Fall TV Preview

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Gossip Girl, Dexter, NCIS, Bones, Big Bang, Vamp Diaries and More!

Ask AusielloGot 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: Did you get any scoop/updates on what Hart Hanson & Co. are planning for the upcoming 150th episode of Bones? —Elena
Ausiello: Funny story. I not only raised the topic of the big 150th to exec producer Stephen Nathan recently, but I pitched him a story, too. Basically, I told him the milestone outing — which will likely air around midseason — should climax with Brennan proposing to Booth. His response? “Well, [the engagement issue] will be part of this season,” he confirmed. “That’s been held over their heads for a long time. It won’t resolve itself, but it will be something that we do explore this season.” Looking at Season 8’s big picture, Nathan envisions a tone that’s “a touch darker” than last season. “We kind of looked at last season as everybody came together and became very comfortable. So it was sort of a funnier, very peaceful and kind of loving season,” he notes. “But we don’t want them to get too comfortable. People were broken apart [in the finale] and we’re going to try to see how they come back together — if they come back together. Booth and Brennan have a lot to deal with. She might’ve done the right thing, but she broke up the family [and] went away. She took his daughter. And they’re going to have to get past that.”

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Question: Any more details on the Angela-centric Bones bonus episode? —Aaron
Ausiello: Angela meets an artist (played by October Road‘s Jay Paulson) who forces her to “reevaluate her life,” reveals Nathan. “With Hodgins being a gazillionaire, she doesn’t really have to work. Also, what’s kind of been lost in these seven years is that Angela is a temporary employee [at the Jeffersonian]. But because she’s become so close to everybody, she’s working there full time. But that was never her intent. This was always just a sideline [gig] for her, so she’s [questioning whether] she should go off and pursue what she originally wanted to pursue.” Faster than you can say “Holy complication, Batman!” Nathan drops this final tidbit: “Something will occur with Hodgins where it might not be as simple as she thinks.”

Question: Do you remember something called Gossip Girl? How ’bout a spoiler? —Evelina
Ausiello: How ’bout a brain-teaser? When the season starts up, Dan is spending some QT far, far away from the Big Apple with a certain brunette Georgina. Chuck and Blair, meanwhile, are in a, um, better place. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Question: Can you tell me anything about my favorite character from The Good Wife, Cary? —Rachel P.
Ausiello: He has a line in the premiere that pretty much sums up his Season 4 predicament: “I’m always right on time for the fall of Saigon.” As exec producer Robert King explains, “Cary is someone who is trying to deal with a law firm that is now on the edge. No matter where he goes he seems to be in a place that is on the verge of falling apart. And what he realizes is he wants to not be the yuppy fighter he was before. He wants to have a calm spirit to him. The difficulty is we’re going to see some family of his coming into the picture, and that is going to complicate things for him.”

Question: I know she’s on The Mindy Project now, but any chance Anna Camp will return to The Good Wife? She went away too soon! —Gerald
Ausiello: Camp says she’d return “in a heartbeat,” adding that she too was “bummed” her arc ended so abruptly last season. “What happened was I got a movie I had to go shoot,” she explains. “I don’t know if [Caitlin leaving to be a stay-at-home mom-to-be] was their original direction, but I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I thought I was going to flirt with Josh Charles?!'”

Question: There’s been a lot of talk about a Tiva conversation on NCIS, but what about the other trapped pair, Gibbs and Abby? Don’t they have anything to talk about? Will they be in any shape to talk at all? Please, give us some scoop! —Leni
Ausiello: It’s interesting, Leni. While everyone is fretting over the fate of this agent or that one, has anyone stopped to think what the season-ending explosion means for the squad room itself? Series boss Gary Glasberg tells us the HQ will “miraculously be rebuilt” to look “pretty much” the same as it ever was, though its signature orange scheme may prove to be one casualty. “There’s a whole storyline in Episode 2 about that,” he says, “the color of the walls.”

Question: Have you seen the Season 7 premiere of Dexter? Thoughts? —Jodi
Ausiello: It’s no secret that I found the experience of watching Season 6 akin to undergoing a triple root canal with no Novocaine while listening to the dental hygienist run her finger nails along a blackboard. Well, I’m happy to report that the S7 opener (airing Sept. 30) is so good it almost makes up for the torturous S6. I literally gasped at one point in the episode — and I haven’t done that while watching this show since Dexter found Rita soaking in a blood bath some three years ago. Not much else I can say without outright spoiling what goes down, but here’s a medium-sized tease: There’s a major-ish death.

Question: Any news on Season 6 of The Big Bang Theory, specifically about Leonard and Penny after the botched mid-coitus proposal? —Alex
Ausiello: Nothing yet, but I can tell you that a cute, smart grad student will enter Sheldon’s orbit this coming season. Her name is Alex, and she studies physics and works at the university with the nebbish theoretical physicist.

Question: When the heck are we getting some scoop on The Middle? (See what I did there?) –Julie
Ausiello: Love it. And you’ll love this: The family’s going to have a heck of a time at the local carnival, (this game is fun!) where they’ll meet two generically named characters. The first, Guy With Flag, works the parking lot at a demolition derby and assumes Axl’s a driver when he arrives in his jalopy. The guy thus waves him into the arena, but Axl thinks he’s parking for the carnival. Eep! The second, Office Worker, is a woman in her 20s who mans the carnival’s lost-and-found office in the hopes that her family will come and find her.

Question: Can you tell me how Parenthood‘s Sydney is going to react to the older brother that Julia and Joel are adopting? —Margaret
Ausiello: I can confirm that she will have a reaction — whether it’s good, bad or somewhere in between I don’t know. (Sam Jaeger, who plays Sam, has his own thoughts here.) Julia, meanwhile, will find that juggling two children plus a full-time job is a lot harder than juggling just one. “Julia has always worked on the theory that she can do it all and have it all at work and as a mom,” explains exec producer Jason Katims. “And that theory will be challenged in a way it hasn’t been before. This will make her question whether she really can do it all – a job as intense as the one she has and still be there for her children.”

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Question: I was wondering if we’re potentially going to get more than 15 episodes this season of Parenthood? –Jake
Ausiello: Anything’s possible, but I think that Katims is plotting out the season as though there’ll be just 15. In the meantime, here’s some scoop: In one episode, Kristina and Adam have differing opinions about whether Max should run for class president, and Crosby and Jasmine have a difficult talk with Jabbar after he hears someone use a racial slur. How about a casting item to top things off? This season, we’ll not only meet Ray Romano’s Hank, we’ll also be introduced to his 11-year-old daughter Ruby. Though the kiddo is a sullen handful when she shows up, she soon transforms into (whew!) someone much more likable.

Question: What’s the latest on the Friday Night Lights movie? —Tony
Ausiello: Houston Dillon, we have a script! “I’m just doing a little tweaking to it,” reports Katims. “A million things have to come together, but we’re hoping to if everybody is on board with doing it we’re hoping to find a time for everybody’s schedule to shoot it. It’s definitely something we’re trying to make happen.” Meanwhile, the pic’s leading lady, Connie Britton, is still waiting for someone to send her said script. “I haven’t seen it yet,” the star of ABC’s upcoming Nashville tells me. “I do know that they have one and they’re all really excited about it.” My prediction: The FNL film will go into production next spring.

Question: Anything on Happy Endings? –Chris
Ausiello: I’ve heard some rumblings about the second episode, and it sounds pretty funny. Max proves to Brad that he doesn’t need to spend a lot of money to have an amazing Saturday; Dave and Alex drive their real estate agent nuts as they look for an apartment; and Jane insists on accompanying Penny on a car-buying expedition — which sets in motion a storyline TVLine first told you about a few weeks ago.

Question: So, thinking about Revenge a lot these days. Know anything? –Marko
Ausiello: I hear it’s a dish best served cold, Marko. But really, can’t you just turn the other cheek and move on? Kidding – there’s a new 40-something mystery man in the Hamptons, his name is Raymond and he tries to cover up his shortcomings with nice threads and a hot car. In other words, he’ll fit right in.

Question: I’d love anything you have to offer on Parks and Recreation or Community. Thanks! –Leah
Ausiello: Parks and Rec it is! The plot of Season 5’s second episode may or may not involve the town adopting a soft drink ban (similar to New York City’s proposed measure). Naturally, several Pawnee residents are less than thrilled about that idea. Meanwhile, Ben’s got a super -preppy intern named Devon whom we’ll see in several scenes of the same ep.

Question: I can’t wait for Season 2 of New Girl! Got any spoilers to help me wait until the Sept. 25 premiere? –Magali
Ausiello: I’ve got some good ones just for you, Magali. In addition to Winston’s intimidating mom, we’re going to meet his sister, Alisha – and, of course, Schmidt will be All. Over. That. The show’s looking for tall, lovely ladies with basketball experience, because Alisha plays for the Los Angeles Sparks WNBA team. Though Winston’s sis wants nothing to do with Schmidt’s advances, she does accept his challenge of a one-on-one game… and it turns out just about how you’d think it would. Elsewhere in the apartment, Jess drunkenly makes dates with three different guys (and under two different names).

Question: Veep is already one of my favorite shows — got any scoop on Season 2? —Eduardo
Ausiello: Production doesn’t begin until October, which means the show’s Emmy-nominated leading lady, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, didn’t know much when we recently pressed her for a spoiler. But she did tease that the new season will have an international flavor. “Selina will meet some political people from Denmark,” she shared, before adding with a laugh, “which is on the cutting edge of the political universe, where all global decisions are made. No offense to Denmark!”

Question: I heard Suburgatory is going there with George and Dallas this season, but until I hear it from you I won’t believe it. —Emma
Ausiello: Believe it. “George and Dallas are going to do some ‘exploring,'” Cheryl Hines previews with a wicked-ish laugh. OK, but will they grow closer as a result? “Dallas would really like that!” Hines answers. “If Dallas has anything to do with it — and I think she does — I think they will.” Of course, Hines notes, the neighbors, on paper, “are not the best couple, so … it’ll be fun to see them try to do something.” Bonus scoop: Series creator Emily Kapnek confirms that the pair will embark on an unconventional first date early in the season. “Dallas doesn’t want any foul-ups, so she shows up with her life coach,” she reveals. “And George is like, ‘Whoa! Really?'”

Question: Any chance Modern Family will embark on another vacation this season? The Disney trip was pretty damn near perfect. —Lori
Ausiello: Family co-creator Steve Levitan says he has “a trip in mind” this season, but it’s a ways off. “We think that might be a nice way to end this season.”

Question: I’m really excited for Suits‘ flashback episode this week! Got any scoop? —Nikki
Ausiello: The time-tripping hour goes back five years to when Jessica and Hardman ran the business together. “We get to understand why [Hardman] was forced to leave the firm,” previews Sarah Rafferty, who play Donna. “That definitely forwards the plot in terms of the balance of power issues that are happening at Pearson-Hardman, but it also speaks to big character issues with all the main characters.” As for Rafferty’s former secretary, we’ll get some insight into why Donna “is important to not just Harvey, but the firm — what her value is and why she’s valuable.”

Question: Will Bonnie be at odds with group after what she did in the Vampire Diaries finale? —Tony
Ausiello: According to showrunner Julie Plec, she won’t suffer “friendship consequences,” but she will suffer “witch consequences.” Elaborates the EP: “She tapped into something pretty dark to do it, and she’s going to have to tap into that again in the first episode. It’s not going to be a walk in the park for her. She’s going to be struggling with her own darkness inside of her as Elena is starting to adapt to hers.”

Question: British Downton Abbey fan here trolling for scoop on the upcoming Christmas special (or as you Yanks call it, the Season 3 finale). —Andrew
Ausiello: Prepare yourself for a major disconnect — the Season 3 Christmas special will be set in the summer. But don’t worry — with England’s chilly weather and near-constant drizzle, you won’t notice the difference.

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