Question: Come on, Ausiello! Give us scoop on Gossip Girl! — Sam
Ausiello: First let me say that Monday’s episode was an absolute triumph on all levels (acting, writing, directing)…which makes the fact that it was the lowest-rated of the season all the more depressing. (Time to reboot the system, Nielsen!) On the scoop front, I know what brings Georgina (Michelle Trachtenberg) back to town, and it’s not her seemingly indefatigable quest to piss off frenemy Serena. Quite the contrary, in fact. Take it away, exec producer Josh Schwartz! “Certain times a situation is so dire that it requires the assistance of even your most sworn enemy,” he teases. “It just might come to pass that Serena and Blair find themselves in a situation where they have no recourse other than to recruit Georgina Sparks.” In other GG news, the show is casting the possibly recurring role of an “unassumingly cute” 16-year-old male. Sounds like Jenny’s getting a new suitor!
Question: I am absolutely in love with the Jim/Pam relationship on The Office! My body is just itching to see their wedding. Will it be this season, or are the writers going to make us wait? — Kyle
Ausiello: I assumed it would take place this season… until, that is, I spoke to exec producer Greg Daniels. “If people assume it’ll happen this season, then I don’t want to do it,” he countered with a laugh. “There are so many stories about a couple getting married that I want to explore.” The post-Super Bowl episode on Feb. 1 will introduce one such story when Pam learns that her parents are having marital problems, causing her to wonder, “If they can’t make it work, what chance do Jim and I have?”
Question: The Office? Pretty please. — Katie
Ausiello: BJ Novak confirms to me that Ryan will make a “dramatic” return later this season as part of a top-secret storyline. Theories? Post ’em in the comments!
Question: Please tell us which Lost female might not make it through the season? — Hippo
Ausiello: I’ll do no such thing. Instead, I’ll tell you that the mystery will be solved in the closing seconds of the Jan. 28 episode.
Question: Lost? Anything? — Bia
Ausiello: Sawyer and a female character whose name isn’t Kate will make out this season.
Question: Tonight’s the night! Lost returns! I think that calls for some exclusive scoop! — Sam
Ausiello: You’ll get no argument from me! A Lost insider tells me that Team Darlton is very quietly looking for an actor to play a “younger Phillip Seymour Hoffman-type” for a smallish arc this season, and a much bigger one next. What does it all mean, Doc Jensen? “My guess is they want the Phillip Seymour Hoffman from Synecdoche, New York, because thematically, that trippy movie is very simpatico with Lost. I’m thinking he’s some kind of Dharma mastermind, or maybe Jacob — the true man behind the curtain directing the crazy stage play that is Lost.” Once again, he took the words right out of my mouth! Speaking of Lost, I implore you to check out our award-worthy “Totally Lost” section, featuring (among other things) Doc J’s exclusive, multi-part video Q&A with Team Darlton.
Question: I love both pairs of glasses that Paula Abdul wore on the season premiere of American Idol. Can you tell me where I can get a pair? — Julie
Ausiello: This is more Slezak‘s area of expertise, but did you try the pharmaceutical counter at CVS? That would be the first place I’d look.
Question: Reports have surfaced that Rob Thomas is writing a Veronica Mars movie script. Know anything about this? — Rob
Ausiello: Are you trying to piss me off? If so, congratulations, you’re succeeding with flying colors!
Question: Please tell me that Friday Night Lights will be back next season. — LaToya
Ausiello: FNL will be back provided all (or most) of the 4.6 million people that tuned in for last Friday’s debut on NBC stick around for the entire season. And they’d be fools not to.
Question: Please tell me that Wilson will have more screen time on House soon. I’ve been missing the guy lately. — Ryan
Ausiello: Dr. Crankypants’
soul mate BFF gets some quality time in the 100th episode on Feb. 2 when he finally (and completely) makes peace with Amber’s death. The landmark episode also finds one of the show’s couples contemplating parenthood.
Question: 90210 gets so little attention from you! Got any scoop? — Stephanie
Ausiello: This season’s 19th episode (airing in April) will be must-see-worthy for two reasons: It marks Tori Spelling’s return as Donna and features the arrival of Dixon’s estranged mother.
Question: Is it true that CSI:NY‘s Danny and Lindsay will wed in February? — Sherry
Ausiello: There’s an episode coming up that executive producer Peter Lenkov promises will make D&L fans very happy. Rough translation: YES!
Question: Nice to see you choose Chuck as your favorite comedy of 2008. Any scoops on upcoming episodes? — Kelsey
Ausiello: Exec producer Josh Schwartz is hesitant to use the words “game changing” to describe this season’s final batch of episodes — even though it’s wholly appropriate. “Everyone uses that term,” he harrumphs. “Let’s call it show changing. Or Chuck changing…Let’s just say someone is going to start figuring out the truth in Chuck’s world.” Schwartz adds that he’s cramming “three seasons worth of stories into the next 10 episodes,” in part because there’s no guarantee the show will see a third season. (Note to NBC: The forecast calls for a s–tstorm in the event Chuck is axed.) “We’re leaving nothing on the table,” he says. “We’re taking nothing for granted. We’re going for it.” To wit, did you see who they got to play Chuck’s dad?!
Question: Anything new on Chuck? — Laura
Ausiello: This just in: Jordana Brewster’s returning as Chuck’s ex Jill in the season finale!
Question: If Denny is all in Izzie’s head on Grey’s Anatomy, how can he appear in scenes without her, like the one in last week’s episode where he was sitting on the edge of the bed with Alex? — Stephanie
Ausiello: That’s a great question. Let me ask ABC president Steve McPherson and get back to you. Because if I learned anything at press tour last week, it’s that McPherson loves to discuss the goings-on at Grey’s, both on screen and off.
Question: Seriously, how much longer is Denny going to be around for on Grey’s? Love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but it’s just not working for me. — Lauren
Ausiello: He’ll be around at least through March, since that’s when Izzie’s aneurysm-esque medical condition finally gets diagnosed.
Question: I am loving the new doc Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) on Grey’s Anatomy. Any news on whether they plan to keep her on? — Amy
Ausiello: They’re grooming her as a love interest for Callie, so I suspect she’ll be staying put for now. Speaking of which, look for Callie to seek advice from Addison about her feelings for Arizona in the Feb. 12 crossover episode.
Question: Are you suggesting that Kitty is going to have an affair with Eli Stone‘s brother on Brothers & Sisters? — Dave
Ausiello: I asked B&S exec producer Monica Breen point blank if Kitty was going to cheat on Robert, and, whaddaya know, she wouldn’t tell me. Breen did concede that Matt Letscher’s charming, down-to-earth character will become a “serious complication” for the new parents. “He comes to represent what she doesn’t have with Robert,” she explains. “It leads Kitty to think about the status of her marriage and what she wants from her marriage.”
Question: Thanks for all the spoilers. Have one on Brothers & Sisters? — Karen
Ausiello: E.P. Monica Breen teases that Jason Lewis’ return as Chad will have an “unexpected” effect on Kevin and Scotty’s relationship, adding, “It’s not what people are thinking.”
Question: Any news on Eleventh Hour? — Victor
Ausiello: Mariel Hemingway has closed a deal to guest star later this season as a woman whose children get taken hostage by a terrorist.
Question: How about you give us a, ahem, large scoop on Medium? (See what I did there?!) — Kevin
Ausiello: Hey, no fair — that’s my shtick! Eh, I suppose I have a big enough, ahem, shtick to go around. (See what I did there?!) Anyway, to answer your question, yes, I have some, ahem, large Medium scoop for you: Upcoming Private Practice guest star Amanda Detmer has been cast as Joe’s sister! “She comes to visit at a time when her marriage is falling apart,” previews exec producer Glenn Gordon Caron. “And it’s awkward for Joe, because he genuinely likes his brother-in-law. But his sister is convinced he’s been unfaithful.” Further complicating matters, “Allison starts to get impressions about what might have happened.” And here’s another Medium tidbit, and this one is size XL: James Van Der Beek has signed on to guest star later this season. His character seeks Allison’s help when his mother goes missing.
Question: When is ABC going to air the last episodes of Pushing Daisies? — Tina
Ausiello: Based on Steve McPherson’s remarks at press tour last week, I’m guessing sometime between never and when hell freezes over. Something tells me those final three eps won’t see the light of day until Daisies‘ season 2 DVD drops — assuming it does drop. In far happier news, Warner Bros. has give Bryan Fuller the okay to keep Daisies alive in comic book form. Now it’s just a matter of Fuller ironing out all the details with DC Comics. I suspect there will be something official to report by month’s end.
Question: You sir, are a cruel, cruel man! You left the Sarah Connor Chronicles fans totally hanging with your “DEATH OF A MAJOR CHARACTER” tease. Couldn’t you give us just a little more? — Melinda
Ausiello: Okay, here are three hints: The character is female, she has close ties to John, and she’s an out and proud Aushole (and I have video evidence confirming as much).
Question: Got any Snapple-worthy scoop about 24? — Penny
Ausiello: Jack’s lover-turned-frozen vegetable Audrey Raines will play a pivotal role this season, albeit an invisible one. I’ll let Kiefer Sutherland explain: “She’s not a physical presence, but the damage of losing her absolutely [impacts] why Jack might not be able to engage on an emotional level with other people. It adds a huge sense of loss that informs almost everything he does.” Kiefer doesn’t rule out the possibility of Audrey returning in the flesh next season, particularly since A) Lipstick Jungle looks to be a goner, and B) as Kiefer reveals to me exclusively, “[Audrey] has finally stopped dribbling.”
Question: What happened to Annie-ello TV? — Mark
Ausiello: It returns next week — hopefully with its original title intact!
Question: I just saw the first episode of Big Love (Season 3) and I can’t go another day without some scoop! Please help! — Shelly
Ausiello: Expect some rather, ahem, medium-sized complications on Big Love when Ana’s ex returns looking to rekindle their relationship.(See what I did there?!)
Question: What’s cookin’ on the Supernatural front? — April
Ausiello: A secret is revealed that will make Dean feel guilty for all of eternity.
That’s a wrap! Send questions, anonymous tips, love notes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for playing!