Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, Mad Men, Homeland, Lying Game and More!

Is Grey’s Anatomy‘s Derek facing a career crisis? Who’s confirmed to resurface on NCIS this fall? Will Homeland‘s Brody be forced back into terrorist mode? Is the doctor out, on Castle? Read on for answers to those questions plus other teases from hot shows.

Grey’s Anatomy | One person we know not to be dying from injuries suffered in the season-finale plane crash is Derek, though the way he mangled his surgical hand while tugging at wreckage will have significant repercussions. “How do you remain effective and relevant when perhaps you may never operate again?” show creator Shonda Rhimes asks. “Or if you are going to operate again, perhaps you want to be the same kind of surgeon you were again with the same skill” – which is a tall order given the extent of Dr. Shepard’s injury. (Then again, he could always become an M.E. for the city of Philadelphia. What?)

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Homeland | Remember how Brody saved face (if not his very bacon) by suggesting to Abu Nazir that, in the wake of him failing to explode his vest, their cause might be even better served by what the U.S. war hero could do as a politician? Well, though Nazir signed off on that Plan B, don’t be surprised if he gets itchy to reneg when Season 2 gets underway Sept. 30. “Brody and Nazir made this sort of pact, that Brody would actually not be involved in any overt terrorist acts,” reminds exec producer Alex Gansa. “That’s been a sort of détente between them, but where the season opens, it begins to break down.” And that, let’s face it, serves viewers better as well, seeing as one can only drum up so much dramatic tension from deliberations and discussions of international policy. EP Howard Gordon concurs, adding, “That’s exactly what the first episode brings into relief, that Brody’s pitch to Abu Nazir may not have been enough.”

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NCIS | When we ran into Diane Neal earlier this summer, she shared that she was poised for another encore as CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin. And while the deal wasn’t yet locked at that time, I can now report that Neal will return, in an October episode of TV’s most watched drama series. “Having Diane Neal’s character back is like welcoming home family,” says show boss Gary Glasberg. “The Coast Guard and the Navy are forever linked and Diane represents a relationship that’s very important to us. Her episodes are always fun and packed with humor and action. Season 10 (premiering Sept. 25) will be no exception.”

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Castle | Dipping into the reader mailbag (it’s a nylon drawstring this week), Jennifer asks, “Is Michael Dorn going to be making any appearances this season on Castle? Even if it’s just a few times, I’ll take it! Oh and thanks for such an easy-to-navigate site. Far and away the best one out there.” (I left that last part in there simply to be shameless. And ’cause it’s true.) When I visited the set last month, Stana Katic suspected that Kate would at some point want to share with her shrink the latest developments, yet series creator Andrew Marlowe said they had not yet written Dr. Burke into an episode. “But it’s something that we’re talking about,” he added. “We loved having Michael as part of the cast.”

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The Lying Game | While speaking with Charisma Carpenter about her new gig for Investigation Discovery, I ran by her what TLG castmate Andy Buckley recently told me, that Rebecca will be pulling many strings during Season 2. “She is a puppet master,” she responded (with a certain amount of pride). “She’s got her fingers in everybody’s lives.” Carpenter said that when the show returns this winter, with only 10 days having passed on screen, viewers will see how Sutton came to learn of her true birth mother as well as why the two women are keeping the news under wraps (“It’s for Emma’s protection…. The less people who know, the better”). As for Rebecca’s nascent marriage to Alec (Adrian Pasdar), Carpenter laughed, “Well, he’s in jail [for Derek’s murder], so it’s not going that well! But he’s a very smart man, so I’m not worried about him. But [as Rebecca] I’m worried for myself, so I’d rather keep him in jail!”

Mad Men | Although it’s double-secret official that Elisabeth Moss will be back for Season 6, Christina Hendricks doubts that Peggy and Joan will cross paths much, if ever — even for a trip down memory lane over drinks. “I don’t know that those two will ever do that. I don’t think they’re friends,” Hendricks opines. “[Series creator] Matt [Weiner] made a distinction about that very, very early on, saying, ‘These two women will never be friends.'” But what about the good times they shared during Sterling Cooper’s early heyday…? “I think there’s a mutual respect and undestanding between them,” Hendricks allows, “but they are just so entirely different that it would be a very awkward dinner – one with a lot of pauses!”

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Unforgettable | Lastly, Feerie tweeted me, “Any news on Kevin Rankin coming back for the second season of Unforgettable?” Though series lead Poppy Montgomery seemed to think we might not have seen the last of Detective Saunders when I chatted her up at TCA, a show rep confirms that Montgomery, Dylan Walsh and Jane Curtin are still the only ones signed on as regulars for the summer 2013 run. (In fact, Michael Gaston has already lined up a new gig, as Autumn Reeser’s D.C. power-player pop on ABC’s Last Resort.)

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)