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Question: Will Alex’s love interest on Grey’s Anatomy be an existing character or someone new? —Delaney
Ausiello: She’ll definitely be someone new (perhaps this beauty?). But the longtime bachelor has a few more personal demons to exorcise before he meets The One. “In the aftermath of being the person who was supposed to be on the plane but who didn’t get on the plane, Alex has filled the void that he had been feeling in his life with a lot of sex with a lot of people,” reveals Rhimes. “And he really paints himself into a corner.”
Question: What’s with the lockdown on Grey’s Anatomy spoilers pertaining to Arizona?Is Shonda Rhimes attempting to build suspense by staying mum? —Dorcas
Ausiello: As Rhimes explained it to me, she would prefer the audience go on the character’s “really interesting journey” with fresh eyes “as opposed to already knowing what’s going to happen. It’s one of the journeys that I’m most proud of. The acting has been incredible. We just want to let it be what it is.”
Question: I’m very excited by the prospect of a Derek-Callie friendship this season on Grey’s Anatomy. What exactly brings them together? —Eric
Ausiello: The “shared experience” of the crash, per Rhimes, who notes, “Even though Callie wasn’t in the crash herself, they both experienced some pretty traumatic things because of it. Also, Callie is going to be working in a pretty interesting way to fix Derek’s hand.”
Question: Will Fringe maintain its twisty “Episode 19″ tradition for the final season, even though there will only be 13 episodes? Maybe Episode 19 is now Episode 9? —Anthony
Ausiello: Turns out, you actually need a 19th episode in order tell an Episode 19-caliber story. “With only 13 episodes left, we don’t have the time to go off the beaten path,” exec producer J.H. Wyman tells me. “There’s just too little real estate to tell the rest of the story.”
Question: Does Rookie Blue have any plans to introduce Sam’s family next season? —Victoria
Ausiello: That’s affirmative. “We’re going to try really hard to [introduce] if not his family then somebody from his past that helps illuminate who he is a little bit more,” promises exec producer Tassie Cameron. “He’s a man of mystery, and people are dying to know what’s going on and how he got to be the way he is. It’s time we started to illuminate that.”
Question: Any intel on Wednesday’s Damages series finale? —Sharon
Ausiello: I’ve got three little morsels for you to chew on: There is a pivotal death; there is a flash-forward; and the final 45 seconds brings to mind a memorable scene from an underrated Nicole Kidman film that was released in the past decade. Bonus Scoop: It’s an extremely satisfying conclusion featuring a tour de force performance from Glenn Close.
Question: Please tell us anything you can about Tina’s role on Glee this year! Jenna Ushkowitz is such an amazing talent. —Shannon
Ausiello: Tina will start out the season adjusting to her split from Mike, a break-up Ushkowitz says was of her character’s doing. “People are really going to hate me,” the actress predicts. “But it’s hard with long distance [relationships].” The ex-couple reconnect in Episode 5 for the first time since calling it quits. “It’s definitely going to be hard,” she teases of the reunion. “It’ll be a truthful and honest [depiction of] what people go through in a break-up.” Bonus Spoiler: Ushkowitz says Tina will perform two numbers in next week’s Britney Spears tribute, one of which is an acoustic-leaning cover of “3.”
Question: The $1 million question: Are we going to see Brennan proposing to Booth on the upcoming eighth season of Bones? —Maria
Ausiello: Series creator Hart Hanson declines to provide a specific timeline for a possible engagement, but he does confirm that the show is “moving toward that day.” And if/when that day comes, rest assured, the question will (most likely) be popped by Brennan. “Booth said to her, ‘You’re going to have to ask me,'” Hanson reminds. “And he meant it.”
Question: How about a clue on your latest blind item? —Dan
Ausiello: The network is ABC. Or CBS.
Question: Do you have any news about Person Of Interest? – Lara
Ausiello: The Season 2 premiere — which already guest-stars Ken Leung aka “Miles” — features an additional Lost-like overtone as it answers the question of exactly how Reese will retrieve the numbers in Finch’s absence. And speaking of Michael Emerson’s character, who has been abducted by a deliciously ruthless Amy Acker: In the course of following Finch’s scent, Reese recruits a new team member. The problem: He only takes orders in Dutch!
Question: Do you have any info on the new season of Community or Cougar Town? —Billy
Ausiello: What’s this “or” nonsense you speak of. I’ve got scoop on Community AND Cougar Town. On the Greendale front, we have Joel McHale to thank for Tricia Helfer’s upcoming cameo as a geek goddess who Abed meets at an Inspector Spacetime convention. “I think [the role] honestly came about because I had met Joel McHale before and I’ve done The Soup,” the Battlestar Galactica knockout tells us. “They approached me about it because they thought it was fun casting. And just the opportunity to work with Joel would be so much fun… I was on board immediately when I heard about it. I think it’ll be a lot of fun; it’s tongue-in-cheek.” Moving on to TV’s tipsiest friends, newlyweds Jules and Grayson will enter Season 4 on TBS much the same way they exited Season 3 on ABC — in couples counseling. Sources confirm that Nicole Sullivan will reprise her role as the duo’s relationship coach in January’s premiere. Bonus Spoiler: C-Town execs are casting the role of Erin, a former classmate of Travis’ who has had female-to-male gender reassignment surgery.
Question: Kind of a nerdy Gossip Girl question — who’s writing and directing the series finale? —Jacob
Ausiello: You’re in luck — I excel at nerdy Gossip Girl questions. In a fitting bookend to the series, the swan song will be penned by exec producer Stephanie Savage (who co-wrote the pilot) and directed by Mark Piznarski (who helmed the pilot). Bonus Scoop/Riddle: Gossip Girl will stick with tradition this season and have pretty much every episode build to some lavish event. Below is a sampling of just some of the episode-anchoring bashes that the show will be throwing — can you spot the foiler?
* A fashion show
* Thanksgiving dinner
* An out-of-town horse show
* An art show
* Jenny’s memorial service
* The opening of a pop-up store
* A Cotillion
The answer is hidden somewhere in this week’s column. Happy hunting!
Question: Could you give us something good about Dan and Blair on Gossip Girl? I am trying not to lose hope but it’s really hard. —French
Ausiello: Dan’s going to need a place to crash when he returns home from Europe (and staying at the Humphrey loft in Brooklyn will not be an option, for reasons that will become clear in the premiere). Blair, meanwhile, lives in a huge apartment with plenty of spare bedrooms. There you go. “Dair” scoop. Boom.
Question: One Vampire Diaries scoop about Jeremy, please! —Kim
Ausiello: The first seed of Jer’s big Season 4 arc will be planted in Episode 2, airing Oct. 18. Meanwhile, that same episode may set a new Guinness record for featuring the highest concentration of bloody puke in a single hour-long episode of television.
Question: Anything percolating on the Middle front? —Carrie
Ausiello: I’ve got these three scoops, straight from the mouth of executive producer Eileen Heisler: 1) Frankie’s “big troubles at work” early in the season will affect the family piggy bank. “Her career situation goes on a little searching trajectory,” Heisler says, which means Mama Heck’s going to find herself in need of employment. 2) When the “searching trajectory” begins, Frankie won’t be looking to write the great American novel or go to law school. “She goes searching for a second act in her life – a practical second act, though, which is how the Hecks do it,” Heisler says. “It’s not about exploring your dreams, it’s about maybe taking a second to figure out if I can learn some skill that would pay me more so we’re not always scrounging.” 3) Sue may take on a new role, too – that of a mascot! — and Heisler teases that she “might or might not” have competition as she does so.
Question: I’ve been dying since the new NCIS promo was released and I can’t wait until Sept. 25! Any new scoop on the premiere? -Anne
Ausiello: At a key juncture in the Season 10 premiere, someone brings a knife to a gunfight. How do you think that turns out?
Question: I am dying to know what’s going to happen to Belle on Once Upon A Time. Got anything you can share? —Donald
Ausiello: Freshly plucked out of her hospital cellar confines and thrust into the orbit of the purple smoke-conjuring Mr. Gold, Emilie de Ravin’s beauty is in for quite a bit of culture shock as Season 2 opens. Is somewhere inside this Rumplestiltskin the same imp she fell in love with in the other realm? “Rumple has always been a character who has had to choose between love and power, and he has always chosen power,” series co-creator Eddy Kitsis reminds. “So now that Belle, this wild card, has come into his life, how will it affect his meticulous plan? And which path will he now choose because of it?”
Question: Do I need to prepare myself for a high body count on Sons of Anarchy this season? —Gerald
Ausiello: Yep. And unlike Season 4’s relatively benign list of casualties, Season 5 will whack “people you’re very attached to,” warns exec producer Paris Barclay. “I’m not naming names, but this is the season where the reckoning has to come… You’ll have to say goodbye.”
Question: Any news at all on Justified? —Jay
Ausiello: The FX western is recruiting a new batch of freaks for Season 4, and they include a rule-bending military police sergeant who shares a past with Boyd, a fugitive family man who teams up with a pair of drug addicts, a local Constable who went to high school with Raylan, and a charismatic young preacher who starts cutting into Boyd’s profits. Bonus Spoiler: The Season 4 premiere is titled “Hole in the Wall.”
Question: The Good Wife needs to return yesterday. Please give me a scoop to cling on until the premiere! —Jennifer
Ausiello: The introduction of Kalinda’s husband in the Sept. 30 season premiere is masterful. And herein lies a clue.
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Additional reporting by Michael Slezak, Megan Masters and Vlada Gelman and FYI: The foiler in the Gossip Girl riddle is “Jenny’s memorial service.” Thanks for playing!)Follow @MichaelAusiello