Fall TV Preview

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Castle, True Blood, Bones, SVU, The Office 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: Rumor has it the season premiere of Castle will be penned by series creator Andrew Marlowe and directed by Rob Bowman, which pretty much confirms that it’s going to be great. Got any more scoop? —Cheryl
The episode is called “Rise,” but a better title might’ve been “Major Fisticuffs” seeing as how two characters come to blows in the opening minutes. Who?! Hit the comments with your best guesses and then keep close tabs on my public Facebook page for the big reveal in the not-too-distant future (read: next 24 hours)!

Question: I have to know — will this season of True Blood have the smokin’ hot Sookie/Eric shower scene featured in the book? Please say yes! —Sam
Yes and No. “There is a shower scene,” explains exec producer Alan Ball. “But it is not a direct re-enactment of the shower scene in the book. It goes to a slightly different place.” Emphasis on slightly. “Sookie and Eric are in the shower together,” confirms Ball, who assures me that, “Everybody who’s been waiting for Sookie and Eric to hook up, this will be a very good season for them.”

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Question: Any more details on Scott Foley’s True Blood role? —Anna
“He was Terry’s platoon leader in Iraq,” says Ball of Foley’s character, Patrick. “So they [share] a military history.” (Rumor has it Terry saved Patrick’s life not once but twice.) Foley will debut in the Season 4 finale and then recur throughout Season 5. Ball, meanwhile, confirms that a deal is not yet in place for him to return as showrunner for a fifth season. “I’m negotiating,” he says. Of course, HBO hasn’t renewed the show itself — but Ball isn’t worried. “There are no plans for this show to end,” he assures. “I’m pretty sure there will be at least one more season, if not more. It seems like it has a lot of life in it still.” That’s an understatement given the boffo ratings for Sunday’s premiere.

Question: In a recent Ask Ausiello, you said that there was a very subtle clue for “one of the biggest (literally and figuratively) twists in True Blood‘s history” in the linked trailer. Now that we’ve seen the premiere — and know the twist in question was the yearlong time jump — you have to reveal what the clue was! Was it that Eric said “for the past year” at the beginning of the trailer? —Nancy
Nope. The clue was Tara declaring, “It’s been a while since I got attacked by a vampire, and guess what — it still sucks.” Had the show stuck with tradition — i.e. no time jump between seasons — it would’ve only been a few days since Tara’s deadly run-in with psycho vamp Franklin Mott.

Question: Considering how much you love Spartacus, I’m surprised we haven’t gotten any Season 2 scoop yet. They’ve been filming for a while now. I’d think an intrepid investigator like you would be all over it. —Kat
The first trailer for the new season will premiere at Comic-Con. How’s that?

Question: I had my heart set on Catherine Tate being the new Office boss. In light of the recent news about James Spader possibly coming in as the big boss, might they be marking time until Catherine is done with her overseas theatre gig this fall? —Michelle
I hear NBC still has an option on Tate, so anything’s possible. The likeliest scenario — as of this week anyway — has Spader replacing Kathy Bates as CEO and Dwight, Andy or Jim succeeding Michael as manager. Of those three, who would you like to see run the Scranton branch? Scroll down and vote in the comments!

Question: Now that we know Bones will pick up the new season with Brennan in her third trimester, I’m really hoping there will be flashbacks to those missing months. It would be pretty strange not to see how everyone reacts to her pregnancy. What does your crystal ball tell you? —Louise
It’s only telling me what happens in the Nov. 3 premiere, titled “The Memories in the Shallow Grave” — an episode that does find Booth and Brennan dwelling on the past, albeit the very distant past. “The first case involves a victim trying to recover her memory,” exec producer Stephen Nathan divulges. “This will play into Booth and Brennan dealing with the memories of growing up, of their families, and what it means for them to create new memories for the family they are forming. And, because of their inherent differences, they also have to decide what kind of family they are going to be.”

Spoiler Alert: Get Details on Chuck‘s First Last Mission

Question: Can you give me some really good dirt on Rookie Blue — particularly anything about Andy and Sam? —Sara
I got nothin’ on “Samdy,” but I can tell you that Andy’s pal Traci is going to break one of the cardinal rules of sisterhood and become chummy with Det. Rosati, the ex of Andy’s current boyfriend Luke. “I think [Detective Rosati] is [a mentor] for Traci,” reasons star Missy Peregrym. “They get along really well. There’s an understanding in terms of their work ethic. Traci really wants to look into [doing] detective work. She’s exploring that and ends up having a friendship with Rosati.”

Question: Do you know anything about Gossip Girl‘s fifth season? —Gabriel
There’s a juicy rumor going around that the show is introducing lots of new eye candy, including a hot, young male [spoiler] to serve as a potential love interest for an UESider.

Question: I have been absolutely in love with Drop Dead Diva since its premiere, but I’m getting a little worried: Does Grayson’s upcoming wedding signal the end of the Deb/Jane and Grayson romance? —Jessi
Maybe. Maybe not. “Jane’s going to try to let [Grayson] go,” says series creator Josh Berman. “But after a break up, if you still love somebody, you can kind of think you’re over them, and then there are moments when you realize you’re not. And I think Jane’s going through that process of grief. But she’s not at the point yet of acceptance.” Berman adds that an upcoming episode features “big chunks of flashbacks. You actually get to see a whole storyline about Grayson and Deb. It’s a really, really cool episode.”

Question: I loved Vlada Gelman’s interview with Matt Nix about Burn Notice Season 5. While her story answered many of the questions I would have asked, I’ll still take any scoop you got. What can you give me? —Matt
Michael will be channeling his inner John McClane this season. Series creator Matt Nix reveals that the show is prepping a follow-up to the popular Season 2 bank heist-themed episode. “We joke that that was our Die Hard 1 episode,” says Nix. “This year we are doing our Die Hard 2. It’s really fun.”

Question: Any scoop on Desperate Housewives? —Luke
Somebody’s getting a major new snuggle bunny, and that somebody is this person.

Question: Any scoops on White Collar? —Matt
Brace yourself for what series creator Jeff Eastin is calling “one of the funniest episodes we’ve ever done.” Titled “Veiled Threat,” it finds Peter going undercover as a rich bachelor dating a black widow (Twin Peaks‘ Mädchen Amick). “Tim [DeKay] is such a good actor, so it was great to put him in a situation where he can really flex his comedy muscle,” says Eastin. “He’s actually a really, really good comedic actor. People forget that he was Bizarro Jerry [on Seinfeld], and started his career in comedy. He’s definitely got that ability.”

Exclusive: House‘s Lisa Edelstein Scores a Really Good Role

Question: Is Bernadette, played by the amazing Melissa Rauch, returning to The Big Bang Theory next season? I know she and Howard had a fight in the last episode about money, but she’s so great and has a solid friendship with Penny. —James
Quit your worrying. Sources confirm that Rauch will retain her series regular status next season. And the little financial spat Howard and Bernadette had will apparently be water under the bridge, since exec producer Bill Prady has all but confirmed that those crazy kids will get hitched next spring.

Question: Any Big Bang Theory scoop concerning Penny? In my opinion, Kaley Cuoco is one of the most underrated comic actresses working today. —Terry
You’ll get no argument from me on that. Nor will you get one from Prady, who is cooking up a juicy season-long “journey” for Cuoco’s wayward alter ego. “Her career’s going nowhere, and the one thing she had going for her — her group of friends — she [sabotaged] by sleeping with Raj,” says Prady. “For the first time, she had [male] friends who treated her like a [real] person, and not the way she’s been treated in the past by men. And she just [undermined] that. That’s a fun journey for her. Sometimes it’s really fun to have your characters screw things up big-time and see how they get out of it.”

Question: Is there any talk of Chris Meloni returning to Law & Order: SVU for an episode to give Stabler a nice send-off? After 12 seasons, it would be a nice gift to fans. —Donna
Unfortunately, I’m told by an insider that it’s “highly unlikely” the big screen-bound actor will grace the SVU set again.

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)