Blind Item

Blind Item: Which Drama Is Plotting an Actor's Improbable, Surprise Return?

Apparently you can go home again.

TVLine has learned that a long-running TV drama is working with a former cast member to pull off a most surprising encore — no small feat given how the character in question was originally written off the show.

Truth be told, the series and star already have their most difficult, covert work behind them, seeing as the fan favorite filmed his/her scenes just last week, successfully undetected, thanks to top-secret levels of planning.

Although a cynical few might have thought such a homecoming would never happen, the truth is that the returning star quite enthusiastically went to great lengths to disguise his/her identity while en route to the set, where the hush-hush scenes were filmed under close guard, and strictly indoors.

As for the on-screen ramifications of the long-gone character’s reappearance, one should expect more than a little drama. His/her timing… could be better, yeah.

Hit the Comments with your guesses as to the covert comeback!

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. First to say Katherine Heigl

  2. jr. says:

    McDreamy. I bet it’s Dr. McDreamy!

  3. Mary says:

    Here’s hoping its Ziva! Her return as Tony is leaving definitely would fall under “timing could be a little better”!

    • msstargate says:

      I hope so but don’t think it is her.

    • Amanda says:

      I hope it’s Ziva too.

    • Maria says:

      But the part about “no small feat given how the character was written off the show…” That doesn’t fit with a Ziva return. She wasn’t killed off. She just gor on a plane and went to Israel. Flying back to DC wouldn’t exactly be a Herculean task.

      • True, Marla. If it was an NCIS character, that would fit more with bringing Kate back. Also, the item says “long gone” – not sure that 2 1/2 years qualifies. When I see that phrase, I think more of five or six years.

        • DeeDee says:

          I think Kate’s ghost will come to help Tony die. She will be there to help him know that it is OK to leave.

        • Anna Bowman says:

          I think id cry tears of joy if it was kate. But she already has another full time gig on that other show.

          • Andrea says:

            I read too fast. I read “recurring” instead of ‘returning.” @Anna Bowman, I still think Kate could be possible. Sasha is going into her last season on R&I. We don’t know that NCIS and R&I weren’t able to work something out. Plus, the wording fits. Bellasario did everything possible to ensure that Kate could not return, but Gary Glasberg has always seemed to like the character. I could totally believe that GG would find a way to bring Kate “home” again.

    • Carm says:

      She wasn’t written off in a way that would make it hard for her to return either.

    • Julia says:

      Ziva was my thought too. Maybe she comes back and then, she and Tony decide to leave NCIS together?

    • Malissa R. says:

      That was my first thought too. Not sure how realistic it is, but one guess is as good as another I guess.

  4. Val says:

    Kalinda in Good Wife?

    • abz says:

      They certainly kept Will’s death hidden quite well, so we know they’re good at keeping secrets, but I personally doubt she’d return. I wonder what happened to Archie’s show that was supposedly in development where she’d be the lead.

      • cherylwray says:

        I sure wish Will would come back in some sort of flashback. It would be perfect with Eli’s reveal about the voicemail and everything Alicia’s going through related to it.

    • Hoping for a silver lining says:

      That would be a fantastic surprise considering how she left ( and the awkward good bye). Since she was running for her life, it would be great for Alicia to call her for help and finally do a scene together!

    • BillyBobJohnson says:

      Over Margulies’ dead body.

    • Will's the man..... says:

      It certainly might mend some fences with the fans if Kalinda came back for Alicia’s help or better yet, to help Alicia out of a bind. If would be great, but, I don’t think that will happen.

      I do believe that it will be Will coming back. I expect Alicia will have a dream or a fantasy about “What IF….” she’d received the phone message that was erased.

      Will makes the most sense after reading all guesses here. It will fit nicely into the current story line-up.

      • Stacy says:

        It wouldn’t be shocking, and the character hasn’t been “long gone”. Josh Charles already did the post-death scene for the show and has directed an ep since his character’s departure. I don’t think he fits the clues.

  5. Nancy says:

    It’s got to be Izzy on Grey’s right?

  6. Rolfe says:

    Will from TGW?

    • abz says:

      I doubt that it’s Will Gardner. The clues state that the character’s return will cause more than a little drama and that his/her timing could be better so that kind of rules him out since he’s dead and the only way he’d reappear is probably via flashback or through Alicia’s or some other character’s imagination.

    • LaT says:

      This is my guess, too, Rolfe. Especially because there’s no other real reason to bring up Eli deleting a VM from SIX YEARS AGO if it’s not going to tie into the current storyline for more than “Alicia is mad about what could’ve been had Eli not done that.”

    • BillyBobJohnson says:

      In the immortal words of Dr. “Bones” McCoy: He’s dead, Jim.

  7. Will says:

    As much as I wish it were Izzie, I’m assuming that’s what Ausiello wants people to think so it’s probably not?

  8. Iván says:

    Archie Panjabi’s Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife!

    • SJ says:

      what about Will Gardener on the good wife? Given the voicemail and aftermath friction between Eli and Alicia – perhaps there will be some sort of flashback, or “what if” sequence involving Josh Charles? He has come back to direct, so perhaps he would come back on camera?

  9. neko9786 says:

    john winchester

    • percysowner says:

      Certainly one show where being dead doesn’t mean you can’t come back. The issue is JDM is really busy what with being on TGW and going to be on TWD. If it’s Matt Cohen, he just signed on to General Hospital, so again I question if he has time. I don’t know if either one could work it into their schedules and I don’t know that their coming back would be bad timings. I’d love to see him again.

      • ninamags says:

        Strangely enough, that’s who I thought about immediately. John Winchester. But it seems JDM is pretty busy so maybe…. Bobby?

        • Kim L says:

          Jim Beaver has already confirmed that he’s back for an episode and filming it now. Cast and crew have not tried to hide that.

        • percysowner says:

          Bobby has been back already and SPOILER ALERT! It was announced that he is scheduled to come back in an upcoming episode, so there was not sneaking him onto the set. Or if there was sneaking it was the worst sneaking ever!

          • Rob Horine says:

            In Supernatural, everybody who gets killed off comes back once or twice (Bobby, Rufus, Ellen, Gabriel, Samuel, Lucifer and others).

          • Pat says:

            Not hard for JDM, but doubt it is him. Supernatural and The Walking Dead have entirely different filming schedules that leaves it open for him to appear in spring episodes of Supernatural.

    • Natassie says:

      I thought John too, but my next thought was Gabriel. Since he was mentioned last episode:)

  10. artie says:

    Gonna say Mandy Patinkin on Criminal Minds…

    • His character was killed off-screen, no way it’s him.

    • Tom says:

      This was my thought too. He was killed OFF screen…perhaps it was a mistaken identity.

    • Adrienne says:

      He was so unforgivingly negative about the show after he left, I can’t imagine he would ever consider coming back — even if the storyline was a possibility.

    • Not no way, not no how. Mandy loathed being on the show. And his character was killed off, unless like the other person said it was a mistaken identity. But Hotch said that it was Jason, so… unless they can work miracles it’s not Gideon. If it is CM, the only thing I can think of is Elle. She was written off, but not killed off. And it can’t be Haley, she is definitely dead.

      But if it was Gideon, all hell would break loose. And he’d lose whatever shred of faith that Reid had left in him. He already hurt him by leaving with a letter, like his father did. And poor Reid has been through enough already, including a psychotic woman who almost blew him up and or shot him.

      Or… what if Maeve isn’t really dead? No, she is dead for sure. I don’t want to torment myself more with that thought.

    • Angela says:

      I briefly thought that, too :p. I’m pretty damn sure it won’t be him, mind, given all the reasons others noted here, but man, it sure would be one hell of a surprise if it were.
      Very intriguing mystery, this item. Hmmm.

    • Mark says:

      Maybe Rachel Nichols returning as Ashley Seaver to finally finish that story line properly.

      • Angela says:

        Ooh, that’d be interesting. Mind, I don’t know how her return would fit with the “no small feat” part, since she left in a pretty uneventful, simple to explain way (transferring units), but still, it would be an unexpected appearance, for sure. I wouldn’t mind seeing her again. Or Elle, if this item happened to apply to her somehow.

        • Mark says:

          Returning as the victim of a serial, killing undercover feds — it would be quite a personal storyline considering Rossis and Spences friendships with the character.

  11. spindae2 says:

    This screams Katherine Heigl.

  12. Madeline says:

    The most logical person to fit the clues here is Katherine Heigl and Grey’s Anatomy.

    Josh Charles and The Good Wife seems TOO obvious and his departure from the show on a personal level wouldn’t lead anyone to think a return for him would be improbable.

  13. reeheartstv says:

    Why am I thinking this is Elliot from SVU?

  14. Deion says:

    I’m thinking Derek will appear to Meredith after her attack

  15. JMO says:

    Kathryn Heigl/Izzy comments in 3…2…1…

    • abz says:

      Given the headline and the magical, fantastical nature of OUAT, I don’t think its “impropable” or surprise-worthy that Neal would return, so I doubt it’s him. The show is always finding ways to bring characters back (dead or not). Just look at how many are gonna return now that they’re headed to the Underworld.

      • LM says:

        Also timing could be better doesn’t fit. They are going to UW and he’s dead so what better timing?

      • danyelle says:

        improbable if i know that word right works since A+E made no qualms about giving him the door in favor of the pirate, and it was said other day Neal only gets a mention in UW.

      • K says:

        It’s extremely improbably considering that they’ve said about four times over the last three years that dead is dead–but only when it applies to Neal. Neal fits all the requirements (hard to bring back, will cause drama, has been gone a while).

        • abz says:

          Meh. I personally don’t think that Neal is a character worthy of wasting a blind item on but who knows. With this show I don’t really see most character return as improbable (okay, maybe perhaps Sheriff Graham). But this show is constantly making things up, reviving characters in some shape or form. They create new rules for magic all the time. They’ve said that he won’t return, but they could easily have him appear in some form if they wanted to by coming up with another one of their magic-bending tricks or some new curse or whatever.
          Anyways, I hope they don’t bring him back. I like Hook way more and Colin O’Donoghue plays the role very well and is very entertaining. Neal was boring (Young Baelfire wasn’t). Plus MRJ phoned it in pretty much a lot of the time in my opinion. He just looked bored and wasn’t very engaging.

    • Jackie says:

      Ugh, please, no! I couldn’t stand Neal.

    • laurelnev says:

      I thought we already knew Neal would be back for the Underworld arc?

      • danyelle says:

        they’re patronizing us with a “mention’ yeah but i can’t imagine MRJ would be back since A+E didn’t write for him so they could prop up Killy Stu

    • Lisa says:

      Neal was never a fan favorite,quite the opposite I’d say.

      • K says:

        You’d be wrong. He was quite popular with most people not obsessed with the pirate. And even most of those acknowledge that his story with Rumple and Henry was cut off prematurely.

      • Whatevs24 says:

        Neal is a fan favorite. And, unlike Hook, he has so much more than just a love story and being the love interest – he has his finally repaired relationship with Rumple, he’s the main cause for Rumple to actually try to be good (Belle isn’t enough, as demonstrated by the fact that he WAS cured from being The Dark One and, now, he has, like, Nth degree Dark One power), he has his growing relationship with Henry, and his friendship with Belle, to name a few. It’s perfect timing – he’s been gone a few years, and it would def cause drama with Captain Swan because he so still has a thing for Emma (and, when they reunited the first time, it had already been, like, 11 years, so I’m certain that’s not going away) and even Emma admitted she still loved him (even if she didn’t completely want it but I personally think that’s a defense mechanism for herself because he hurt her once and I think she’s scared/worried he’d do it again).

    • Katie says:

      Yeah, I’m with you. For sure it must be Neal coming back.

  16. CastleFan says:

    Captain Montgomery from Castle would be pretty awesome. Though I would love to have Captain Gates back as well. Anything to get Beckett back to DETECTIVE.

    • Maria says:

      Every time I see a season 1-3 rerun I remember how much I miss Captain Montgomery.

      • Katie says:

        Yeah, I really liked Captain Montgomery, too. He really did redeem himself in the end, though, when he died protecting Kate. Unless, HE DIDN”T DIE! They faked it in order to continue to protect Kate (we all know that didn’t work because Kate got shot right after at the cemetery.) and most especially his family. They could have sneaked him into a hospital, saved his life, put him in Witness Protection under a new look and identity without anyone knowing except for those who were higher up the chain and weren’t corrupt. They could have put anything in that coffin to make it heavy, like bricks. He decides to risk blowing his new identity by helping Kate with LokSat or he’s forced to reveal himself BECAUSE of LokSat’s dirty dealings. Muwahahahahaha! Oh well, it’s just a thought.

    • Ro says:

      I was thinking this too… or the other captain.

    • Kreskin says:

      If this is about Castle, it’s Bracken back from the dead. They ‘killed’ off Mr. Smith and brought him back. These new showrunners think everything old is new again, so they may be re-animating Bracken. Not that anyone wants to see that, but these Season 8 showrunners are tone/fan-deaf.

      • S. says:

        Bracken wasn’t a former cast member. He was a recurring character. I think we’re talking a series regular. I thought Montgomery as well. I love Penny Johnson Jerald. I hope she returns at some point, but it’d be easy enough to bring her back so it’s not Gates. It’d be so fun to have Ruben available for a Loksat-related storyline. If he’s gonna be back and the character in question comes back at an inopportune moment, I’m guessing there was some married couple stuff goin’ on and he pops up at Castle’s loft. ;)

    • Beckstle says:

      Given the kind of soap-opera-like improbable storylines Castle has been doing (starting with 6 x 23, the Castle missing mythology and now the ridiculous Lokstat) Montgomery coming back isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. He died on-screen with Beckett sobbing over his chest – therefore, no pulse. Forget it improbable about Montgomery, try impossible – not that it would stop these guys from doing it. As the Lokstat plot has shown logic isn’t a prerequisite for their plots. Montgomery also died as a man who’d redeemed himself. These guys would bring him back as a villian, because they seem to love ruining the major character arcs that Marlowe created.

      I hope it’s someone from Bones like Zach or Sweets. Zach wouldn’t be too hard though. He’s in jail, not dead. Really, I’m just hoping it’s not Castle. Ziva on NCIS would be cool, but again, that’s not a difficult story to pull off. Eliot on SVU? Yes, please!

      If it is Castle bringing back Montgomery I’ll be hoping even more for a Dallas dream scenario – and I’m hoping a lot for it now. The only redemption I see for Castle season 8 is to have it revealed in the last episode of the season/series that everything in season 8 up until then has been a dream (nightmare) of Castle’s. Sure, it’s a shlock move, but it’s better than everything else that’s happened. I think many would find it a great relief!

      • CastleLaLaLand says:

        They brought back 3XK, so they can bring back anyone, even Montgomery. No, maybe it will be a Montgomery lookalike that was created by Nieman before Beckett had killed her. Hey, it is all for “fun”, so anything is possible for the TPTB.

    • CastleBuzz says:

      Doubtful this BI refers to Castle at all and the idea it could be Montgomery is rather incredible given that Beckett and Castle presumably stayed at the hangar during the aftermath of his being shot. Of course, they could be in the know. Really nuts is an idea being floated on one of the show’s forum that the person is Beckett’s mother, Johanna. Those discussing it ignore half the clues. LOL

  17. Gilded Lady says:

    Guessing something GoT related, because of the whole “fans didn’t catch it” bit and I know fans watch that set like a hawk.

  18. estefania says:


    • John NYC says:

      No, all she’d have to do is get on a plane. No difficulty there.

      And the leaving was simply her waving goodbye at an airport. Not much challenge to overcome.

  19. Mandy says:

    I’m going with Izzie from Grey’s. I wouldn’t consider either Will or McDreamy “long gone”. I think that means its someone who left a long time ago.

  20. abz says:

    I so want this to be Izzie/Katherine Heigl, but I highly doubt it. Shonda won’t back down even though it’d probably be great ratings for the show and they could promote the hell out of it.
    I don’t know if Sandra Oh is considered long gone yet but I’d love to see her back too.

    • Allison says:

      Christina is easy to bring back so I doubt it. She’s just in Switzerland, she can get on a plane and come to Seattle, that’s no big feat. Also, I don’t think anyone was ever cynical about her never coming back. Before she even left Sandra Oh said she would be willing to come back for an episode or 2 at some point. She left on very good terms with Shonda from every report I’ve heard. I would like to see her too but I don’t think it fits.

  21. Kate says:

    I really hope this is Ziva David!!!!

  22. Steven says:

    Lady Stoneheart in GoT?

  23. ThemZ says:

    Katherine Heigl… ???!!!

  24. BP says:

    Please be Dempsey/McDreamy! PLEASE. Miss the MerDer dynamic sooo much

  25. OMG Bones is finally bringing Zack back.

  26. megakm says:

    Dr. Zack Addy.

  27. M says:

    Colton Haynes back on Teen Wolf? I don’t believe there was any animosity when he left, but the article doesn’t mention any issues when they left. And his departure was only briefly referenced in a throwaway line.

  28. Sandy Duncan's Eye on Network TV says:

    It would be great to have Chris Meloni back on SVU for next year’s likely final season. The show hasn’t been the same without him.

  29. Timmah says:

    Simon Cowell!

  30. Angie says:

    Neal from OUAT he was spotted in Vancouver

    • Travis says:

      ” no small feat given how the character in question was originally written off the show.” wouldnt make sense with this line since the show will be in the underworld in the second half of the season.

      • Kip says:

        Bringing Neal back from the Underworld would definitely be no small feat. If he is coming back permanently than it would make sense.

        • LM says:

          But how does timing could be better fit? Also there is nothing to indicate in the item that the character is coming back permanently. In fact it sounds like his/her part was already filmed and done.

  31. N says:

    It says “long gone” think more than just a few years

  32. Yoko says:

    Shonda has repeatedly said there is no way she would EVER have Katherine back. No way.

    • abz says:

      She’s also said that this season of Grey’s would have a “lighter tone” LOL. And here we have the midseason premiere and Meredith is gonna be attacked and once again in danger.
      She also said that Alex would finally get some real focus and that hasn’t really happened.
      People say things.

      • Will says:

        maybe it’s George! If Mer is unconscious and close to death from the attack perhaps she sees the ghost of George telling her to come back??

        • Stacy says:

          Doesn’t fit. His return would be heartwarming, but it wouldn’t lead to drama or be bad timing. This doesn’t sound like a dream sequence, it sounds like an actual return for the character.

      • Stacy says:

        Maybe Alex’s “real focus” would be related to a return from Izzie… a child, perhaps? Maybe she’s sick again.

    • Dysturbed says:

      People tend to say what they truly believe and feel, then circumstances potentially get them to change their mind.

  33. Gerald says:

    This is not a dream or a flashback return??
    My Guess is Neal from OUAT

    • abz says:

      Doubtful it’s him. The show is always bringing people back given its fantastical nature so I don’t think his return would be “improbable”.

      • BM says:

        Agreed. It’s not improbable and why would they need to keep it secret if they’re going to the Underworld? They’re bringing all kinds of dead characters back for that. I think they have mentioned six already (at least, I’ve read about six), so why would they make a secret out of Neal?

  34. Shelly jones says:

    Zach on bones

  35. Kay says:

    Elena from TVD

  36. Court says:

    Oh how I wish this was Patrick/Derek

  37. Loraleigh says:

    Will Gardner could show up in the series finale of The Good Wife. He has been in witness protection after he faked his death.

    • Timmah says:

      Or maybe it was all a dream, a la Bobby Ewing.

    • Jakay says:

      I was thinking he showed up as a ghost or fantasy to tell Alicia it’s time to put him behind her and go on without Peter, without Eli, without Lockhart Gardner, whatever. Time to move on from bring a good wife and onto the next chapter. There have already been enough dream sequences and fantasies on TGW to make it not that weird.

  38. Ed says:

    Well id love for it to be Katherine Heigl and Greys. But I’m so tired of guessing her when it never comes true. I just have to accept that Izzie will never return to Greys Anatomy. Apparently during Shondas year of YES, she’d say NO to this hahaha

  39. ziva is the first name that popped up in my head

  40. dq18 says:

    Ziva comes back….just in time for Tony’s funeral. (Did you hear that? It’s the wails of all the Tiva fans in their outrage. I’m sadistic like that.)

  41. joeblue8 says:

    Brody on Homeland…..Just read the first line of the article!

    • sarahthebaker says:

      Agreed. You can go “Home” again; “covert,” and “top-secret?” What else could it be?

    • abz says:

      But they mentioned this line: “seeing as the fan favorite filmed his/her scenes just last week, successfully undetected, thanks to top-secret levels of planning.”
      Homeland just ended a month ago. Have they even started filming the sixth season yet?

  42. Hurley says:

    Please Sandra Oh, or at least Katherine Heigl

  43. Remy says:

    Papa Winchester. I’ve never accepted that he would never come back.

  44. Merrcherr says:

    Throwing this out there – what if its Montgomery from Castle? His death was staged for protection and he has been hiding out in Witness Relocation…certainly would explain some weird things from that shows recent past…