Ask Ausiello

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Quantico, Psych, Stranger Things, Fear TWD, Fargo, Supernatural and More

Got a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Send any/all of the above to askausiello@tvline.com

Question: So, what’s the deal with Quantico Season 3? Is ABC completely overhauling the show? —Justine
Ausiello: I don’t know about a complete overhaul, but it’s certainly going to be a significant one. I’m told the network — in conjunction with the drama’s new, TBD leadership — is looking to streamline the series in the hopes of making it more accessible to viewers. That means more self-contained storylines (although sources insist Quantico is not becoming a procedural) and a less complicated mythology. And the recent cast cuts are all part of this new creative direction.

Stranger Things Season 2 Netflix Dustin GhostbustersQuestion: Any scoop on what ’80s pop culture staples Stranger Things will be paying homage to in Season 2? —Ben
Ausiello: The Duffer Brothers plan to capitalize on Season 2 being set in Fall 1984. “The summer of ’84 was a great summer for movies,” EP Matt Duffer notes. “There was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Ghostbusters and Gremlins and The Karate Kid. The kids would have all seen those movies. They probably saw them multiple times, in fact, so they’re able to reference them.” And as confirmed by early Season 2 photos, the Scooby gang actually dress up as Ghostbusters for Halloween. BONUS SCOOP: look for the original Terminator pic to make a cameo. Reveals fellow EP Ross Duffer: “It’s playing at the local movie theater because [it came out] in October ’84.”

Question: How government conspiracy-heavy will Season 2 of Stranger Things be? —Nick
Ausiello: I don’t have a percentage for you, but EP Ross Duffer confirms that Season 2 will devote “more” time to that piece of the story. “We wanted to explore the idea of how they could keep something like this covered up, and what happens if you’re not able to keep a lid on this,” he teases. “That was something that was interesting to us and that we wanted to explore.”

Question: Got any Fear the Walking Dead scooplets? —Brian
Ausiello: Try this on for size: Sunday’s episode of AMC’s Walking Dead spinoff (9/8c) not only traces the unsteady steps that Daniel took to Dante’s door — pausing just long enough to introduce a means of walker-dispatching that I don’t believe we’ve ever before seen — it also heavily hints at how and whether Ofelia’s “late” father will be able to coexist with the water monger’s new prisoner/adviser, Strand.

Question: Got anything on the new season of Preacher? —Jon
Ausiello: Indeed, I do. The AMC drama’s gory Season 2 premiere (Sunday, June 25, 10/9c) reveals that God has been hanging out in perhaps the last place you’d expect to indulge His predilection for perhaps the last thing you’d expect. And, although Jesse and Tulip’s first night together as a reunited couple doesn’t go quite as planned (see photo at right), by the end of “On the Road,” they’ve indulged in some of the sexiest, most destructive foreplay since Buffy and Spike.

Question: The Jane the Virgin season finale dropped the biggest clue yet about the narrator, that he was someone who loved Xiomara. So who is he? Her father from heaven? A future son? I’ve been waiting since the first season for an answer… Don’t leave me hanging!  —Drew
Ausiello: Here’s pretty much everything we know about the identity of the series’ narrator. In other JtV news, Rafael Solano… public bus driver?! Probably not, but the former hotel owner is “going to get a job” now that Luisa has stripped him of his fortune, executive producer Jennie Urman previews. “We know what it is, but it’s gonna take him a little while” to find it.

Question: I’m fully aware it’s only June, but that’s not going to stop me from asking for a little fall preview on Supernatural. —Sam
Ausiello: Last month’s Supernatural finale definitely set the stage for an explosive Season 13, but you might want to rewatch an earlier episode for some clues about what’s in store for the Winchesters & Co. As you may recall, in the producers’ preview for Season 12’s “Ladies Drink Free,” executive producer Robert Singer revealed that the installment “very subtly tees up something that we’re going to revisit next [season].” So of course, we asked EP Andrew Dabb to elaborate. “That’s something we’re probably more comfortable talking about around Comic-Con,” he responded. “We have some really interesting things in the works.”

Question: Anything on the series finale of Reign!? —Kevin
Ausiello: Hold onto your crown, Kevin, because The CW period drama goes to some really dark — and profoundly weird — places in tonight’s climax. I won’t reveal how Mary’s story ends, but I will say that the show’s final hour contains its wildest sex scene yet. (And if you’ve been watching regularly, you know that’s no small feat.)

Question: Any plot or casting scoop on the forthcoming Psych: The Movie? —Giovanni
Ausiello: I can tell you who won’t be in the two-hour revival: Cybill Shepherd. There’s nothing scandalous afoot, I’m told. The holiday-themed movie’s self-contained story just didn’t require a visit from Shawn’s mom.

Question: Any scoop on The Night Shift? What can we expect with Topher no longer a part of the show? —Amanda
Ausiello: Ken Leung may no longer be a part of the NBC series (returning Thursday, June 22), but Topher’s absence looms large as the action picks up a mere 48 hours after his unceremonious termination and the resulting staff walk-out. In fact, Jordan will go to such lengths to broker a deal with Paul’s pop that is contingent on Topher’s return, you’d almost think Leung’s exit was an elaborate PR stunt. (It’s not.) BONUS SCOOP: Warning, the Season 4 opener ends with a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Question: Will Yara Shahidi’s Zoey be dropping by black-ish at all next season? Or will the Freeform spinoff college-ish be our only chance to see the character? —Rachel
Ausiello: “We’ll definitely see her” on black-ish, maintains series creator Kenya Barris. “We’ll see her the way that you see [any] kid who’s in school.” Translation: Zoey will pop in from time to time to visit her folks and siblings. Barris, meanwhile, confirms that Zoey will appear in the Season 4 premiere. “She’ll be there when we start,” he says, “and then she’ll go start her life.”

This AAnd That…
MacGyver is adding a new female series regular in Season 2, a CIA operative named Carmen. And get this — the two of us share the same exact title:  Intel Extraction Specialist. What are the odds?!
♦ As I previewed on Instagram, Dame Carrie Coon of Leftovers and Fargo fame dropped by TVLine’s Big Apple offices this week to record a Dream Emmy-themed episode of The TVLine Podcast (premiering Tuesday, June 20) with yours truly. I basically spent the first 25 minutes gushing about her sensational work on both shows. And then we devoted the final five minutes to mutually raving about her Fargo co-star/sidekick Olivia Sandoval (aka Officer Lopez), who I’m ready to anoint the breakout star of 2017 (well, at least the first half of 2017). Speaking of Fargo, I can’t wait for Wednesday’s finale. And speaking of Wednesday’s finale…
♦ My colleague Dave Nemetz scored an early peek at the Season 3 swan song and he filed this tease-y report: “To steal the title of a non-Coen brothers movie: There will be blood. Multiple characters won’t survive the action-packed finale, as Nikki Swango’s cat-and-mouse game with V.M. Varga comes to a violent (and unexpected) end. Karma plays a big role in the finale, too, catching up with a few key characters and delivering some very just desserts. And be sure to put your phone down and give your full attention to the final scene: It’s AMAZING.”

That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments and anonymous tips to askausiello@tvline.com. (Additional reporting by Kim Roots, Andy Swift and Vlada Gelman)

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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31 Comments
  1. Cheryl says:

    Michael – Thank you, especially for the SPN scoop. I’m going to re-watch “Ladies Drink Free” this weekend.

    Have a Smurftastic weekend!

  2. Luke says:

    I mean, what’s the point of saving Quantico. It’s so unwatchable and I don’t think a new EP could save this sinking ship. People are just already tired of those characters already because they don’t have any chemistry together.

    • david says:

      These execs never learn. I have seen so many shows go down the road of having more self contained eps because they think it’ll get more fans who don’t follow the mythology of a show. It NEVER WORKS! New fans don’t tune in and those that stuck with the show tune out. They did that with Alias season 4 for example and it did NOTHING to stop the audience bleeding away. Once an audience starts to leave, they dont usually come back and new viewers dont suddenly tune in.

  3. Lauren says:

    I really want Nikki to survive Fargo. She is so endearing.

  4. Trent Blinkylight says:

    The final scene of Fargo will be “AMAZING.” Translation: it will be stupid and won’t make any sense.

  5. Sarah M says:

    Boooooooooring.

  6. C says:

    Is it wrong to hope that Jane the Virgin gets cancelled soon?

    • Wordsmith says:

      That depends – why would you want the show cancelled?
      If it’s because you think the cast is talented and would be better used on other shows, then maybe you could make that argument.
      You could also argue that there are other shows that the CW should be making instead, but they seem to be making most of those shows in addition to JtV already.
      If it’s just because you don’t like the show, then yes; that’s definitively wrong. Just stop watching and let the rest of us enjoy it.

    • Big Ed's Gas Farm says:

      “Is it wrong to hope that Jane the Virgin gets cancelled soon?”

      That depends. If by “soon” you mean in the coming months, then that’s wrong. If you mean no later than next Monday, then you are on perfectly safe ground. I hope I have helped to assuage any feelings of guilt you may have experienced over what is, in fact, a noble desire.

  7. Wrstlgirl says:

    So excited for Preacher and The Night Shift !!!

  8. The Psych news makes me want a Chuck reunion movie!

  9. Curt Donald says:

    Any cast changes on the horizon for CBS Bluebloods

  10. Mark Calki says:

    Quantico started out badly and went downhill from their. Ridiculously cast characters, a steady descent into the lamest kind of political correctness ineptly written into really stupid story lines. The only realistic revamp here is cancellation.

  11. Missy says:

    The SPN sliver of info is going to drive me nuts. ‘Ladies Drink Free’ felt like a one off episode with no links. It was fantastic, of course. I love Claire. But what in heaven and hell does it subtly tee up? :-D

    • Paula Stiles says:

      We’re probably stuck with a werewolf Hunter mytharc, for our sins. I like Claire, but it’s probably too much to ask that the current showrunners will do right by her in a longrunning storyline.

  12. What happened ? I didn’t know that Topher wasn’t coming back to “Night Shift” :( I really enjoyed his character …..

  13. A says:

    “Karma plays a big role in the finale, too, catching up with a few key characters…..”

    Uh oh, I’m worried about Nikki now, I want her to live but I don’t think she’ll. Didn’t she kill that guy with the AC, looks like her karma will catch up to her.

  14. thanks for SPN update.

  15. George H. says:

    Really hope Timothy Omundson is well enough to appear in the Psych movie after his stroke.

  16. KLS says:

    Who’s Ofelia on FTWD? You mean that chick that disappeared last season who no one (including the audience) seems to miss?

  17. Sarah says:

    Michael, I don’t watch anything you reported on above, but Psych. I really wish more television was fun, hopeful and actual escapist entertainment. I’m tired of what we have on right now and what we have coming up this fall.

    • Sarah says:

      Oh, I do watch Blackish, as well.

    • Hannah says:

      There is SO MUCH fun, hopeful, escapist entertainment on right now. We really have entered a peak TV era where you can find just about any type of entertainment you want. I’m currently knees deep in Chewing Gum, Brooklyn 99, and iZombie, and I binged season 2 of Master of None in one weekend. And I have friends who swear by The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Mindy Project, etc. You clearly aren’t looking in the right places…

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks for your thoughts, but most of those shows are in pay services. I’m talking about the core free television stations. I do watch Brooklyn 99, as well. I was just commenting that I don’t watch what Michael was reporting on and wish there were more hour long shows that were about pure hopeful escapism (iZombie is definitely not in that category, as it is not hopeful at all, IMO).

  18. Matt says:

    I’m all for simplifying the mythology (seriously I stopped watching) and a cast shake-up on Quantico but did they have to cut Yasmine Al Massri? Not only did she pull the always amazing double duty (soon to be entirely wiped from the TV landscape with Fargo & Orphan Black’s end) but she was also responsible for a much-needed representation of Muslims on TV: one who not only isn’t a stereotype or a villain but a government employee and American hero. Really a shame, hope she finds a new show fast.

  19. JoviChick says:

    Ok so we know we will see Zoe on Blackish. More important will we see Erica Goldberg on the Goldbergs? Since she is my favorite on the show I am hoping her college far away doesn’t mean we won’t see her? I got worried when they moved Murray’s brother into the basement that he is a replacement for her? He is the only one I don’t like on that show and really only tolerated him on the Thanksgiving episode.

  20. tsevca says:

    It´s good Shawn´s mom won´t be there. She wasn´t often seen character and I hate it, when they make those revivals and fill them with any character that just remotely passed by, instead of focusing on the people we actually missed.