Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Once, Bones, Chicago Fire, True Blood, Parks and Rec, Dixie and More!
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Question: Any spoilers on Once Upon a Time? —Patti
Ausiello: Matt Mitovich just got off the horn with series creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, and they caught us up on some of the backstory gaps that will be filled in via flashbacks during Season 3. Episode 2 is Snow/Charming-centric, covering the time between the former’s awakening from the sleep curse and when they encountered Regina on the battlefield. “How did the queen react to that? And who first told her?” Horowitz wonders. Episode 3 will relate Tinkerbell’s origin, featuring The Blue Fairy (but not Amy Acker’s Nova) and addressing the question: “What makes a fairy?” Also on tap for fall is a new chunk of Rumple’s past, the tale of how Hook became a pirate and the self-explanatory Episode 6, titled “Ariel” (and yes, Eric is being cast/will not be an existing character).
Question: Any spoilers on one of my favorite Bones couples, Hodgins and Angela? —Ariel
Ausiello: A third party is coming in to stir up some drama between the happily-ish married couple. But it’s not what you’re thinking. “Hodgins is going to have to deal with a new family member,” previews exec producer Stephen Nathan, “and that will impact both Hodgins and Angela and their relationship.” Are we talking a brother? Sister? Cousin once removed and then put back? “I don’t want to say,” he demurs. “The way it comes out is such a surprise; it’s somebody that he wouldn’t know.” Look for the family reunion to take place within Season 9′s first 10 episodes.
Question: Can you please find out the nature of Sweets’ new job on Bones? —Angie
Ausiello: “He’s trying to do something to help people avoid a criminal life,” Nathan reveals of the shrink’s brief professional detour early in Season 9. “He’s working with kids in the inner city.”
Question: Any new Season 5 Good Wife scoop? —Tonya
Ausiello: You may recall that Josh Charles inked a new deal with the show last spring to continue playing Will. You may also recall that said deal was only for one year, which means Season 5 could very well be his swan song. For his part, exec producer Robert King will be kinda-sorta prepared for either outcome. Creatively speaking, “We can turn on, well, not a dime, but a 50-cent piece,” he says of this season’s roadmap. “We can turn things pretty fast if we need to.” Regarding Charles’ unique contract situation (he’s the only Good Wife-r who did not sign a long-term deal), King explains, “It’s what Josh is about. He’s someone who wants to always explore different sides of himself. And how [Season 5] goes helps him decide what he wants to do. That sounds like there’s some contentiousness in our relationship. There’s not. Josh is one of the friendliest and nicest actors I’ve met. Anything that is contractual stays with the agents.”
Question: Heard a rumor Modern Family will be introducing a sibling for Cam this season. True? False? —Jeremy
Ausiello: You have impeccable sources, Jer. In this season’s fourth episode we’ll meet Cam’s big-boned, very non-glamorous farm girl of a sister, who has something of an explosive personality. Got casting tips? Post ‘em below! (But hurry up, the role starts shooting… in three weeks. OK, so you have a little time.)
Question: Thanks for the great True Blood post mortem. Just one problem — you failed to ask EP Brian Buckner about Pam and Tara! —Cara
Ausiello: Actually, I succeeded at making you think I failed. The fact is, I did ask Buckner about the Sapphic vamp duo — specifically, will their floundering relationship get any airtime in Season 7 — but I opted to hold his answer for AA. (Me = Totally sneaky.) “As the audience heard Pam say in Episode 1, life is long — especially for vampires,” notes the boss man. “She also told Tara that this is not going to be a love story. But I would urge [fans] to be patient. Because if the show delivers on the audience’s expectation every week, that’s not storytelling. Where’s the surprise in that? These [story] threads can be picked up later. I want to be able to tell more interesting, circuitous stories at times and not always deliver on the junk-food promise of the show. “
Question: I’d like some Once Upon a Time in Wonderland scoop, please. —Mason
Ausiello: The Once spin-off will, in its third episode, sic no less than Beowulf‘s Grendel on Alice and The Knave. Envisioned (via an actor in prosthetics) as a “large, warted, ogre-like beast,” the cannibalistic Grendel will pose a mortal threat to
its dinner the genie-seeking pair — though in typical Once fashion, there is more to this beast than meets the eye. But don’t go brushing up on your Old English just yet. “It’s a wink-and-a-nod, as opposed to a real deep-dive into Beowulf,” says series cocreator Adam Horowitz of the creature’s clash with Alice.
Question: I’ve burned through Seasons 1 and 2 of New Girl this summer, and now I need a hint about Season 3 — ideally something Nick-and-Jess-related. —Emily
Ausiello: I’ll see your hint and raise you a full-on recap of the Sept. 17 premiere, courtesy of Jake Johnson. Picking up where the Season 2 finale left off, “Nick and Jess find themselves driving straight to Mexico.” Once there, “We get Tazed. I end up in a pool. Some guy watches me go to the bathroom, because he likes the bad smells. Jess goes back and gets the gang to save Nick. There are flashbacks. It’s a lot. It’s a big crazy start.”
Question: Any details on how Ashley will be written off Revenge? —Geoffrey
Ausiello: Despite portrayer Ashley Madekwe’s very public plea that her character “die in a blaze of glory,” showrunner Sunil Nayar tells us that Ash — who will depart in the show’s Sept. 29 opener —will live to see another day. “We’re not killing her,” he reveals. “We’d never do that! She’s too great a character. As sad as we are to bid her farewell at the moment, you’ll see that the way we resolve her storyline now gives her an opportunity to come back with her own revenge agenda.”
Question: Can you tease any good Emily-Victoria moments in the Revenge premiere? —Joyce
Ausiello: I could, but I’m going to let Emily VanCamp do the honors. “We have a moment where we actually band together,” previews the actress. Of course, like most of the truces forged by the sworn enemies, this one is short-lived. “We put up this united front and then, after whatever it is is taken care of, it’s like, ‘OK, I’m outta here,’” VanCamp says with a laugh. “But it’s nice to be able to play something [civil] with Madeline [Stowe] because [Emily and Victoria] are always at odds each other. And I hate it because I love Madeline so much. We’re so evil to each other.”
Question: Do you have any news on Arrow? —Calum
Ausiello: Quite interestingly, the title for this season’s fifth episode, “The Demon’s Head,” is the translation of Ra’s al Ghul — as in Batman’s infamous mentor-turned-adversary. Thus, it kinda sorta makes sense that the hour will introduce the apprentice of a most menacing man — Awwal, a scimitar-wielding protege of Dark Archer Malcolm Merlyn.
Question: I know it’s not coming back till November, but that just makes me all the more anxious for some Raising Hope scoop. Got any? –Erick
Ausiello: The Chase family is going on vacation, and according to showrunner Mike Mariano, they’ll wind up on a boat — with one small catch: “There’s no water involved.” Secondly, the installment will feature an appearance by guest star Bernie Kopell — but the former Love Boat doc won’t be anywhere near the aforementioned vessel. “He’s playing the proprietor of a stuffed-animal museum, and he’s very funny” says Mariano. “My reference for Bernie is as Siegfried on Get Smart, so making a Love Boat reference never crossed my mind.”
Question: Will Adam Pally’s Mindy Project character bear any resemblance to Happy Endings‘ Max? Personally, I want him to be Happy Endings‘ Max. I can’t let go! —Ron
Ausiello: Neither can I! But we must. Particularly since, as cast member Ike Barinholtz tells us, he’s not playing Happy Endings‘ Max. “This is not Max,” Morgan’s portrayer maintains. “He plays a new doctor, kind of the most ‘male’ out of all the doctors. He’s like a big, straight, Dartmouth fraternity, cargo shorts-wearing animal, and he’s going to come on and really shake things up.” Bonus Mindy Project Scoop: The show will introduce Jeremy’s boisterous, judgmental father in Season 2.
Question: Do you have any scoop on one of my absolute favorite shows, Covert Affairs? —Carol
Ausiello: This Tuesday’s episode is tense with a capital T-E-N. It finds Annie working with a familiar face, FBI agent Vincent Rossabi (Rookie Blue‘s Noam Jenkins), on the murder of CIA agent Seth Newman (aka the one who fell off the bridge). But while the G-man wants to uncover the truth, Annie’s trying to suppress it by swapping out any incriminating evidence. Still, that’s not the story you’ll be talking about after the hour’s end. Let’s just say we haven’t heard the last of a certain secret that someone was keeping from the spy gal.
Question: I’ve got a Q about Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones’ Parks and Recreation exit — do we know why Ann and Chris decide to move away from Pawnee? —Jen
Ausiello: Although the pair don’t depart until Episode 13, “The decision that they make that will transition them off the show is made very early,” confirms exec producer Mike Schur. “It’s not, like, in Episode 12 they’re going, ‘Hey, we’re moving to Hawaii.’ It happens in Episode 3, which is the first one after the hour-long premiere. Ann gets an idea in the very first episode after that. It’s dropped into the world very early. So it feels like a very fun, long arc and a big [farewell] to them.”
Question: So many mixed messages about Laura Prepon’s future on Orange is the New Black. Is she or is she not returning? —Lucy
Ausiello: Production on Season 2 is currently underway, and star Taryn Manning tells us, “I haven’t seen her [on set] and I miss her.” However, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s off the show completely. “I don’t know what’s going on with all of that,” the actress stresses. “For me, I can’t worry about that. I’m just there doing my job.”
Question: Now that Laura Bell Bundy is on Anger Management, what will this mean for her role as Shelby on Hart of Dixie? —Vanessa
Ausiello: It means you’ll probably see her less. But rest assured you will see her. “We are definitely having Laura back for a few [episodes],” confirms EP Leila Gerstein, adding that Shelby won’t resurface “until a few episodes in.” In other Bluebell casting news, although Claudia Lee is a series regular on Fox’s Surviving Jack, Gerstein remains hopeful that Lemon’s little sis will make an appearance this season, too. And if not? “Well, she goes [away] to boarding school,” laughs the EP.
Question: Chicago Fire was one that grew on me quickly after its so-so pilot. Have any information about its second season? —Marc
Ausiello: Treat Williams will be back as Severide’s dad Benny, and he’s going to be stirring things up for more than just his son. “There’s going to be a firehouse arc between Benny and Bowden, which will further inflame their already touchy relationship,” previews executive producer Danielle Gelber. “More emotionally, there’s going to be layers of Severide’s past that are revealed through Benny and through some unexpected twists.”
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to email@example.com. (Additional reporting by Vlada Gelman, Megan Masters and Michael Slezak)Follow @MichaelAusiello