Fall TV Preview

Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Once's Mad Return, Glee, Fringe, NCIS, Political Animals and More

Will Once Upon a Time go mad again? What should we make of an NCIS promotion? Is a Glee couple still heading for a wedding? How wild is the Animals finale? Read on for answers to those questions plus other teases from fall and summer shows.

Once Upon a Time | We open this week’s column with a tweet from @RumpleFacts asking for “news about Mad Hatter/Jefferson, please.” The good news: When I recently spoke to Sebastian Stan (currently playing a different kind of a bad boy on Political Animals), he was totally game to take another trip down the ABC drama’s rabbit hole. “I love that character, and it’s a great show – a very different thing than I’ve ever done,” he raved. “So if the timing works out, maybe!” The better news: The timing worked out. A well-placed source assures me that the manic milliner “is indeed coming back” in Season 2 (premiering Sept. 30).

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Mystery: Is a True Blood Baddie Be Playing the Real [Spoiler]?

NCIS | Next, Marla wants to know: “With Brian Dietzen being promoted to series regular, does this mean we’ll see more of him in Season 10?” Show boss Gary Glasberg told me that Dietzen’s upgrade “was simply long overdue, and something we’d been talking about for a very long time.” The intimation of a steadier presence for Palmer just so happens to make sense storyline-wise, as Ducky is forced to take new stock of life after his season-ending health scare. “Palmer also has an eye-opening experience in the first few episodes [starting Sept. 25], where he really has to step up his game and recognize his own strengths and weaknesses,” Glasberg previews. “He’s basically the acting coroner, and it’s a lot to take on — and that will carry over in the way he handles himself and the rest of the team.”

RELATED | NCIS Family Reunion Scoop: Tony’s Father, Abby’s Brother Poised to Return

Glee | “Wemma” fans would be wise to keep their hearts in check this season, because as speculated by Matthew Morrison, the gr’ups’ romance might not merit much screen time – though the season gets off on a good enough note. “When I look at the first two episodes, I’d say that relative to last year they have a lot to do,” EP Brad Falchuk tells TVLine. “But I will say that they are probably pulling back from that a bit. Those two characters are vital to the show, but their relationship will be less of a focus.” OK, but… still heading for a wedding…? “I still think that they’re going to get married,” Falchuk allows — so go ahead and order that Tiffany Purell dispenser off the registry!

RELATED | Exclusive: Glee Exec on Season 4′s Big ‘Breakup’ Episode: ‘It’s Like Titanic – Not All Will Make It’

Political Animals | This Sunday marks the season finale of USA network’s “limited summer event” series, and wow, a lot happens in the craftily plotted hour. Since the episode title is “Resignation Day,” it’s no spoiler to say that Elaine alerts President Garcetti to her intention — and POTUS reacts to the FYI in a way that surprises not just her and us, but also manages to stun ex-prez Bud Hammond. Elsewhere, Doug declares what he believes to be the end of his backroom/bedroom deal with Susan Berg, though the ripple effects of his latest leak prove quite detrimental to at least one person; fiancée Anne will think she is seizing control of an amok sitch, only to realize she can never act outside of the Hammond family vacuum; and every time you think you know what (any possible) Season 2 will be about, you’ll discover you are wrong. Mr. Berlanti knows how to line up his dominoes, for sure.

Because the Inside Line is an ever-evolving, no-prison-can-hold-me, rule-breaking rogue, this week I’ll sign off with a rat-a-tat answering of a few questions.

Do you know if the new scenes that Josh [Jackson] and Anna [Torv] did for the Fringe trailer from Comic-Con will stay in the show? —Wendy
“In some way, shape or form,” yes, says showrunner Joel Wyman. To remind, the cast did Wyman a solid by “pre-taping” new scenes for an ersatz trailer that he “wrote in about five minutes” and used to coax Fox into ordering a 13-episode farewell season. (The “future” moments include Olivia and Peter remarking on their remarkable daughter Etta, and the proud parents touting a plan to fend off the circa-2036 Observers with “fringe” events of their own making.) Says Wyman, “You’re going to see this really messed up nuclear family that’s trying to hold it all together.”

I just watched the whole season of Jane By Design and I loved it. Any word on it being renewed? –Bonnie
It’s not. An ABC Family rep confirms that the show has been cancelled after one season. I hear it proved to be an especially “tough call.” Keep in mind, last month’s finale (1.2 million viewers, 0.4 demo rating) held onto barely half of its Pretty Little Liars lead-in. (In related news: More Bunheads, Switched, M&J and Baby Daddy comin’ at ya!)

When is Fox going to air the remaining episodes of Breaking In? –Scott
Fox at this time has no plans to burn off broadcast the rest of Season 2, while a rep for production studio Sony’s home video division did not get back to me on deadline with the status on any DVD set. UPDATE: All 13 episodes of Season 2 will be released on DVD in November.

If there’s a show you’d like the Inside Line on, email mattmtvguy@gmail.com, and maybe it’ll get some love the next time around!