Fall TV Preview

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on True Blood, Bones, Supernatural, Mother, Castle and More!

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

Question: It’s been a while since we’ve had any really good True Blood scoops. Please change that for us. —Jessica S.
As I bragged revealed on Twitter Monday night, Cliff Clavin left a nice surprise in my mailbox Monday afternoon: the first three episodes of Season 4! I can’t wait to watch them sometime this weekend! Kidding! I’d barely sat down on my couch when I had those bad boys finished off. And you know what? I’m going to declare that the show gets off to its strongest start yet. The trouble is, there’s not much I can tell you without spoiling one of the biggest (literally and figuratively) twists in the series’ history. But give me a second, I’ll think of something… Oooh, there’s a very subtle clue in this trailer. Also:

| An unlikely new romance takes shape.
| * *i***** *******e* ***s.
| Pam is at her bitchiest best.
| Jessica makes Hoyt dinner — sounds boring but I swear it’s not.
| There’s some big real estate news — sounds boring but I swear it’s not.
| Sam comes dangerously close to exposing his naughty bits.

Question: I can’t help but notice an alarming lack of True Blood spoilerage. What’s the deal? —Sarah
The deal is you need to sit yourself down and pay attention, because you know that surprise romance I teased above? I think it’s the same one exec producer Alan Ball is referring to in this next quote, which was a response to my question about which couple he had the most fun writing for this season. “The one that I had the most fun with is one I can’t reveal, because it comes as a surprise,” he tells me. “But certainly Eric and Sookie, as fans of the books will know, get a lot closer this season, and that was really fun.”

Question: I love love love Evan Rachel Wood on True Blood! Please tell me we will see her in Season 4. —Hayley
Oh, hell yes. Queen Sophie Anne is actually at the center of what will probably go down as one of my favorite scenes of the entire series.

Question: First off, I think a Smurf lover like you would enjoy this T-shirt. Next, I hope you have some good scoop on White Collar. —Matt
If you’re a fan of Dan Brown, chances are you’re going to love the show’s June 14 episode. Real-life siblings Danny Masterson and Christopher Masterson guest star as brothers in a dispute over their late father’s will. They soon discover that Dad’s two conflicting wills actually form a treasure map of sorts. “[It] was our Dan Brown-inspired episode we’ve been wanting to do for a season or two” says series creator Jeff Eastin. “It was difficult in the sense that we had a lot of very specific clues that we had to get through, so that was sort of a nightmare. But ultimately, if you like Dan Brown, hopefully, you’ll like that episode.”

Question: Barney’s half-sister plus Ted equals Ted’s babies momma? Go. —Dana
Excellent theory. If it pans out I’m taking full credit. Cool?

Question: They can’t seriously kill Pete, especially with poor Lucas watching! Any scoop? Is Tim Daly leaving Private Practice? —Sam
This much we know: Don’t count on the wee one to save the day. “Lucas does not know how to dial 911,” exec producer Shonda Rhimes told TVLine’s Matt Mitovich last month. “I totally came home after we filmed that scene and sat down with my 8-year-old and was like, ‘This is how you dial 911, and here’s our address,’ in case Mommy ever falls over.”

Question: Do you have any scoop on Desperate Housewives? —Mateo
I sort of stumbled on one last night while flipping through the official ballot for the 2011 Emmys. In a surprise — some would say ballsy — move, Doug Savant pulled a Rob Lowe and entered himself in the Lead Actor (Comedy) race. Now, I admittedly missed a couple episodes this season, but I don’t recall Tom being that prominent.

Question: Is there any more news on Season 3 of The Vampire Diaries? —Lisa
Kayla Ewell has yet to see a script, but the actress believes she’s cracked the mystery surrounding Vicki’s season-ending return from the dead. “I’m thinking [she’s] not a ghost, but more of an angel or good spirit coming back to help Jeremy,” she offers. “Vicki really, really loves Jeremy, so [I think] she’s going to try to come back and help him any way she can. But also, wherever Vicki goes, she stirs up trouble. Her intentions may be good and pure, but [I suspect] there’s going to be lots of trouble going on.”

Question: What are the chances of Tina Majorino returning to Bones next season? She was the best part of final sniper episode! —Hillary
I think the chances are very good. Awesome, in fact. “We love Tina,” gushes executive producer Stephen Nathan, “and would love to have her back next year.”

Question: With Bones going on a three-month mid-season break to accommodate Emily Deschanel’s maternity leave, how many original episodes does that leave us with in Season 7? —Rex
If I were a betting man — not an addict, just a fan of the casual bet every now and then — I’d say more than 13 but less than 18. And just so we’re clear I do not have a gambling problem.

Question: Any news on who’s replacing Saffron Burrows on The Finder? —Missy
The role hasn’t been cast, but I can tell you producers are looking for someone considerably younger than Burrows. We’re talking half her age. According to the latest intel, the new character — Willa — will be around 17. Much like Burrows’ alter ego, Willa has a criminal background and some hidden skills that Walter and Leo will put to good use. (Mackenzie Rosman, call your agent!)

Question: Can you please interview Misha Collins about his reduced Supernatural role next season? My life may depend on it. —Marcia
We tried, but the dude’s not talking. Perhaps he wants to lay low until the storm passes — assuming it does, in fact, pass. “We have passionate fans,” acknowledges exec producer Sera Gamble. “We have fans that have strong opinions about a lot of things that happen on the show. People ask me if I’m worried about a fan backlash [in the wake of Collins’ demotion]. We just want to tell a good story and not be redundant and bring you interesting stories that are fresh. Going into Season 7, we have a new, interesting story that we want to tell to you. That’s what’s front of mind right now.”

Question: Now that Misha Collins is no longer a regular on Supernatural, any chance Jim Beaver will get a much-deserved promotion? —Joel
Doesn’t sound like it. “We have a fantastic relationship with Jim,” says Gamble. “We bring him in as the story demands it. He’s basically a fixture on the show as necessary.”

Question: Will Eion Bailey will be back on Covert Affairs for Season 2? —Brenda
Yes, Bailey returns as Ben Mercer in Tuesday’s premiere, during which he and Annie must outrun some bad guys who really, really want him dead. But nearly escaping death won’t bring the two closer together. A new opportunity will launch Ben in a different direction — and far away from Annie.

Question: I have a question about Covert Affairs: What will Jai Wilcox (played by Sendhil Ramamurthy) be up to this season? —Alicia
Being a big sourpuss. When Joan (Kari Matchett) is forced to report for jury duty in next week’s episode, she leaves Auggie in charge — much to Jai’s disgruntlement.

Question: I know it’s been less than a month since the Castle finale, but I am seriously missing seeing my favorite couple on screen — especially given how the season ended. Please give me some scoop to help shake the hiatus blues. —Cheryl
Is it out there that Captain Montgomery’s successor will be female? If not, it’s scoop to you!

Question: Now that Showtime has axed United States of Tara, do you know if the Season 3 finale gives a proper ending to the show? Or does it end in a cliffhanger? –Fernando
I think fans will find the final scene of the series to be extremely satisfying. I’ll leave it at that.

Question: What’s the latest on the return of Robin Sparkles next season on How I Met Your Mother? —Todd
It’s still in the gestation stage. “We do have one little beginning of an idea of something that would be completely different as a way to reprise it,” reveals exec producer Craig Thomas. “My promise would be we’ll only do it if it’s something completely different — apples and oranges from what we’ve already done. ‘Cause I don’t want to be too much in the shadow of “Let’s Go to the Mall,” which I realize is everyone’s favorite.” Speaking of Robin, remember how Thomas hinted that she would be getting a new love interest this fall? It’s totally happening. Casting is underway as I write this.

Question: Now that the season is over, can you answer any of your blind items? I’m still going crazy not knowing which fan favorite may be going “six feet under.” —Clark
Hot tip: If you haven’t already done so, you might want to sign up for TVLine’s weekly scoop newsletter. Sources confirm to me exclusively that there may be a subtle clue in next Monday’s edition. I may also drop a hint or two on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello.

Question: Any Bored to Death scoop? — Matt
Yes, and in a way, Office scoop, too: The NBC sitcom’s Gabe, Zach Woods, apparently having cornered the market on hilariously obsessed dorks, will be guesting on the HBO laffer later this season as super-fan of Zach Galifianakis’ character.

Question: Any more news on the possible time-jump on Dexter and how this will affect his character in general? — Lisa
Well, since the breakdowns that just came out include characters who are residents of a nursing home, it’s probably safe to say that next season, ol’ Dex will be in a rocker, not just off his own. That, or some of the action will take place at a nursing home, and the serial dad will still be around the same age. One or the other. In either case, we’ll be meeting a working-class geezer who’s mad as hell that he’s stuck in a retirement village. (Statler! Waldorf! Call your agents!)

Question: My gut tells me we’ve seen the last of Ivy and Ray on 90210. What are you hearing? —Lauren
I’m hearing your gut isn’t very trustworthy. Not only is Gillian Zinser returning as a series regular next season, but her onscreen hubby, Manish Dayal, will be back as well, albeit on a recurring basis. He is dying after all.

That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to askausiello@tvline.com. Also, you can keep track of my scoops on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello. Thanks for playing! (Additional reporting by Vlada Gelman and Andy Patrick)