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Question: Did you watch the Revenge premiere yet? I’m dying to know what you thought. —Jodi
Ausiello: I did watch it, and my reaction will be featured exclusively in next week’s Season 3 premiere of Spoiler Alert! (the talent bookers on that show are crazy competitive with their scoops). But I can go ahead and tell you now that Revenge‘s post-Mike Kelley era gets off to a mostly solid start. It’s far from a disaster. It’s also not quite a home run. Kim Roots already teased some of the episode’s juicier developments, one of which I’ll confirm: Victoria’s relationship with her son Patrick is Fifty Shades of Not OK.
Question: We’ve seen NCIS: LA scoops about Deeks, Kensi, Sam and Callen, but what about Michelle? Girlfriend was left hanging out a window! –Helen
Ausiello: We’ve watched the Season 5 premiere (airing Sept. 24), and most simply said: Do not underestimate Sam’s wife. By any stretch. And on a semi-related note: motorcycle chase!
Question: Any scoop on Suburgatory? —Latifah
Ausiello: Tessa is going to join a band fronted by a conspicuously charismatic female singer named Caris. But there’s a twist, and I want to tell you what it is so bad. Seriously, the secret is killing me. This is me right now.
Question: With Under the Dome being renewed for a second season, does this mean we won’t discover who or what’s behind the dome? –Glenn
Ausiello: Well, that’s not exactly what the renewal means. Previewing Monday’s season finale, Dean “Big Jim” Norris told Matt Mitovich, “You’re going to learn a lot about the Dome. It’s all very satisfying and it will make you go, ‘Oh, wow. OK, how are they going to play that out in Season 2?’ It sets up for a great second season.” Looking even further down the line, Norris let slip with this teaser for the eventual series finale: “There is a final ending for Under the Dome that is different than the book. And when it was pitched to Stephen King, he said, ‘Wow. I wish I’d thought of that.'”
Question: Do you have any new scoops for Chicago Fire? I’m especially interested in what’s next for Dawson and Mills. Is there any hope for them to get back together? —Máté
Ausiello: They’re done. As in stick-a-fork-in-them done. “They’re over in terms of they don’t get back together,” confirms EP Danielle Gelber. “But there’s still underlying feelings of a difficult breakup that we will play inter-personally between them. And we’ll watch them both become involved with other people.”
Question: You’re my source for all things TV-related. And with 30 new shows premiering this season, I was wondering if you could bottom-line it for me. What are the best new shows to watch? I totally trust your judgment and have relied on your picks in previous years, so I was hoping that you could do the same for us this year. —Holly
Ausiello: OK, here goes nothing — my five favorite new fall series (in no particular order) are…
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox): The best new comedy of the fall also boasts the funniest new ensemble. Not a weak link in the bunch.
Hostages (CBS): Taut. Suspenseful. Unpredictable. And Toni Collette at her badass best.
Masters of Sex (Showtime): Flawlessly executed and thoroughly engrossing, it’s easily my favorite pilot of the year. Lizzy Caplan is a revelation.
Trophy Wife (ABC): I really didn’t want to like any of ABC’s new comedies out of respect for Happy Endings, but, dammit, this show has one of the highest concentrations of laughs this fall. It also has the makings of a classic rivalry between Malin Akerman and Marcia Gay Harden.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox): I came for the mythology, I’m staying for the chemistry between leads Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. There will be a lot of people boarding this ‘ship.
Question: What’s new on the Walking Dead front? I’d love something on Daryl and Carol. —Jeff
Ausiello: They’re going to face “some really intense, scary, very detail-oriented zombies” in Season 4, teases series creator Robert Kirkman. “More so than anything you’ve seen thus far.” However, don’t look for Dead‘s walkers to evolve into World War Z-caliber sprinters. “As far as changing their methods or behavior or evolving in any kind of major way, that’s really just not the point of the show,” he maintains. “The show is about these characters. And the zombies are present and they will always be a threat, but the show isn’t really about these creatures evolving into something new.”
Question: I’m so excited about season 5 of The Vampire Diaries! In the new promo, there was moment where it seemed like Stefan was flirting with Katherine. Now that Elena is with Damon, does this mean that Stefan has his eyes on Katherine? —Rashad
Ausiello: Actually, if you caught the finale, it means Silas has eyes for Katherine. But trust me when I say, his intentions with the now-human rabble-rouser are far from amorous.
Question: I’ll take what I can get on Bones. Maybe something on Pelant’s demise? Or the undercover episode? —Amelia
Ausiello: Undercover episode it is! As we reported, the cheeky hour — airing Sept. 23 — finds Booth and Brennan going undercover as their infamous alters Tony and Rox. Their destination: A couples retreat. “There’s a sweat lodge, greasy outfits, a lot of velour, and a few ‘How you doin’s,'” previews David Boreanaz with a laugh. “It’s a really fun episode.”
Question: Does Bones‘ wedding episode have a title? —Jeremy
Ausiello: It does! [Crickets] Oh, you want me to tell you what the title is. I get how this works now. Booth and Brennan’s nups-themed installment is called, “The Woman in White.” Speaking of the Wedding of the Year, Boreanaz says it will feature the return of some “old faces” and a musical interlude by occasional guest star Cyndi Lauper. He also promises that sparks will fly. There will literally be flying sparks. I’M TALKING ABOUT A FIRE! “I do know something burns down, so that could be bad,” he cryptically teases. “And it’s not [Booth]’s fault!”
Question: Please tell me you have something about Margaret’s whereabouts this season on Boardwalk Empire. Kelly Macdonald is still in the credits yet her character wasn’t in Sunday’s premiere. Anything? —Michael
Ausiello: She’s not in Episode 2 either. Beyond that, my lips are sealed — although you can probably glean something from the fact that Macdonald attended the show’s big NY premiere last week (see photo, right). And the opening credits thing is also a pretty big tip off.
Question: Any Castiel-centric Supernatural scoop? —Craig
Ausiello: I feel obligated to tell you that I’m hearing the Oct. 15 episode is 100 percent Cas-free. PUT DOWN THE GUN AND BACK AWAY FROM THE MESSENGER. (Full disclosure: I originally said Cas was missing from the Oct. 8 opener, which is incorrect. He’s totally in the premiere. It’s the second episode he’s missing from. I’m human! I make mistakes! I even bleed!)
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Question: Revolution‘s Sebastian Monroe and Rachel Matheson have been burning up my screen in every scene they’ve been in, since their little heart-to-heart talk in that bunker. Do you know if we will get to see some of that tension play out this season? —Grace
Ausiello: Before Bass could ever possibly reunite in any way with Rachel, he’ll have to first dodge several bullets, literal and proverbial, coming from her daughter Charlie! In fact, if Bass/Rachel is your agenda, you might be “uncomfortable” with the scenes the former general shares with the younger Ms. Matheson — in close confines — in Episode 2.
Question: I am getting so excited for Sons of Anarchy! Any news on Jax, Tara, Gemma, Juice or Clay? —Andrea
Ausiello: They’re in for 13 episodes of pure misery. “This season more than any other season, in my humble opinion, is the saddest motherf—ing season in the history of television,” declares co-star Kim Coates (Tig). “It’s heavy… [We had] Gemma in Season 2 getting raped; Season 3 had the whole Irish drama; Season 4, Juice hanged himself and Clay beat up Gemma; Season 5 with Tig and his daughter — and Opie!. Every season has topped the last, and this one I’m sure will do the same. It’s violent.”
Question: Please tell me we won’t have to endure another significant loss on Downton Abbey this season. I’ve had enough loss! —Christy
Ausiello: So has Michelle Dockery. In fact, Abbey‘s leading lady doesn’t think the show can sustain another major departure (which leads me to believe there won’t be one anytime soon). “It has to remain as the ensemble, otherwise I don’t think we can keep going,” she tells TVLine. “The core reason for the show’s success is that it’s a huge ensemble of such great characters. It was [one thing to lose] Sybil and Matthew. But any more of that, I think it will start to falter.”
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Additional reporting by Meg Masters and Vlada Gelman)