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Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Fringe, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS: LA and More!

How will a reduction in the head count affect the guys of Grey’s Anatomy? How does high drama personally impact Ted Danson’s CSI? Will Broyle join in Fringe‘s future fight? Read on for answers to those questions plus other teases from hot shows.

Grey’s Anatomy | While there has been much talk about how Eric Dane’s imminent departure will affect the women (left) in Mark Sloan’s life – namely, daughter Sofia and baby momma Callie – his absence will trigger a shift among the gents, too. “Owen and Derek definitely start to lean on each other more,” Kevin McKidd shared with TVLine during Ausiello’s visit to the ABC drama’s set. “Owen needs a friend and so does Derek, so in the first few episodes they do check in with each other quite a bit. And it’s nice to see that friendship flourish.” Especially since Owen is still dealing with his fractured marriage, while Derek copes with a fractured hand. “Guys, being guys, are not great at talking all the time — they’re not like the ladies on the show, sitting around pouring out their feelings,” McKidd notes, “but [Owen and Derek] do have some moments that they share where they are both at in a very real way.”

Fringe | You’ve got to pity poor Broyles, because if anyone is caught in the middle as the Fringe team marches into the final season, it’s the boss man who in 2036 is compelled to do Observer overlord Captain Windmark’s bidding. As first glimpsed in last season’s Episode 19 (repeating this Saturday at 11/10c), “[Broyles is] basically collaborating with the occupying force and trying to do the best that he can for humanity in that capacity, to make the best out of a terrible situation,” Lance Reddick tells us. “This season is really going to be about negotiating where his loyalties lie and the decision that he makes about those questions.” Given the nature of the final 13-episode run, is Reddick getting any brand-new notes to play? “So far, the two [different] things are getting to be a little more emotional, and getting to shoot guns more!”

NCIS: Los Angeles | Finally, a bit more insight into the coming season’s Episode 2, which show boss Shane Brennan has promised will be “hilarious.” Up ’til now, all we had was this exclusive photo from Deeks’ vacation  — but then we spoke to Barrett Foa and Renee Felice Smith (aka Eric and Nell) about what’s ahead for the CBS procedural. “The second episode is a big one for us,” said Foa. “There’s some steamy stuff going on.” “Relationship-wise for our characters,” Smith added. OK, but what about the “funny” business beyond any such funny business? “I have a fun scene with Linda Hunt where Hetty is coming down hard on Nell,” Smith shared. “She gives me a task based on my IQ. ” Foa, meanwhile, says Eric will be left to “give a lecture to [Granger, played by] Miguel Ferrer about nuclear physics, basically trying to stall him. Hilarity ensues!” There’s that H-word again!

Hawaii Five-0 | I finally got around to screening the season premiere (airing Monday at 10/9c), and while I know a few of you are less-than-enthused about meeting Mama Garrett (played by Christine Lahti), I must say, for a woman of a certain age she’s quite impressive, especially in her confidence and her attitude. (For one, her own nickname for Danno is “Smart-ass.” There’s also the nature of the question she lobs at Steve’s crush Catherine the instant they sit down for small-talk.) A few other quick notes on the alternately grim, intense and light hour: You’ll learn what the exploding of the HPD was really about; there’s a shoot-out that probably expends the most bullet casings ever in a TV show; Catherine proves herself to be rather kick-ass in her own right; and you’ll get a kick out of the new ringtone associated with Danny’s ex.

CSI | Though the abduction of D.B.’s granddaughter is sure to have a happy-ish ending, don’t be surprised if the incident has a ripple effect on his marriage. “We’ll discover that Barbara Russell (played by Peri Gilpin) may not be so happy about their transfer to Las Vegas,” says exec producer Don McGill. “And if she was missing Seattle before, with her granddaughter taken and her daughter a wreck and her husband packing a gun and launched into this mission to get his granddaughter back, taking him right to the edge, Barbara will really be questioning the decision to move the family to Las Vegas by the end of the premiere.” That said, Ted Danson cautions not to fear the worst for his CSI’s marriage. “The love is still there,” he notes. “I think [the writers] want to pick away at something that’s strong and challenging, not destroy it.” As for that nod to D.B. waving a gun around in pursuit of young Katelyn, “It’s startling,” Danson attests. “It really is.”

Parenthood | Lest you fear that all of the Season 4 drama will be as weighty as that revealed at the close of this week’s episode, here are some smaller dilemmas on tap for the Braverman bunch: The Luncheonette will discover it has a very cranky neighbor lady who’s fed up with them dang rock ‘n roll musicians hogging the parking and littering the lot with cigarette butts, while Max will attempt to lead a student council rally to “veto” the school dance. Sigh. I think I tried that once, because let’s face it, I was a big(ger) dork at that age and had no swag. Again: Sigh.

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! (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)