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The Ausiello Files: May 5, 2009

EW’s TV scooper on ”Dexter”’s killer fourth season, ”Scrubs”’ possible ninth, and Callie’s girlfriend on ”Grey’s Anatomy”

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Dexter pumps new blood into season 4
Apologies in advance for perpetuating an overused pun, but Dexter‘s fourth season sounds, well, killer.

When the Showtime hit returns next fall, six months will have lapsed, leaving newlyweds Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and Rita (Julie Benz) the proud parents of a baby boy. ”This season, we’re going to deal with: Can a serial killer juggle a personal life, work, and his ‘dark passenger’?” reveals executive producer Sara Colleton. ”In other words, can Dexter have it all?”

Doubtful, considering the show is introducing a new, as-yet-uncast male antagonist who will ”cross paths with Dexter in a major, dramatic way,” teases Colleton. ”He will illuminate a lot about Dexter’s life and force him to make some tough choices.”

Meanwhile, Dex’s plucky sister, Deb (played by Hall’s real-life wife, Jennifer Carpenter), will unwittingly threaten to shed light on his dark secret. ”She’s going to get closer and closer to figuring out who Dexter’s mother was and her relationship with her father,” says Colleton. So might the day come when Dex is forced to slice and dice her? ”That is inconceivable to me,” declares Colleton. ”Deb and Dexter are the best brother-and-sister team ever.” One could even call them…killer.

SCOOPLETS

Will Scrubs have a ninth life?
Scrubs may just outlive us all. Despite anemic ratings, ABC is in talks to renew the comedy for a ninth season. A network rep declined to comment, but an Alphabet insider says the show’s upscale demos, a dearth of comedies on ABC’s schedule, and Zach Braff’s apparent willingness to return at least part-time make another year an attractive proposition. Plus, as series creator Bill Lawrence recently pointed out: ”For every episode that gets produced, ABC makes $1 million [in syndication]… It’s really out of my hands because it’s a financial decision, not a creative one. The only way I’d object is if someone came up with a crappy idea. Like, ‘We’ll call it Scrubs, but instead of Zach Braff, it’ll be Hilary Duff, because everybody likes her!’ I would say, ‘Don’t f—ing do that, man; it’s bad.”’

Grey’s raises Arizona’s profile
Looks like Callie’s turbulent love life is starting to stabilize. Sources confirm that Grey’s Anatomy is finalizing a deal that will promote Callie’s (Sara Ramirez) current girlfriend, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw, above), to a series regular next season. The news should silence critics who sounded the antigay alarm after ABC kindly asked Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes to banish Callie’s first girlfriend, the brusque and ballsy Dr. Hahn (Brooke Smith), to the hospital’s parking lot. In other Grey’s news, sources say CBS blocked Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco from appearing in the May 14 season finale. As a result, former O.C. starlet Shannon Lucio has been tapped to fill her shoes — that’s assuming the role even calls for shoes. Details about the character are being stored in the same vault as Katherine Heigl’s contract.

Catch Ausiello’s TV scoops — but not the swine flu — on EW.COM