By Michael Ausiello
Updated August 04, 2020 at 11:02 AM EDT

Question: Don’t you ever — ever — go three weeks without a new Ask Ausiello again. Do you hear me? Jacob
If it’s any consolation, the hiatus hurt you a lot more than it hurt me. Wait, that came out wrong. Actually, no, that’s right.

Question: Any news as to whether Tom Welling has signed on for another season of Smallville? — Scarlett
Yes, there’s news, and it’s good. Some would even call it, ahem, super. According to a well-placed Smallville insider, Welling is nearing a deal to return for a ninth season. I’m told they’re just ironing out some minor deal points, such as should the Brinks Truck pull into the actor’s driveway, or just unload on the street.

Question: Any major character deaths on Lost this season? — Sophie
None that I know of, but, after screening the first two eps, it certainly looks like a female cast-member isn’t long for this world. The fact that she was recently cast in a big Hollywood movie doesn’t bode well either. (Doc Jensen’s got more on Lost‘s Jan. 21 premiere!)

Question: Got anything on Lost‘s 100th episode? — Katy
Paris Hilton’s in talks to make a cameo as a Dharma intern circa 1973. I kid, I kid. I’m told the episode, slated to air this May, won’t feature any special stunts, although it is part of the run-up to the season finale and, well, that in itself is pretty stunty.

Question: I’ll be your friend if you give me some Supernatural scoop. — Shane
There is a traitor amongst Sam and Dean. Okay, Shane, your first order of business as my friend is to buy me this.

Question: Anything on CSI: Miami? — Tim
Only that the show is casting a new lab rat who just might become a new recurring techie. According to my sources, said newbie Dave Benton — a twentysomething who’s like a cross between Dave Navarro and Mr. Wizard — helps Ryan crack a case.

Question: Please tell me ABC will pick up the Bill Lawrence-Courteney Cox comedy Cougar Town. I don’t even know anything about it, but I’ve already decided it’s my new favorite show. — Tony
Don’t know anything about it? I can help out with that! The single-camera comedy stars Cox as a 40-year-old divorcee who decides to re-enter the dating scene now that her only son has graduated high school. “She’s loosely based on my own mom, because my mom had me when she was very young,” explains Lawrence, who will serve as show-runner if ABC gives it the green light. “It’s a very weird dynamic, because they’re essentially contemporaries.” And don’t be fooled by the title. Although Cox’s character does have a fling with a young lad in the pilot, the series won’t find her bedding a different Robert Buckley clone every week. “It’s a campy title [but] it’s not a campy show,” he says. “It’s set in a small town in Florida and the high school football team is named the Cougars, so we justify it that way.”

Question: We haven’t had Ugly Betty scoop in forever! What’s next? — Sidra
Marc’s getting a new roommate…But the show isn’t adding any new cast-members. Stumped? Head to the comments section and start brainstorming!

Question: Can’t wait for Life on Mars to return. Got anything? — Joel
Producers are casting the never-before-seen wife of Michael Imperioli’s cop, and if they’re smart, they’ll check Drea de Matteo’s availability STAT. Or they can just take my word for it: She’s free!

Question: 24 season 7 premiere screeners were recently sent out to the press, and I’m pretty sure the mighty Ausiello got one. Mind giving us a tidbit about this weekend’s premiere? — Yong
If it’s okay by you, I’d rather give you four tidbits, one for each hour of the two-night premiere.

1) Listen closely for the words “deep sky,” because one of 24‘s coolest twists ever occurs shortly after they’re uttered.
2) A bombshell secret about Tony Almeida gets revealed around Hour 3: He’s got pectoral muscles for days. Janeane Garofalo even gets to touch one of them!
3) Speaking of Garofalo, her chemistry with doppelganger Mary Lynn Rajskub is so off the charts that there’s buzz Fox may spin them off into their own show. In related news, if I make a wish in Ask Ausiello, it officially qualifies as buzz. Totally true.
4) I’ve come to the conclusion after watching the first four eps that James Morrison is Neil Patrick Harris’ biological father.

Question: Can you please give me scoop on House? I’m dying to know what is going to happens between Thirteen and Foreman after the hiatus. — Cindy
Trouble in paradise. When Foreman discovers that Thirteen was given a placebo in the Huntington’s clinical trial, he switches her to the real drug behind her back. The truth eventually comes out on Feb. 2 and all hell breaks lose. In the same episode, Cuddy turns the tables on House and tortures him for a change. If you’re a Huddy fan, the episode is like a gift from the TV Gods.

Question: Any new news about the Veronica Mars movie? If not, some Gossip Girl scoop is perfectly acceptable. — Amy
Gossip Girl scoop it is! Word around the UES is that Serena will soon share something in common with Anne Hathaway. And garnering Oscar buzz ain’t it.

Question: About Lily and Rufus’ kid on Gossip Girl: another site said it was a boy and he died. Is that true? — Hanna
Only half of it.

Question: I need to know more about Gossip Girl, please! I’ll give my entire Smurf collection! — Ali
I have a sneaking suspicion that Chuck’s mother is alive. Anyone else share my hunch?

Question: Please sir, can I have some Big Love scoop? — Mary
The Henrickson’s pool will play host to a suicide attempt early into season 3 (debuting Jan. 18). In other Big news, Heather’s crush on Sarah turns a new shade of awkward when the BFFs end up going to the prom together in the third episode. BTW, based on the first three eps, Big Love remains, IMHO, the most entertaining hour of TV in all the land. Spread the word.

Question: Anything on NCIS‘ Tony? Tony! Tony! Tony! — Katie
I’m not sure I understand your question. You want scoop on who? Ducky? Well, I don’t have anything on him, so you’ll have to settle for this Tony tidbit: He’s replacing Gibbs as boss! Relax, it’s only temporary. In a February episode, Gibbs puts Tony in charge of the team when a case he once worked on gets reactivated.

Question: What is this I hear about the remaining Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money episodes airing in the summer? Please tell me it’s not true. — Cliff
Actually, at this point, we’ll be lucky if they air at all. Episode 11 of Daisies was originally scheduled to air tonight, but, per Bryan Fuller, the network dropped it from the schedule at the last minute. “They are not scheduled to air right now,” he sighs, “and that’s all we know.” Let’s have a round of applause for network TV!

Question: Any scoop on Grissom’s last episode of CSI? — Nicole
Just a tip: Set your DVR to record a few minutes past 10 pm on Jan. 15, just as a precaution. You do not want to miss the final scene. Trust me. Also, you’ll want to pick up a copy of the new EW when it goes on sale this Friday. I think you’ll fancy the cover subject.

Question: Do you have any news on One Tree Hill? We heard that Mark Schwahn had asked The CW for a decision on season 7 by 1 January so that he could write an appropriate season ending. — Nathan
Not Jan. 1, but a decision will be made soon. It’s all about contracts now. The cast only signed six-year pacts, so new deals will have to be brokered. Negotiations are happening as we speak.

Question: I am a Media Buyer and, as God as my witness, Friday Night Lights will be renewed again. I am recruiting the buyers in my office to watch and purchase it. Best show on TV. — Kendra
Fight the heck on, Kendra. Don’t miss tonight’s penultimate season 3 ep, which features (skip to the last sentence of this answer, non DirecTV subscribers!) the long-awaited Tyra/Landry reunion, as well as a nail-biter of a state championship game.Programming note: FNL‘s NBC run kicks off on Friday, Jan. 16.

Question: Any truth to the rumor that Gregory Itzin (President Logan) is returning to 24? He was recently seen in photos with the 24 cast at Kiefer Sutherland’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony. — Matt
No truth to the rumor — although the specter of Logan will loom large throughout season 7. But if it’s an Itzin fix you’re itching for, make tracks to CBS’ The Mentalist, where he’s playing the recurring role of Virgil Minelli, the Calif Bureau of Investigation boss.

Question: Any new Heroes scoop? — Caroline
I’m tempted to tell you who almost beat out Lionel Luthor for the role of Sylar’s pop, but I don’t think you’d believe me.Actually, I know you wouldn’t believe me.

Question: We all know that Lafayette was the best character in Season One of True Blood. How can we make sure Alan Ball brings him back next season? — Brody
Well, as Ball himself recently reminded me, “Lafayette did die in the books.” But, he adds, “That doesn’t mean he won’t be back. Anything’s possible.”

Question: What’s the deal with Michelle Forbes’ character on True Blood? Is she Tara’s Demon? How does Sam know her? — Marcy
The mystery surrounding who (or what) Maryann is will play out front and center in season 2 — and you may not find many clues in the books. “She’s definitely a new kind of supernatural creature in Bon Temps,” teases Ball. And as new as “it” is, it’s also old. “Ancient. Ancient,” Ball stresses. In other words, not a Cylon. BTW, production on True Blood’s second season begins this week!

Question: The wait for Burn Notice‘s second half of season 2 is killing me. Can you give us any tidbits? — Julie
How’s this: “I wear less in the Jan. 22 premiere than I’ve ever worn in any episode,” Jeffrey Donovan teases. “I actually walk into a pool party in a Speedo.” You’re welcome, Julie!

And with that, the first AA of ’09 comes to a close. Send question/anonymous tips/new year’s resolutions to Love ya, need ya, squeeze ya! (Additional reporting by Lindsay Soll and Andy Patrick)

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