Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Mentalist, Person of Interest, Private Practice, Modern Family and More

Is The Mentalist issuing a new Red alert? What interesting persons are returning to Person of Interest? What would a Private Practice spin-off look like? Read on for answers to those questions plus other teases from hot shows.

The Mentalist | Unknotting and opening the reader mailbag (it’s made of burlap, FYI), Erin is “dying to know” what fans can expect this season with Lisbon, played by Robin Tunney. As it turns out, our Vlada Gelman just got off the horn with show boss Bruno Heller, who revealed that “Lisbon, apart from having to deal with Jane and Lorelai (played by Emmanuelle Chriqui), in the middle of the season sets off on her own journey of vengeance and redemption. That’s a three- or four-episode arc in which she needs to catch her own Lisbon version of Red John, and that’s going to be fun.” I thus open the floor to nickname suggestions for this new nemesis: Rouge Ruby? Candy Apple Candice?

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Person of Interest | Speaking of CBS procedurals, I myself recently gabbed with POI VIPs Jonah Nolan and Greg Plageman, and while at this time they would only offer up a “We hope so” when it comes to bringing back my old soap crush Paige Turco as Zoe, they were able to confirm other returns for Season 2 of last year’s most watched freshman drama. Jay O. Sanders will resurface as the D.C. bigwig codenamed “Pennsylvania 2,” Robert John Burke is back as Fusco’s NYPD pal Simmons, and Annie Parisse and Mike Kelly will reprise their roles as CIA operatives Kara Stanton and Mark Snow. As for new guest stars, I asked what their plan was for Margo Martindale. “That’s top-secret,” Plageman deferred, adding only that the Emmy winner’s role won’t be quite as extreme as Justified‘s Mags Bennett, yet significantly “different” from her Gifted Man hospital admin. UPDATE: Turco/Zoe is now confirmed to return in Season 2, Episode 5.

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Private Practice | Jenna asks: “Do you think there is any chance that Shonda Rhimes could do a new show after Private Practice ends, centering around Charlotte and Cooper? I find their interactions fascinating.” Well, I don’t know if Shonda‘s thinking about that, but the marrieds’ portrayers certainly are. Adelstein envisions an Alabama-set sitcom titled Hey, Cooper!with an exclamation point, he notes. (“Clearly I’ll come on occasionally with a cornbread and chicken casserole and throw it at him,” says Strickland.) Strickland meanwhile is also game to either headline Charlotte Cooper! (again with a bang) or reunite with Tess Harper, the TV mom she shares with Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul. “I’ve pitched that we’ll become Hank and Marie’s neighbors,” says the actress and BB superfan. “I think it would be excellent.”

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Revenge | When I saw Christa B. Allen repping the show at a recent ABC event, I had to ask: So… Charlotte’s fistful of pills didn’t take? “If you OD, it doesn’t necessarily mean death,” she pointed out, “so the pills definitely did have their effect – in more ways than one. Anyone who’s seen that side of life, almost dying, comes out the other side of it reformed.” Or, maybe, ready to rumble in grand Grayson fashion. “I feel like Charlotte was whipped around so much last season, it’s the perfect set up for her to plant her feet, dig her heels in and maybe get revenge of her own now!”

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Sitcom Scoops | On Modern Family this season, watch for Phil and Luke to get wrapped up in something that’s “a bit like a sports storyline, where a Dad would pressure his son into football or something, and the son might not be that into it,” Ty Burrell tells us. ‘Cept neither football, baseball nor lacrosse is the issue at hand. Rather, Phil eggs his son on to literally work his magic. “He could be a professional magician. He’s a natural,” Burrell previews…. In other comedy news, The Middle‘s Sue will be riding high when she is recruited to serve as mentor to a lonely freshman girl, only to see the lass go all Tai Frasier on her…. Parks and Recreation‘s Leslie will run afoul of Pawnee’s morality watchdogs when she, Donna and others are caught behaving badly with bananas – meaning, they offer a safe sex seminar in a town that proudly preaches abstinence to its youth.

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! (With reporting by Meg Masters and Vlada Gelman)