Fall TV Preview

Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on NCIS, Glee, Private Practice, SVU, Covert Affairs and More

Why the cone of silence surrounding NCIS Agent McGee? Is Private Practice expanding Addison’s family? How does a Criminal Minds fave fare on SVU? Read on for answers to those questions plus other teases from hot shows. (And feel free to email me with any scoop requests.)

NCIS | Dipping into the mailbag, one reader notes, “In all the NCIS photos and promos there’s no sign of very special agent McGee. I know [Sean Murray] is signed on for another two years but I’m starting to get worried…. Anything, please, please, please.” Who says that McGee survives the explosion? How do we know he even makes it out of last season’s finale alive?? Oh, right – Michael Weatherly told us so. Grr, so much for my devious effort to play with y’all. So… [Spoiler alert] …yes, McGee lives, “and we’ve got some fun stuff coming up,” show boss Gary Glasberg assures me. For one, don’t miss a reference in the season premiere to a relative of Tim’s, whom we just might meet. “It won’t happen until the latter part of the season, but I think we’re going to get into a little more of the McGee family,” Glasberg teases. “We’ll scratch a little deeper [with that character], absolutely.”

RELATED | NCIS‘ Season 10 Premiere: 11 Quick Observations

Private Practice | Mandy asks: “Do you have some scoop on Addison?” What if my answer was a qualified maybe? Although Kate Walsh told us last month that she had yet to get wind of any plans to revisit or meet more of Addison’s family during her final run with the ABC drama, a casting notice has just gone out for the role of Vivian, a “whip-smart, strong and scientific” woman in her seventies. Could the same situation that brings Sam’s mother to town also act as catalyst to meet Bizzy or the Captain’s mom/Ad’s grandmother? Can you think of another relative we might meet, of that age? Ooh, or how about this: Viv is some affluent überresearcher who invites Addison to run her fancy-pants clinic in Switzerland?

VIDEO | Private Practice Promo Plays Up Addison’s (In)decision

Covert Affairs | What happens now that Annie’s awake? After all, Agent Walker can’t exactly chase after Lena, the duplicitous double agent who framed her, after barely surviving a couple slugs to the chest. Or can she? “There’s a big time jump, and the next episode picks up after Annie’s mostly recovered,” Christopher Gorham told me. And to be sure, their first order of business is to track down a certain traitor. “We’ve lost track of Lena,” says Gorham, “so that becomes the next mission for the next couple of episodes — justice.”

RELATED | Michael Slezak’s Glee Premiere Recap: Vexed in the City

Glee | As gleaned in Thursday’s premiere, Tina isn’t in the best place, having not been handed the baton as The New Rachel on the heels of seeing her romance with Mike go south. So what happened there anyway, besides the “Make Change Forever” tattoo tweak? Harry Shum Jr. says that when Mike resurfaces in Episode 5, “You’ll get a little more explanation on how that ended. ” As he notes, “It’s always difficult when you have a long distance relationship” – especially when one party appears to be faring just fine, if not better, during the separation. “Mike’s always been a straight-A student, so he is doing really well [at college], and I think that’s what’s difficult for them,” Shum ventures. “Tina doesn’t know how to really figure that out.”

Law & Order: SVU | Though I am, admittedly, an intermittent viewer of SVU, I trust I am dead to rights when I say that the two-part season opener, which picks up the gnarly escort service storyline that left a dead hooker in Cragen’s bed, represents a pair of the show’s best hours. As Benson, Fin et al labor to uncover the truth – make no mistake, there is a heaping pile of evidence not in the captain’s favor – much, much dirty laundry is aired, some of it casting people we thought we knew in not the best light. Paget Brewster, guesting as a special prosecutor of sorts who fingers Cragen as a prime suspect, is really terrific and not just playing some variation on Criminal Minds‘ Prentiss, while Adam Baldwin (Chuck) is also well-cast as an the steely interim boss who tries (tries) to keep the SVU team in line as they try (try) to surreptitiously prove Cragen’s innocence. One final tease: The first hour ends with one of the detectives holding a gun to the head of someone we’ve been led to believe was a friendly.

RELATED | Law & Order Scoop: Kathryn Erbe Bringing Criminal Intent‘s Eames to SVU!

Sitcom Quickies | As previously scooped here, The Middle‘s Sue will be charged with – and take great pleasure in – mentoring a freshman lass (played by Bunheads‘ Bailey Buntain). Thing is, the new girl stands to do just fine on her own. “[Bailey’s character] arrives in pretty great shape, but Sue mentors her nonetheless,” says show boss Eileen Heisler. “An all-around winner who’s assigned Sue as a mentor!” …. Now that Happy Endings has cast Christopher MacDonald (Harry’s Law) and Julie Hagerty (Airplane!) as Alex and Jane’s parents, you may wonder: to what end? In the very funny half-hour introducing the Kerkoviches (no relation!), Jane will labor to get a laugh out of her dad while Brad pulls it off effortlessly (if not with diminishing returns), while Alex debates telling her folks that she’s back with onetime-groom Dave…. Cougar Town newlyweds Jules and Grayson will butt heads over last names – namely, why Jules won’t take his. (Scrabble tiles amusingly come into play)…. That B—- in Apartment 23 will set June up with an old pal who on a good day is a bit loony, but in this specific scenario has gone off his meds. Eep.

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 Vlada Gelman and Michael Slezak)