. I have seen people upgraded to series regular only to get killed off quickly. But congratulations to him… long overdue..

  28. Ella says:

    Wemma fans should perhaps consider that the reason that couple takes a backseat is because they are BORING and lacking in any and all chemistry. Seriously, both characters are dull and goody goody. They need spicier respective others to be even remotely interesting.

    • lala says:

      That’s a matter of opinion obviously. IMO they have loads of chemistry and have had since day one. They are no more”boring” than any of the other core couples on the show. And actually seem like they could realistically make it since they have adult conversations as difficult and as heartbreaking as they are and because they are actually adults who know who they are and what they want. Finchel was on overload last season and that was boring not because of the couple but because it was featured way too much. Most Wemma shippers aren’t greedy like a lot of other shippers and just want their due more as characters than their romance. Besides ALL the romance’s will take a backseat this season according to the creators.

  29. Barb C says:

    when will Political Animals be back on USA ?? great show !!

  30. Bonnie says:

    Loved Political Animals! Will there be a Season 2? There’s a great storyline to develop fron this season’s finale. I hope to be able to enjoy more episodes in the future! It’s too good to be dropped!