In Praise of Team Ausiello's Unsung Hero

I have a confession to make: My little scoop empire was not built by me alone. I’ve had help along the way. Shocking, I know. But a key driving force behind the “Ausiello brand” has been someone who has largely remained behind the scenes. His name is Kit Cowan, and he’s one of the most talented designers/photographers/purveyors of good taste on the planet. He’s also, as luck would have it, my husband.

Chances are, if you have ever found yourself going “Wow, that looks cool” about anything I have produced over the past 13 years, Kit had a hand in it. He’s been my chief advisor on every major design decision at TVLine, and Entertainment Weekly and before that. When decided to make Ask Ausiello-branded T-shirts, Kit conceived and executed the retro-sports design. The huge photo of me and Keri Russell that Entertainment kitpicWeekly chose to run on its editor’s page to announce my arrival in 2008 was snapped by Kit. The Friday Night Lights on-set video diary that debuted on in 2009 — the man behind the flip-cam was Kit. My impeccably-designed dream office at TVLine — which also serves as the set for Spoiler Alert! — was furnished and curated by Kit. (He often reminds me that those vintage red sofas are on loan from his boss at Wyeth.) TVLine’s Comic-Con Survival station? That was Kit’s idea. TVLine pillows? Kit. This awesome pic of me riding the elevator at SDCC? Kit! If I looked halfway decent while talking about TV on a morning show or Entertainment Tonight-type newsmagazine, you better believe Kit chose my outfit.

Pretty ironic, considering Kit didn’t even own a TV when we met in 2001. Mind you, he did eventually come over to the dark side and discover that there were shows besides his beloved AbFab worth watching. (He even became so obsessed with the similarities between Push, Nevada and Twin Peaks that he wouldn’t rest until I agreed to co-write a exposé with him.) His latest obsession: Cinemax’s The Knick.

Why am I telling you this now?

For the past nine months, Kit has been fighting a courageous battle against a rare and aggressive Neuroendocrine cancer. As that fight approaches its end, I’ll be taking a little time off. Aside from a few skipped Ask Ausiellos and less frequent updates on the long-gestating Gilmore Girls movie, not much will change. The insanely capable TVLine crew of Mitovich, Slezak, Roots, Swift, Gelman, Iannucci and Patrick — the best, hardest-working team in the business, according to a recent study conducted by me — will continue to keep you informed on all things TV. And I’ll be popping in here and there over the next couple of weeks, likely to remind you that there’s still no news on a Gilmore Girls movie.

Until then, as Kit — and his spirit animal, Patsy Stone — would say, cheers, thanks a lot.

Kit Cowan passed away on Feb. 5, 2015.

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. Concerned says:

    Good luck michael. I just got emotional reading that…

  2. Daya says:

    I wish a peaceful, painless and happy ending for both of you. Any love of yours, Mike, is a love of ours!

  3. My very best to the both of you and your loved ones. Take care.

  4. ember69 says:

    Sending love and healing energy to you both!

  5. Donnarie2 says:

    Oh, Michael, my heart goes out to you and Kit during this difficult time. Make every second count, and don’t give anyone but Kit a second thought.

  6. Bill Cushing says:

    Thoughts and Prayers are with you and Kit. Hoping for the best.

  7. amy says:

    I send you both thoughts, prayers and hugs.

  8. MeliJ says:

    much love and prayers coming your way… big props to Kit who’s left his mark on your empire! :) love ya, A!

  9. Amy says:

    This is incredibly sad. May you continue to build beautiful memories together.

  10. Hollis says:

    My thoughts are with you both. Lovely article.

  11. mary says:

    I have been a long-time follower of your column. This story touches me deeply and you both are courageous for sharing it. I will pray strongly for strength and peace for both of you. God bless you both.

  12. neaorlean says:

    Lots of hugs to both of you

  13. Rebecca says:

    This is heartbreaking news, Michael. Blessings and prayers to you and your dear husband. :(

  14. Debbi says:

    My thoughts are with you and Kit.

  15. Marcel RM says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I believe that is a sign of courage that you publish this. My best wishes for you and Kit. I believe that TvLIne is prepared for a moment like his, because all thet great people that bring the newest scoop to the fans. Be strong!

  16. Colleen says:

    Now that I’m blubbering at my desk after reading my piece, I send nothing but my prayers your way

  17. livvy says:

    Take all the time you need. You have a wonderful team here at TvLine and we will all be there for when you are ready to come back.
    My very best to you and your husband.

  18. BL says:

    Michael, Sending prayers, lots of love and peaceful thoughts to you and Kit.

  19. KT says:

    So sorry – my thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  20. Dee says:

    Such a eloquent and loving tribute. Prayers to you and your incredible husband for strength and love as he embarks on his next adventure.

  21. Jennie says:

    Like Demi Lovato said, “I really don’t care”.

    • Maddie Mae says:

      If you don’t care, don’t comment or be insensitive at this difficult time… #NotCool

    • Ally says:

      You’re disgusting to take a moment of courage and soul-baring, and crap all over it. There’s a special place in hell for people like you, and I’m confident you’ll end up there someday. When you do, remember this moment.

      • Jennie says:

        There is no heaven or hell. Everyone is going to rot in their graves, anyways.

        • Moment says:

          You have no way of knowing that. Honestly, show a bit more tact. The way you are acting is entirely inappropriate and it’s sad you can’t see that.

        • Ally says:

          Congrats, Troll, on spreading your own personal brand of gloom and doom. I’m sure you’re enjoying the reactions being posted, and whatever attention is being paid to you. I feel sorry for you that you’re so desperate for interaction, and any attention good or bad, that you’ll behave like this about another human’s suffering. Not a real proud moment for you, huh?
          Oh, and you’re not waiting for the grave. You’re already rotting on the inside.

          • Jennie says:

            If I was rotting on the inside, my physician would notice when I visited him last month.

          • Moment says:

            You deserve to be banned from commenting here Jennie. I’m just wondering how long it’ll be until someone pulls the trigger.

        • benchley says:

          Well, here’s a thought, go find the rock you crawled out from and go back under it. You certainly are a special kind of stupid aren’t you? (Plus, tacky, inconsiderate, douche and shallow.)

    • Kat says:

      Then why are you commenting? Clearly you are trolling. ..why don’t you find something more constructive with your time. There are many of us that do care, and want to show our support. appreciation and well wishes.

      Michael, you and Kit are in our thoughts…thank you for sharing those wonderful stories with us.

    • Hannah says:

      Honestly, what kind of person takes the time to comment on something personal and very sad with something so insensitive and just plain heartless. Seriously, you honestly cared enough to write a nasty comment so next time just keep it to yourself. So sorry to hear about Kit, Michael, he sounds like such a great guy.

    • SMH says:

      You are a giant douchebag. May Karma find you swiftly.

    • Wow, talk about being rude! This man is sharing why he won’t be around for a while and all you can say is ‘I really don’t care’.

      • Jennie says:

        Yes, I don’t care about his personal life.

        • Cathy says:

          Well, no one here cares about your opinion. If you don’t like it, then leave. And don’t bother responding with “I have a right to my opinion”, because honestly, your opinion doesn’t matter here when you act so callous. I don’t know what made you so hard, such an unlikable human being, but you have no reason to take it out on anyone here.

        • J.B. says:

          Then don’t read it you f**k¡ng c*nt!
          Also, two things:
          1.) You fail at reading comprehension. His husband is not totally unrelated to the site or MA’s career. The article CLEARLY explains that as does the title.
          2.) There are plenty of dictionaries for sale that have pictures. Also there are these really educational things called Encyclopedias. They’re sort of like the dictionary’s sibling with more extensive knowledge.
          And I don’t care about your personal life either. Follow your own words and stop posting your personal beliefs and weltanschauung.

        • J.B. says:

          And to clarify Sheri’s comment, since you honestly failed to read it properly, she never said your name or anything about names. She said if you were to look up the WORD “asswipe” your picture would be next to it. Now unless your name is “asswipe” than your response to her comment is idiotic at best.

          • RUCookie says:


          • J.B. says:

            If you’re referring to me than yes “really!?!?”
            Other than that I don’t need to explain myself. Though I will say that sometimes simple pleasantries don’t cut it.

          • RUCookie says:

            No JB – the comment was directed at the stupidity of Jennie who can no longer post (thank the heavens)

          • J.B. says:

            @RUCookie Thanks for clearing that up. I was confused cause the thread was getting so long I couldn’t tell who was responding to whom. And you’re right, so glad she can’t comment anymore.

    • Eric says:

      What a cold hearted thing to say. Nobody forced you to read his heartfelt piece. It took more effort for you to be a heartless bitch than it did to simply skip past and ignore the article.

    • robinepowell says:

      That’s insensitive to say. Michael Ausiello is sharing something serious and personal to him. After all the questions he’s taken the time to answer I’m glad he’s opened about his husband’s cancer.

    • Drew says:

      There are a million ways to react to something that you don’t care about. You chose to be a giant bag of dicks.
      Nobody here cares what you think or feel. That isn’t unusual for the internet. But I’m guessing that not many people in the real world care about you either, and that is sad. You get what you give in this world. Try to be better than you are.

    • D. says:

      you’re not cool, you’re not smart, you’re just disrespectful and hateful. Go and do something with your life instead of being stupid on here.

    • knd says:

      Evil internet troll a$$

    • gina says:

      Right back at you, you snarky, heartless, unfeeling b***h

    • dioxinblues says:

      You are a sociopath.

      • Briggs says:

        Having checked the timestamp on Matt’s basically telling her she’s now banned, I’d say it’s safe to assume we won’t be hearing from Jennie again. Hallelujah.

    • Amy says:

      You’re a jerk Jennie.

    • Georgeanne says:

      You are a shameful human being.

    • Jennifer J says:

      And Demi would tell you to shut up and not to use her name this way. If you don’t like something, don’t read it don’t comment & just leave it alone. Take your lack of empathy somewhere else.

  22. So sorry to hear. My prayers are with you.

  23. Michael says:

    Ok, now I have the sads. Please take all the time you need and be there for your husband. Surprisingly, Mike Ditka keeps repeating his mantra which I like, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.” Cherish today because tomorrow is never promised.

    • RUCookie says:

      I like that very much – perfect sentiment Michael. And what a beautiful tribute to Kit.

      I wish you peace, love and energy for your journey, however long you have together Michael and Kit.

  24. B says:

    Prayers for peace to you and Kit.

  25. Jake says:

    Light and love to you and Kit!

  26. Nicole says:

    I’m praying for a Christmas miracle for you and Kit. Best wishes to you.

  27. Katie says:

    I’ve been reading/following you since and have always loved getting little snippets about Kit. I’m hoping for so much goodness and love for the two of you during this time.

  28. Playhouse says:

    My heart goes out. Thoughts and prayers to you both for strength and love and connection. And laughs.

    F&*k Cancer.

    • Ellie says:

      Seriously, f*#ck f&!cking cancer, man. My father died of cancer a few years back and I wish I could have convened a giant theraputing screaming circle with my friends, all shouting “F@*CK CANCER!” …so I thought Ausiello might appreciate the sentiment too.

  29. LR says:

    Keeping Kit, you and your family in my thoughts. I have no doubt that the TV Line crew will deliver in your absence.

  30. Jason says:

    Wishing you and Kit all the best Michael.

  31. Elena says:

    This breaks my heart… Cancer is just truly awful and takes the best of us. My heart and prayers go out to you, Kit and your loved ones in this hard time.

  32. Andrea says:

    My prayers are with you and Kit.

  33. April says:

    Long-time reader, followed you from TV Guide to EW to here. You will both be in my thoughts and prayers.

  34. brawl2099 says:

    Michael- Best of luck in the coming days and weeks. I hope it brings peace.

  35. ash says:

    Sending my thoughts and all of my positive energy yours and Kit’s way.

  36. Carson says:

    Oh Michael, my heart just dropped. I’m so sorry to hear this news, but glad that you can take some time off to be with your sweet, supportive husband. My prayers are with you and Kit and your families.

  37. Jenny says:

    So sorry to hear what you two are going through. Take all the time you need – we will all be here whenever you are ready to return.

  38. Katie T says:

    Sending love and hugs to you both

  39. Leah says:

    Thoughts and prayers are with you!

  40. J.B. says:

    I can’t. I’m crying.
    I hope that everyday, despite the pain and sorrow, you get to make as many happy memories that time allows.

  41. Marcee says:

    We love you and we’ll miss you. But take as much time as you need! You’ll be in our thoughts as others PRATTLE on your behalf! :)

  42. nicci45 says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you in such incredibly difficult circumstances.

  43. Amelia says:

    I have followed you from TVGuide to EW to TVLine … and heard Kits name here and there. I am so sorry for what you are both going through. Gilmore Girls is important, but your life is moreso. Take time to be with him as much as you can and to heal as best you can.

  44. Cathy says:

    This was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man. I hope that the remaining time you have continues to be filled with all the love and joy you can muster. My prayers are with you at this crossroads and we’ll see you back here when you are ready!

  45. megsmom says:

    much love and many prayers…I know firsthand how painful it is to lose a loved one. Blessings to you both.

  46. You’ll both be in my thoughts and prayers.
    I’ve been following you since you were at TV Guide. It’s nice to know I’ve been following him too!

  47. Magali says:

    Very touching article.Thanks for sharing this. My thoughts are with you and Kit.

  48. Vanessa says:

    I am so sorry to hear all of that. It’s amazing to me that, even though I know little about you, I’ve followed your posts religiously for years and so I feel a bit like I know you. I am sorry, my virtual friend, that you’re going through something so difficult. I’m not a religious person but I will keep you in my thoughts and wish you well.

  49. JG says:

    Wow…thoughts and prayers for you both. Take care of him – bad TV will still be here when you get back.