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The Ausiello Files: Dec. 18, 2009

EW’s TV scooper cracks 2010’s big mysteries from shows like ”Gossip Girl,” ”Grey’s Anatomy,” and ”Melrose Place”

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Who was the mystery woman standing over Bart’s grave on Gossip Girl? Was it Chuck’s mother? — Randi
Yes, the grave stalker (The Shield‘s Laura Harring) will reveal herself to be the Bass family matriarch when GG returns in March. But is she lying? Call me a whore for stunt casting, but if and when Chuck’s (Ed Westwick, right) mum returned from the dead, I always imagined she would be played by a name actress. Like this one: Michelle Forbes. Who’s with me?

Are Mark and Lexie doomed on Grey’s Anatomy? — Claire
Maybe not doomed. But definitely in deep doo-doo. Although an ABC rep declined to comment, in the Jan. 21 Grey’s/Private Practice crossover episode, I hear Mark (Eric Dane) will knock boots with his ex Addison (Kate Walsh). Word is that Lexie (Chyler Leigh) will do her own share of two-timing in the two-hour block?but I’m not saying with whom.

Does Melrose Place stand a chance? — Kirk
If Heather Locklear’s ratings mojo can’t save it, what can? Short of a miracle, ”the show is pretty much dead,” sniffs an insider.

When are we going to meet Olivia’s (Anna Torv) evil stepdad on Fringe? — Joe
Exec producer Jeff Pinkner would not comment on whether the creep would turn up in the season’s second half, but he did reveal, ”We’ll be uncovering many mysteries — perhaps the biggest [being] Peter’s ‘origin.”’ We’ll also meet Walter’s wife/Peter’s mother (played by Shark’s Orla Brady). ”And in a show exploring two alternate universes, there is more than one of everything — and everyone.”

Any idea which CBS show will get the coveted post-Super Bowl slot? — Kevin
A CBS rep insists no decision has been made, but the buzz is that it’s down to freshman hit NCIS: Los Angeles or an expanded The Big Bang Theory. Dark-horse candidate? How I Met Your Mother. Now that would be truly legen…. You know what? Can’t go there anymore. (Legendary!)

Who died in the Desperate Housewives plane crash: Orson or Karl? — Elliott
This is an easy one. Kyle MacLachlan (a.k.a. Orson) has already confirmed that he survives the tragedy. So, by my estimation, that leaves…you to connect the dots.