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The Ausiello Files: March 6, 2008

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Extreme Makeover: House Edition
It’s Dr. House’s worst nightmare: a patient who doesn’t respond to his blood-pressure-raising button pushing. Like, at all.

In the Fox hit’s March 23 episode, rapper-turned-actor Mos Def will play a victim of locked-in syndrome, a paralytic condition that cuts off one’s ability to move and communicate. But wait, isn’t that the same medical malady illustrated in the 2007 Oscar nominee The Diving Bell and the Butterfly?, you ask. Pretty much, says exec producer David Shore. ”[But] we were very conscious of wanting to tell our story our way,” he explains, ”and not simply tread territory that they already covered so well.”

As in Butterfly, much of the change-of-pace story will be told from the patient’s point of view. But unlike Butterfly, the House ep is less about him and more about what’s going on around him. ”Our doctors are told to keep his mind active,” hints Shore, ”and they wind up saying personal things they might not normally say.”

Might House (Hugh Laurie) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) blab something that leads to their much-anticipated hookup? ”I don’t want to spoil the particulars,” Shore hedges. ”But I will confirm we are taking things forward [with them].”

ASK AUSIELLO

Q: Got a Without a Trace spoiler? I heard something about an accident coming up later this season.Lily
A: Maybe we have the same mole, because I heard the same thing. Let’s see what Trace star Poppy Montgomery knows: ”All I can say is something happens to [my character] Samantha, Jack, and Brian that throws [the love triangle] into a tailspin,” she teases. ”It’s shocking, it’s disturbing, and it changes everything.” Damn, Lily, our mole is good!

Q: Can you help me out with some Grey’s Anatomy scoop — specifically about Meredith and Derek?Sarah
A: Well, this would no doubt have an impact on those two: I hear Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes may introduce another half sibling for Mer, this one a by-product of her mother’s years-long affair with the Chief. An ABC rep had no comment, but this plot would explain a recent casting call the show put out looking for — smoking-gun alert! — biracial actors in their 20s.

Q: I’m dying to know who’ll play Alpha on Dollhouse! Rumor has it it’s…Lelia
A: Let me stop you right there. Trust me, you do not want to know who’s been cast as the renegade doll. Knowledge of this person’s identity will ruin a major Alpha-related twist that Dollhouse boss Joss Whedon has been desperately trying to keep a lid on. Loosely translated into riddle form: What if we were to meet Alpha without knowing we were meeting Alpha? You with me, Lelia?

Additional reporting by Carrie Bell

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