Question: Though I can’t imagine The Office without Michael Scott, I’m more concerned about Holly and Michael getting their much-needed reunion before he bids adieu. Any chance this will happen? —Meaghan
Ausiello: I’d say there’s a very good chance considering the fact that [exclusive scoop alert!] Amy Ryan (a.k.a. Holly) is not only returning to The Office, but will be playing a sizable role in the show’s upcoming seventh season. “We set her return up in the finale, so it would be the biggest [cop-out] of all time if we didn’t [follow through] on it,” says coexec producer and cast member Mindy Kaling. “She’s definitely coming back.”
Question: How can I get your autograph? —Danny
Ausiello: You can bring a Sharpie to Comic-Con next week and follow the scent of Diet Raspberry Snapple and blue PVC.
Question: I love True Blood. I love Eric. Scoop, please. —Angi
Ausiello: Is it too soon to be talking about the finale? No? Cool. Exec producer Alan Ball tells me that there will be a “lot of Bill-Sookie-Eric stuff” in the season 3 finale. “It involves blood, it involves trust, and it does not go where we expect it to go.”
Question: There’s a hot debate in the Gossip Girl fan community about Dan and Serena. Are they getting back together next season? —Kelly
Ausiello: I’ll say this: They will be spending a LOT of time with each other in the first few episodes back, but I think it would be wrong to suggest they’ll be together. Catch my drift?
Question: I’m just going to keeping asking for some Leverage scoop until you answer me. Every week. For eternity. —Matt
Ausiello: We have a strict policy against negotiating with terrorists, but I’ll look the other way this week and only this week. This Sunday’s Leverage finds the gang heading to Nashville to take down a corrupt record producer. Eliot is forced to play the role of a country-music singer-songwriter — and man, the big lug can actually sing!
Question: Any news on George Eads’ contract negotiations with CSI? —Christopher
Ausiello: Good news: His deal is done! The only question mark now is Jorja Fox. Stay tuned…
Question: It’s my birthday! Bones scoop would be a fantastic gift. —Talitha
Ausiello: So much for that one-year jump forward. I hear the gang will have been gone for just seven months when Caroline summons Booth and Brennan back to the Jeffersonian in the Sept. 23 season premiere to help Cam solve a controversial case — and save her job in the process. “The first episode begins with Brennan and Booth reuniting with the squints to save the career of one of their own,” confirms exec producer Stephen Nathan. “They each bring a new past with them as they forge their old alliances in new ways.” Bonus scoop: We may get to see Booth play hero in Afghanistan!
Question: Any Chuck scoop? Maybe some intel on who Dolph Lundgren and Harry Dean Stanton are playing in the premiere? —Dave
Ausiello: “Dolph Lundgren plays Marko,” explains Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak. “Is he Russian? Yes. Is he a terrifying bad guy? Yes. Will he say, ‘I must break you’? You’ll have to wait for the return of Chuck.” I’m counting the days! Now, what about Stanton? “Harry will play Harry Dean, the man who comes between Chuck and his search for Mom. Who is he exactly? Well, we’ll say this: Only Harry Dean Stanton could play this part.” Okay, now I’m counting the minutes!
Question: I’m so psyched about Jim Parsons’ Emmy nod. Any idea which episode he’ll submit? —Jason
Ausiello: “I am submitting the episode where Sheldon is accepting an award and he gets advice from everybody and then ends up on stage drunk and loses his pants,” Parsons tells me, before adding with a laugh, “Sex sells, and I drop my pants, so I really think this could be my year.”
Question: Supernatural spoilers seem to be few and far between. Any chance you have any new ones to share with us? —Judy
Ausiello: Season 6 will revolve around Dean’s new life as loving husband to Lisa and doting father to Ben. I kid! I made a funny! Here’s the real answer to your question: Despite the domestic situation Dean found himself in at the end of last season, exec producer Eric Kripke assures me that Supernatural will continue to be about the Winchester brothers “on the road together.” That said, Kripke confirms that “Dean’s situation creates all sorts of angst and conflict. The question [we’ll be] exploring is, How can you be a hunter when there are actually people that you care about? I think we will mine it for all of the emotional angst and conflict that we can. But [Lisa] is not — nor is anyone — going to be riding in the backseat of the Impala with Sam or Dean.” THIS JUST IN: Major Supernatural season 6 spoilers!
Question: Thanks for all the Good Wife spoilers earlier this week. Got anything else about my fave character Kalinda? —Joel
Ausiello: Major drama! “Kalinda [Emmy nominee Archie Panjabi] always seems to be on top of her game,” says exec producer Robert King. “We are going to throw [her] off her game a little bit in the second season. Her past comes back to haunt her, and she also finds some competition.”
Question: I will draw you a Smurf picture if you let me know whether or not Kenneth is returning to 30 Rock. —Veronica
Ausiello: Yes, he is, although exec producer Robert Carlock says, “We haven’t cracked HOW he is getting [his job] back, but of course he will get back somehow. We just wanted a fun thing to shuffle the deck a little bit and send him off into the world. Of course, he will miss it and he will be missed. Events will bring him back.”
Question: I know last season stunk, but I’m still looking forward to Big Love returning. Any new news on season 5? —Joanne
Ausiello: You betcha! The show is currently casting three new recurring characters: John Ivey, a thirtysomething high school math teacher, straightlaced and disarmingly charming; Midge Buckley, another thirtysomething, this one blonde, Republican, Mormon, and a member of the Utah House of Representatives from the same district as Bill; and finally, Midge’s mom, an antiporn activist whose worldview is so conservative, she makes Sarah Palin look liberal by comparison.
Question: Hi, please let me know if you are in the dog-product business! — AJ
Ausiello: Not since I licked that case of fleas that had been bugging me, no. But hey, thanks for asking!
Question: I love ya, Ausiello, but you apparently got it wrong about Javier Bardem being on Glee. It was denied by his people, and you should take this down from your site and print a retraction. What ever happened to journalistic integrity? — Andrea
Ausiello: First of all, what gave you the impression that I had integrity, much less the journalistic kind? Second of all, when I’m wrong, I’ll let you know, not the other way around. Now then, let me let Glee mastermind Ryan Murphy explain to you exactly what happened, how about that? At the press junket for Eat Pray Love, Murphy tells me, “the first thing [Bardem] said was ‘Oh my God, I just watched the whole first season on DVD. It was like crack, and I could not get enough. I want to play a Spanish rock star.’ And I was like, ‘Okay.’ I mean, how to say no to Javier Bardem?” So, in other words, Andrea, yes, it IS happening. “It won’t be in the first 13 [episodes of season 2],” Murphy clarifies, “but I do want to do it. I think you have to come back and remeet the characters [first].” So there.
Question: Any more scoop on Charice’s role on Glee? —Kelly
Ausiello: Why, yes, as a matter of fact. Though Ryan Murphy says the hitmaker “comes on in a very sort of minor part,” it obviously grows, and fast, because, notes Lea Michele, while “the rivalry [between our characters] is going to be what everyone will pin it as, you know Ryan — it’s never going to be what you think it’s going to be.”
Question: Any whisperings on the new Torchwood you’d care to share? — Nicky
Ausiello: Whisperings? More like shoutings. Among the casting intel I’ve gathered on the new season (airing on my new favorite cable network, Starz), the show is out to cast a new series regular — Rex Matheson, a wickedly funny (operative word: wicked) CIA agent born to make waves. Almost as key to the new season are recurring characters Esther Katusi, a CIA grunt in her early 20s who learns what she’s really made of only when she’s forced to, and Oswald Jones, a convicted murderer and pedophile who will be as shocked as anyone to learn how easily infamy and fame can be exchanged for one another.
Question: You were the second person I thought of after my mom that would be bursting with excitement over Kyle Chandler’s and Connie Britton’s Emmy nominations. I’m also thrilled! — Tiffany
Ausiello: What a coinkydink. The second person I thought of was me, too. And the first. And somewhere in between, I thought of Kyle and Connie. They were probably happy-ish too.
Question: I am looking to make a one-time cash donation to support a nonprofit charity or rescue group. I would love to know more about your work and why you think this donation would be beneficial to your work. —John Hamilton
Ausiello: Um, because one never knows when their fleas might recur?
Question: Scoop on The Closer will earn you my eternal thanks. —Sasha
Ausiello: FYI: Cold hard cash is the new eternal thanks. Just something to think about moving forward. Regarding The Closer, in the second episode, airing July 19, Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) returns and is initially thought to be doing a background check on Chief Pope. But there’s more to the story. And apparently it’s VERY top secret because the screener TNT sent us left out the final scene. Bastards. It’s not like I was going to spoil it or anything.
Question: Have you seen the Mad Men premiere? Thoughts? —Theresa
Ausiello: I have seen it and it’s fantastic. In many ways, it feels like an entirely new show. My fave line of the episode? “I won’t even tell people after it airs.” Who says it and what does it mean? Hit the comments!
Question: I’m so incredibly proud of you for finally getting acquainted with Spartacus: Blood & Sand and acknowledging Andy Whitfield’s awesomeness. Now how about you throw us a couple of season 2 spoilers? —Alex
Ausiello: Given the events of the mind-blowing season 1 finale, it’s not much of a spoiler to say the show will undergo a huge transformation in season 2. “It’s a testament to Starz that they allowed us to do that,” says showrunner Steven S. DeKnight of the big changes in store. “The bigger broadcast networks [would be too concerned with] protecting the franchise. It’s a huge risk. But at the end of the day we ARE telling the story of Spartacus, which is largely the slave rebellion. Those first 13 episodes were literally two paragraphs in the history books. Most of what’s known about him is after the break-out.”
Question: What’s going on with Heroes—are they going to make a movie or not? —Ana
Ausiello: My money continues to be on not, especially since NBC’s contractual hold on the cast expired on June 30. It’s going to be tough to make a movie when you don’t have anyone to star in it. Unless they go the CGI route. Or use puppets.
Ausiello: How about this: This person’s last name is Court, Shirazi, or Montgomery.
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can follow me on Twitter via @michaelausiello. Thanks for playing! (Additional reporting by Andy Patrick, Keith Staskiewicz, and Sandra Gonzalez)