'Lost' finds a love interest for Ben. Plus, spoilers on ''Fringe,'' ''Damages,'' and ''Gossip Girl''

By Michael Ausiello
April 09, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lost Finds a Surprising Love Interest for Ben
Leave it to Lost to save Ben’s knottiest twist for last: Next month, the show’s enigmatic puppeteer will find himself mixed up in a most ”unlikely romance,” says one insider, declining to reveal whether Cupid strikes Ben (Michael Emerson) on the Island or in the ”Sideways” world. ”I don’t think anyone will see it coming.” Then again, as Lost speeds toward its May 23 series finale, it has started to seem as if Cupid is targeting just about everyone. Last week, there was the swoonworthy Desmond-and-Penny follow-up to season 4’s ”The Constant,” and this week’s Hurley-centric outing features the return of Cynthia Watros as his ill-fated crush, Libby. Of course, with great love comes even greater heartbreak. I hear there’s an episode late in the season that will go down as one of the show’s deadliest ever. Quick, someone hold me!


First Look: Fringe the Musical
Nope, that headline’s not a belated April Fools’ joke. On April 29, Fox’s just-renewed Fringe will take a page from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Scrubs by staging a musical episode inside the mind of mad scientist Walter (the Emmy-worthy John Noble). ”We didn’t set out to do a musical,” maintains executive producer Jeff Pinkner. ”We set out to do an episode that explored Walter’s state of mind — he’s dealing with some very upsetting news. When we realized that the way Walter would deal with such news would be to try to anesthetize himself with copious amounts of marijuana, well, singing and dancing became a natural outcome. The episode is, in many ways, the world as Walter sees it.” Anna Torv’s Olivia — who adopts a retro private-eye persona — plays a central role in Walter’s drug-induced fairy tale. Teases Pinkner: ”It’ll be interesting to see how Walter really perceives her.”

FX Nearing Verdict on Damages
Damages ball-breaker Patty Hewes (played by Glenn Close) is staring down her biggest adversary yet: shrinking viewership. Although an FX spokesperson declined to comment, sources confirm that the cable net is thisclose to pulling the plug on the acclaimed drama (which concludes its third season on April 19). Sony, the studio behind the Emmy magnet, is attempting to broker an eleventh-hour cost-sharing deal with DIRECTV — similar to the one that allowed NBC to keep Friday Night Lights alive. ”DIRECTV is one of several outlets that have been approached,” says an insider. ”All options are on the table.”

Hot Gossip: Jenny Goes MIA
Spotted: absolutely no sign of Taylor Momsen when Gossip Girl returns next season. A source close to the CW soap confirms that the actress will be absent for an unspecified number of episodes at the beginning of next season for creative reasons. ”When you watch the finale next month,” the insider adds, ”you’ll see that they’re doing something very big with her character.” Does an intervention qualify as big? If so, my guess is intervention!