By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated August 05, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Hello from, L.A.!

The sun is shining, the Television Critics Association press tour is in full swing, there’s a party with Fox network stars tonight, I’m in the pacific time zone — which means this column is only an hour late — and I ate my weight in french fries from a food truck last night on Melrose Ave. I’m feelin’ pretty damn good, Roomies. And I hope you feel the same after reading this week’s scoop!

If not, you should probably e-mail me scoop requests to We’ll try again next week. And yes, this intro is particularly sunny because I’m hoping that will stop people from e-mailing me spam for Zoloft. If this doesn’t do the trick, I don’t know what will.

For more of my LA adventures, party twitpics, or just to harass me for scoop, follow me on Twitter: @EWSandraG


True to their word, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas confirmed that this upcoming season’s first episode takes place at Punchy’s wedding in Cleveland a few days after the finale. But what’s the gang going through exactly? Well, in Lily’s case, she’s finds herself struggling to keep her and Marshall’s big announcement a secret.

“The first episode is the story of: Do you tell people right away or do you wait? How do you keep that secret from the people you care most about in the world?” says Thomas. “So Lily gets there and says, ‘You’re drinking for two tonight. I’m eating for two, so you’re drinking for two.’ And basically, it’s an episode where Marshall gets trashed doing double the shots of everyone.”

For the duo, pregnant Lily has presented a unique challenge in that “one of the biggest questions about Lily getting pregnant was how do we keep Lily at the bar,” says Bays, who himself went through the to-tell-or-not-to-tell dilemma right after his wife became pregnant. “It was a delicate dance,” he joked. Speaking of dance, have you see this Mother fans?


If you follow me on Twitter, you know where I was yesterday. Not that I’m bragging — except I totally am. But while on set of Criminal Minds (aside from getting to talk to the entire amazing cast), I got to sit down with executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer and ask about the huge reactions we’ll see from the team as a result of the return of presumed-dead Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster).

“Because I’ve been with these guys from day one, we have a really good working relationship of the characters we’ve all created, so we had conversations,” she tells me. “I scripted it that everyone was going to have a huge reaction to her returning, but I’m not about to say, ‘Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) does this,’ ‘Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) does that.’ I only gave them words. Garcia says, ‘She’s alive.’ And Reid says, ‘But we buried her,’ because Garcia is very emotional and Reid is very logical.”

Messer said Morgan (Shemar Moore) will also struggle with the fact that he believes Hotch (Thomas Gibson) betrayed the team by telling them she was dead. And subsequently, Hotch “had to keep this secret from the team while they were pouring their hearts out. He’s burdened with that,” she says. “It’s a complicated tale. When secrets are kept, it’s natural to be complicated.”


Could Dan’s book mean nothing but trouble for Lonely Boy? That’s how it’s looking.

When EW spoke to Penn Badgley, the Gossip Girl actor said the season “picks up where he left off,” with Dan “poised to experience a bit of success and notoriety that he hasn’t before.”

“You see that happen, but he doesn’t want it. Also, just like anything on the show, it doesn’t have the repercussions you think it will,” he says. “Everybody’s all flabbergasted, and Gossip Girl is a-twitter. And he’s not sure that he’s getting what he thought he wanted.” But that’s pretty much the story of Dan Humphrey, right?


Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBCWhat else will Jenna Fischer’s pregnancy mean for Pam and Jim on The Office? — Matt

Well, now that there are two pregnant people in the office, I expect a lot of baby fever to be felt throughout the staff. My official guess for the pregnant staffer No. 2? Angela, who will, in fact, be married when the season picks up. “You did not see my wedding, but you see a little how my status has changed. ‘I’m married to a senator now, people. Get in line,'” Angela Kinsey told me at the NBC party this week. But one group that won’t be celebrating? The warehouse people, who have all quit after winning the lottery!

Sandra, any House scoop? I’m super curious how Charlyne Yi is going to fit in with the dynamic of the rest of the group. She just doesn’t seem to go with them. — Angie

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, particularly because I hear she has a past that surprises even House. And you know what it takes to do that…

Will Supernatural return to its monster-of-the-week format of earlier seasons? The show was at its best when each episode was a mini horror movie. — Rion

My guess is that it’ll be the same mix as previous seasons, if not a little more, considering power-hungry Cas is making the boys feel, as previously reported, “powerless.” I don’t have more for you, sorry. I would if I could have drawn some secrets from this guy.

Hi Sandra — I would love some fresh Nikita scoopage — preferably NOT about Mikita. How about some new Alex tidbits… like, does she have to give up her cool digs, car and clothes now that she doesn’t actually work for Division? What about prospects for new friends this year? Without Nikita or Michael to hang out with, she has like zero friends (who aren’t now dead or scared of). Thanks! — Adele

This is Alex we’re talking about. Girl’s got style. I wouldn’t worry about her being less than her best — or at least demanding it if anyone tries to give her otherwise. And as far as friends, she seems pretty happy hunting down Nikita, which she proves to be pretty good at considering she knows many of Nikita’s tricks. The only “new” friends this year seem to be old friends that we’ve never met. For example, the show is currently casting the role of Kelly, a very good friend of Nikita’s who worked with her at Division.

I’d love some news on the Vampire Diaries. But something on Bonnie, please!I love Kat Graham! — Amanda

Who doesn’t? She was the picture of wonderful at the CBS/CW/Showtime party this week at TCA. In fact, she even stopped to chat with us a little about how it feels to be starting the new season and her love for The Secret Circle!

I heard Fringe wants to bring back Kirk Acevedo for a few episodes this season! Any idea how they plan to do that? — Sean

Indeed. But Acevedo, who stars in this fall’s NBC show Prime Suspect, ain’t talking. “I do know,” he told me laughing. “I can’t tell you because they’d kill me. Both realities have finally merged, but my character still exists.” If the schedules work out, Acevedo said he could be back for two or three episodes.

I’m totally digging the clip of Ted Danson on CSI. Would love some scoop on his character! — Maggie

Well, during the panel, the EP’s talked a little bit about D.B. Russell’s “van-schooled” past, but on the carpet, CSI vet Robert David Hall told me that despite Russell’s obvious skills, the former head of the Portland, Ore. crime unit doesn’t quite fall into the team seamlessly. “We’re cordial but a little suspicious,” Hall said. “[His character] is very different than Billy Petersen’s and Laurence Fishburne’s.”

Parks and Rec, please! Any more news about the terror that is Tammy 1? — Joe

Jim O’Heir and Retta (that’s Jerry and Donna, to you) were coy about Tammy’s reign, but did promise there was one thing we wouldn’t be seeing. “We don’t revisit the cornrows,” she says. “They’re both scary but in different ways.”

Big Bang Theory needs to come back soon. I’m starting to want to get a life on Thursdays! Scoop please!! — Sara

Want to see Penny become a movie star? Well, hold your horses. She’s not there yet. But Bill Prady tells me they’re toying with the idea of Penny possibly “getting a little traction in her acting career.” How much? He wouldn’t say, only emphasizing “a little.” What are your pitches, readers? And will any of them be as good as Joey’s commercial for Ichiban?

How long until we get some word on the ABC comedies. Anything will do! — Margot

What about something on The Middle? When we return, we’ll learn what the kids were up to all summer: Brick was bonding with the librarian, Sue was doing teenage girl stuff (think mall and boy swooning), and Axl was taking advantage of his lifeguard powers by using them to score dates. Apparently, Axl’s got game.

I e-mail you every week, and you never pick my question! Pllleeaaaaasseee, give me some Chuck scoop!

Get ready for some trouble in paradise for an unlikely pair… Jeffster! “There’s going to be a little bit of drama between Jeffster at the Buy More, my character Jeff and Lester,” Scott Krinsky says. He couldn’t elaborate as to the exact cause, but he said “There’s going to be a little tension. I better get my dramatic chops going.”

Harry’s Law! I’m going to miss Brittany Snow so much, but I’ll give the show a shot without her. What’s coming up? — Chloe

After having been recently upgraded to series regular, Christopher McDonald told me there will be yet another shakeup early in the season. Tommy and Harry will be sharing offices together! “That starts the season off, but it’s pretty great. Of course, it’s a frustrating thing for Tommy because he wants more. But she gives him a lot of respect, which he doesn’t get a lot of because he’s sort of a media whore,” he says laughing. “It’s a good situation, though. He learns a lot from her and he learns a lot from [Kathy Bates] in life.”

Is there a chance for Jimmy and Sabrina to hook up this season on Raising Hope? I love those two! — Nancy

It doesn’t sound like Greg Garcia is in a hurry. But, he says, “We know out there in the ether somewhere that she was attracted to him. And she doesn’t know that was him. So perhaps that gets discovered at some point. We’ll have to wait and see.” Sounds promising to me!

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

I’m worried about the “college years” of 90210. Any idea what everyone is up to? (Specifically Navid and Silver!) — Laura

When the show returns, Navid and Silver are happily living together and Navid is busy after taking over this father’s business. “I’m at the helm of this studio and I’ve transformed this porn business into a legitimate business, but it’s come with some repercussions,” he says. “It’s a 19-year-old kid running a production company. And his father’s past is sort of haunting him as the show moves on.”

Anything on Burn Notice?! — Melissa

The upcoming episode featuring Gavin Rossdale as an evil international arms dealer (First Look!) — and former friend of Fiona’s — is going to be a doozy. Fiona has to compromise a lot in order to get something that is vital to Michael’s investigation, but the price will apparently weigh heavily on the couple. “They moved in together and for a while there, things were going pretty well. They were in a much more stable place than they’ve been. But now they’re really working on Michael’s problems together, and this is one of the first hints that both characters are realizing that their co-habitating bliss might be much more complicated than they imagined it to be,” says creator Matt Nix.

NCIS: LA, please! Who’s going to get shot in the season premiere! — Danni

Oh, I’m not telling you THAT. But what I will tell you is some intel given to me by the lovely Daniela Ruah about the huge shake up caused by new operations manager Lauren Hunter. “She continues to create a little confusion by swapping the partners around a little bit. It gets us all thinking, ‘What is she doing?! What kind of control is she trying to assert over us. It’s exciting,” she says. “When I was reading the first episode of the season, which was written by [showrunner] Shane Brennan, it was like a movie script.” So who does Kensi end up with? “I’m not going to tell you who I’m partnered with! But to be working with either one of these guys … they’re so great to work with. It changes the dynamic of things and it makes it more interesting for the audience, too.”

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