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Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on NCIS, Psych, White Collar, Rizzoli, Covert Affairs, Scandal and More!

NCIS Psych White Collar SpoilersWill NCIS fill in the blanks? Will a White Collar romance heat back up? Are things getting “Harry” on Psych? Which Monday Mornings doc copped a role on Rizzoli & Isles? Read on for answers to those questions plus teases from other shows.

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I know Gary Glasberg has mentioned we will see the events that led up to the cliffhanger with Gibbs in the NCIS finale. But will we also get to see what McGee, Tony and Ziva have been doing in their four-month absence? I’m eager to see how they adapted to life outside NCIS and without Gibbs’s rules (particularly Rule No. 12). –Cheryl
If I’m any good at reading between Glasberg’s lines, viewers will be made privy to at least some of that when Season 11 arrives. “The season opener is going to take us from where we left off all the way up to the point where we’re seeing Gibbs [behind a rifle],” he says, As for Tony, Ziva and McGee in particular, “There will be a portion in which they’re still resigned, and then it’ll develop from there. I don’t want to give too much away about the opener yet, but we’ll learn what happened with Tony and Ziva and McGee, I promise.”

I’m curious as to your thoughts on NCIS‘ baiting of “Tiva” fans without delivering. This season, especially, saw the showrunner pushing the notion of the couple becoming a reality, yet once again it did not happen. Even worse, [the finale] found them calling each other “friends,” the same label they applied to each other in Season 9’s “A Desperate Man.” Do you as a reporter find it difficult to see these things teased, when they never come fruition? Or do you think it’s just part of the game and “business as usual”? In addition, do you feel that at some point this bait-and-switch will impact viewership? –Dee
A very sound question, because as you note, I have long witnessed this to-and-fro as well. Quite honestly, I think NCIS and show boss Gary Glasberg face a tremendously difficult juggling act with this (would-be) couple because it is TV’s most watched program, and like a game of Jenga, you can’t be quite sure which slight move could send things toppling. Is NCIS No. 1 because it metes out exactly 25 milligrams of romance every third episode, and never a bit more? Is there a fear that going all-in with Tiva will soap up the show too much? Look at the comments sure to populate below; if one out of three is against the coupling, does that confirm the show would risk disenfranchising some 5 million viewers? (And if you do put them together, will the outcry nonetheless continue if “not enough” intimacy is displayed, a la Castle, presenting a no-win scenario?) All I can do on my end is press for some semblance of concrete evidence behind any loaded quotes (about any topic), then trust the show will follow through to some degree.

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White Collar’s Jeff Eastin had said the Neal/Sara faux engagement would “factor into the new episodes in a crucial way” and that “signs point to yes” in terms of seeing Sara again. With Bridget Regan being cast as Neal’s new love interest, I’m starting to worry about my favorite couple! Is there any news on if/when Hilarie will return? –Julie
When I spoke to Hilarie Burton last month (in the midst of her rabblerousing Grey’s Anatomy arc), she admitted to having “no idea what’s going on” with Sara’s possible return. That said, she agreed that we — and Neal — may need to miss Sara some in order to give her next appearance enough oomph. And the actress is always game for another go-round. “I talked to Matt [Bomer] and Willie [Garson] and Tiffani [Thiessen] over their hiatus and they really are the loveliest bunch of people,” she effused. “I never take that for granted.”

I know that there’s nothing new on the Castle front, so I’d love some scoop for Rizzoli & Isles. –MafaEmily_Swallow
Well, if you’re a fan of TNT dramas in general, I can share exclusively that Monday Mornings alum Emily Swallow (aka Dr. Michelle Robidaux) will guest-star in an August episode as Elizabeth Keating, the parole officer for someone involved in a deadly drag race on Paradise Road.

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Have we seen the last of Eion Bailey (Ben) and Anne Dudek (Danielle) on Covert Affairs? I really loved the chemistry that both of them had with Piper Perabo. –Johnny
Most likely not. As EPs Matt Corman and Chris Ord tell the Inside Line, “Both Ben and Danielle are extremely important figures in Annie’s life. We definitely haven’t seen the last of them.”

Do you know something about Castle or Scandal? This hiatus is killing me! –Martina
I’ll, um, play it safe and go with…. Scandal. If you suspect that, given the roller coaster events of the season finale, newly minted U.S. Attorney David Rosen has turned in his Gladiator card, you’d be right. Sharing his “personal theory” on the matter, Joshua Malina says, “Having spent the time he has with [Pope & Associates], he has newfound respect for them… and he went to school on them. Because he learned that if you really want to be effective – and that’s the sad story of his for the year – pure white hat-edness only gets you so far.” So although Rosen discovered that “getting down in the gutter and fighting dirtier” can get the job done, “I think he considers himself apart from — and possibly above” — Olivia, Abby et al. (Dem’s fighting words, right?)

Can anyone at TVLine.com shed a little light as to what’s going on in this Psych photo? Dule Hill posted it [on Facebook] and I’m very curious now. –EsteePsych_Season8_GusDespShawn
You bet your expecto patronum I’ve got light to shed. You see, the guys are going to “London” at some point in Season 8, so naturally Gus would find a reason to be in a Harry Potter costume, naturally Despereaux would show up (as we already scooped for you), and naturally there will be lots of action (hence the green screen behind them).

When is Arrow Season 2 coming out? –Tanya
When does Season 2 of Beauty and the Beast start? –Nichole
When will Season 3 of Once Upon a Time start? –David
Do you know when ABC’s Scandal will return ? –Stacie
Yeah, so…. The first network to cough up fall premieres dates last year didn’t announce until June 14; and in 2011, it took until June 20. So I’d say we have at least another week until I start building one of these.

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Of the pilots you have seen, is there anything you really seem keen on? –Brad
I’ve gotten to about six drama pilots thus far – and none of ABC’s, mind you (not that S.H.I.E.L.D. or Wonderland are available yet) – and thus far NBC’s The Blacklist (starring James Spader) and CBS’ Hostages (Toni Collette, Tate Donovan, Dylan McDermott) are topping that list. (Fox’s Sleepy Hollow was shaping up to possibly be a guilty pleasure until its final act uncorked a whole lotta brain-hurting hooey.) And out of the 10 comedies I have screened, Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine (with Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher) and ABC’s Trophy Wife (starring Malin Akerman and Bradley Whitford) look strongest, while the jury’s out on how good CBS’ The Crazy Ones will be sans the “name” client (McDonald’s) and heavily used guest star (Kelly Clarkson) featured in the pilot.

If there’s a summer or fall show you’d like the Inside Line on, email InsideLine@tvline.com!