Question: I need Chuck scoop and I need it now. —Olivia
Ausiello: In case you missed it, I just posted a major spoiler about one of the show’s most memorable villains returning for season 4. But wait — there’s more. Sources confirm to me exclusively that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s Hugo Panzer is also making a comeback in the same October episode!
Question: Do you need a date for Comic-Con? I’m totally available! I’m a pop culture wunderkind, so I’d be great for much varied and relevant conversation! —Brundy
Ausiello: I know how this goes. You say you want stimulating conversation and then the moment we’re together you start undressing me with your eyes. Sigh. I long for the day when people start respecting me for my brains and not my brawn. I guess what I’m trying to say is…yeah, you can be my date.
Question: I’m about to go Mel Gibson on your butt if I don’t get some Smallville spoilers regarding Lois and Clark. So how ’bout it, bud? —Christine
Ausiello: You wouldn’t dare hit a man while he’s holding a mint-condition Vanity Smurf plush circa 1982, would you? [Beat] Don’t answer that. Okay, here’s your scoop: There’s a development in the premiere that is so ginormous you’d think Smallville was heading into its final season or something.
Question: Any intel on Smallville‘s big bad this year? —Mitch
Ausiello: No, but I think I have something better: Clark’s getting a new partner at the Daily Planet this season, and she’s got some major DC Comics cred. The character’s name is Cat Grant, and my good buddy Walter Wikipedia has all the deets on the currently-being-cast character. (And no worries, Clois fans; Cat will serve solely as a comedic foil to Clark. I think.)
Question: Your wedding blind item is keeping me up at night wondering which pairing it could be. Please help me get a good night’s sleep; give us another clue. —Khalia
Ausiello: The show in question is not—I repeat not—Bones. Nighty-night!
Question: Do you know the name of Katie Cassidy’s character on Gossip Girl? —Julie
Ausiello: As a matter of fact I do. Her name is Juliet Sharp.
Question: I need a juicy NCIS scoop, please. —CC
Ausiello: Would you settle for a mildly interesting one instead? Knots Landing vet William Devane is slated to guest-star this fall as the grandfather of a little girl that is kidnapped. Admit it, that kind of knocked your socks off.
Question: Vampire Diaries scoop, pretty please with a Smurf on top? —Randi
Ausiello: New-blood alert! The show is casting the potentially recurring role of Vanessa, a very attractive, smart, young grad student who assists Damon and Alaric with their werewolf research at Alaric’s alma mater, Duke University.
Question: It’s common knowledge that you’re going to Comic-Con. But what is not common knowledge is what exactly you’ll be doing there. Spill it! —Jason
Ausiello: I don’t think I like what you’re insinuating. Similar to last year, I will be holed up at Entertainment Weekly‘s base camp at the [spoiler alert] hotel conducting nonstop interviews with the casts of The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Glee, Bones, Spartacus, Castle, etc. Prior to each interview I’ll be soliciting questions via my Twitter account — @michaelausiello — so Start. Following. Me. Now. And in my downtime, I’ll be discreetly making my way around the convention floor hoping to get recognized taking in the sights.
Question: Got anything on Grey’s Anatomy—particularly Meredith and Derek? —Wala
Ausiello: There’s a new man in Mer’s life, and it’s this guy! (More deets in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on sale today. And just because he’s in her life doesn’t mean he’s, you know, in her. Did I go too far with that one?)
Question: Rumor has it Glee is introducing a new athlete early in the season. Is this the same guy who will strike up a romance with Curt? —Ashley
Ausiello: Nope, different guy. This particular singing stud will play a key role in a football-related plot.
Question: Will Lucy Lawless be returning for season 2 of Spartacus: Blood and Sand? I know she was knocking at death’s door in the finale, but I’m praying she pulls through! —Jennifer
Ausiello: I’m keeping vigil right next to you, Jen! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a straight answer out of the show’s EP, Steven S. DeKnight, regarding Lawless’ fate. “That’s a good question that I can’t quite answer yet,” he hedged. “But she will be in the prequel. I can guarantee you that.” I guess I’ll just have to find out for myself later this week when I reunite with Lawless at Comic-Con. Speaking of which, rumor has it LL is bringing a friend with her to the EW video suite. (Hint: The friend in question was a major topic of conversation during our inaugural chat at last year’s Con.)
Question: Any new spoilers for the third season of Castle now that they’ve started filming? —Laura
Ausiello: We’ll learn a lot more about Beckett’s early years on the force in this season’s third episode when her training officer becomes the focal point of a case. Said training officer is being played by Jason Beghe (Cane, American Dreams), and rumor has it the two may have been romantically involved back in the day.
Question: No Ordinary Family. Your thoughts? Worth watching this fall? —Maddie
Ausiello: Without question. I’ll admit I was worried the ABC drama would have a “been there, seen that” feel to it coming on the heels of Heroes. But Family offered a surprisingly fresh take on the Average Joe and Jane Superhero conceit. I’m definitely on board. In fact, it’s one of my top six favorite pilots. Here are the other five (in case you’re curious): Fox’s Lonestar, NBC’s The Event, The CW’s Nikita, CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, and ABC’s Better With You.
Question: Some Desperate Housewives scoop, please! —Arno
Ausiello: I hear Bree has a nasty confrontation with some tired old wallpaper in the season premiere. Of course, as my friend’s therapist would say, it’s not wallpaper she’s really mad at.
Question: Will Andrea Bowen be back as Julie Mayer for the new season of Desperate Housewives? —Annie
Ausiello: As a matter of fact she won’t.
Question: One Tree Hill scoop demanded. Let’s be real. Will Lucas and Peyton ever return to Tree Hill? —Taylor
Ausiello: If this turns out to be the soap’s final season, I’d say there’s an 80 percent chance both will be back in the series finale.
Question: Why is it that there is still no juicy spoilerific scoop on One Tree Hill‘s new season? —Johnny
Ausiello: Um…did you not see my spoiler last week about three longtime series regulars being killed off in the season premiere? You’re looking for something bigger than that? Okay, here it goes: Look for Victoria and Millicent to jeopardize the future of Brooke’s company. (BTW, that first part about the three series regulars getting whacked was a joke. It’s okay to laugh.)
Question: How about a season 3 Mentalist spoiler? —TDM
Ausiello: Have you heard the one about the show introducing PJ’s con man of a brother-in-law who ends up falsely accused of murder? A charismatic charmer whose devil-may-care bravado masks a hidden anxiety and desperation? Someone who looks like a mix of Giovanni Ribisi and Paul Giamatti? Yes? Well then, this has all been a huge waste of time.
Question: How many days a week do they shoot Chuck? How many film crews do they have, and do they ever film at the same time? How many days of shooting equals one episode on average? How and when did Sarah learn to express her love for Chuck without saying a word? Was she in another sitcom before Chuck? —Andy
Ausiello: I like you, Andy. Don’t get me wrong—you clearly have issues. But I like you. Would you be my date to Comic-Con?
Question: Any word on whether Melina Kanakaredes will be returning to CSI: NY to give a proper goodbye to Stella? —Kirsty
Ausiello: Yep, there’s word. And here it is: No.
Question: I’m curious how Damages‘ move to DirecTV will affect the show. Will the budget be affected? I hope they can still afford actors as accomplished as those who have populated its first three seasons. —Jake
Ausiello: The show’s budget will remain unchanged. The only difference is the next two seasons will be 10 episodes apiece (instead of 13), and the absence of commercials means producers have an extra 15 or so minutes to play around with each week.
Question: I’ve heard rumblings of different Comic-Con after-parties—one in particular. Do you know anything about the rumored secret party that Chuck‘s Zach Levi is throwing? —Shar
Ausiello: You mean the one that takes place on [spoiler alert] at [spoiler alert] and features such VIP guests as [spoiler alert] and [spoiler alert]? This is the first I’m hearing of it.
Question: Can you give us a little spoiler regarding House? —Krista
Ausiello: The show has quietly been casting the role of an ex-model and psychiatric resident who ends up joining House’s team. But there’s a catch. And it’s a fairly big one (as in too spoiler-y to reveal. (And no, this is not the role Amber Tamblyn is playing.)
Question: I need a 90210 season 3 scoop—an amazing one! —Antonakis
Ausiello: There’s a death in the season premiere. Amazing enough for you?
Question: I really need some Bones scoop! Will we be seeing Zack (a.k.a. Eric Milligan) in season 6? —Elizabeth
Ausiello: Let’s ask EP Stephen Nathan: “We love Eric and would like him to return, but we have no immediate plans yet. Of course, it’s always about juggling schedules now that Eric is back in NYC and busy entertaining the masses in the Big Apple. But the season is young and it remains a possibility.”
Question: Got any Glee scoop that doesn’t involve stunt casting or musical tributes? I’m kind of sick of both. —Geoffrey
Ausiello: Ryan Murphy apparently feels your pain. The show’s creator tells me: “The second season will be more intimate and quieter with less musical numbers. People expect that we’re going to keep trying to top ourselves and out- Madonna ourselves. But we’re actually doing the opposite of that. I love the characters we’ve created. I love that I’m doing a whole episode around Heather Morris [Brittany]. We’ve finished a couple of the scripts, and I love them even more than I did the first season. I just think they’re more emotional and funnier.”