By Sandra Gonzalez
August 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
Matt Kennedy/CBS

No time for small talk, today. Sorry. A storm a’brewin’ on the East Coast!

I have TV on DVD to purchase, windows to tape, snacks to buy, and an entire wall of attractive celebrities to encase in plexiglass in the event water levels reach EW’s third floor!

Thankfully, I will still be able to check your scoop requests over the weekend, so send them in! (spoilerroom@ew.com — Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know!) Also, follow the progression of my hurricane-cause cabin fever on Twitter: @EWSandraG.

See you next week… (I hope).

MARK SHEPPARD ON ‘LEVERAGE’ SUMMER FINALE, RETURN OF STERLING

Before we get down to business, you’ve already checked out that exclusive clip of the Leverage summer finale I served up for you on Wednesday. Right? If you haven’t, shame on you. Click there immediately. If you have, proceed for further scoop.

This Sunday’s episode of Leverage is, as recurring guest star Mark Sheppard sees it, a “very simple episode,” but don’t let him fool you. Sure, Nate’s (Timothy Hutton) old friend Sterling’s reappearance in the team’s lives certainly leads to a classic caper, but there’s also so much more. “I think it’s a very interesting way to write a relationship,” Sheppard tells me of Nate and Sterling’s slowly unraveled past. “The relationship is established but more of how they got there is being revealed.”

He adds: “I think [Sterling] is the person who knows Nate best — obviously in a different way than [his team]. But I’ve probably seen the worst of him and am probably the person who’s spent the most time with him and known him the longest. I’m like his ex-wife, in a very strange way,” he says laughing. “I’m part of his old life.”

Interestingly, Sunday’s episode particularly has some juicy bits about Sterling’s old life, but you’ll have to see those for yourself. All I can say is that you’ll definitely walk away looking at Sterling in a different way. Meanwhile, for you ‘shippery types, the episode also features some of my favorite Hardison and Parker scenes of this season. I’ll say one word: Hum. I guarantee you’ll be swooning along with me.

‘SUPERNATURAL’ SEASON 7:  MORE CROWLEY?

While I had Mark Sheppard on the phone, how could I resist talking to him about Supernatural? Though he wouldn’t reveal much (he’s a pro at dodging by now!), he did say that he was excited about the possibility of more Crowley this season. “Sera [Gamble] said that what Cas has said about this demon was going to be explored at some point, and that she has plans for this demon. But who knows? Maybe they just blew me up,” he says of his confirmed appearance in episode 1 (by way of the show’s amazing new promo!).

Sheppard, a longtime viewers of the CW show, also says he’s noticed Supernatural has gone back to basics, focusing on character development. “It’s going back to what made the show so popular,” he explains. “You’ve had these big, angels and demons wars, and the devil, and death. These things will obviously continue on in some way, but the root of it is Dean and Sam and I think it’s fascinating. It’s very much back to the root element.”

But will that “root element” include more appearances by Crowley? Of course, he won’t say. He did, however, hint: “It’s a lot of fun when Crowley is connected to the boys in a lot of ways. The fans have enjoyed that connection. They do well in that situation. It always pays off very well. I’m looking forward to seeing whether that happens or not.”

NEXT: “Scoop on ‘Fringe,’ ‘Castle,’ ‘House,’ and more!”

LANCE REDDICK TEASES RELATIONSHIP CHANGES IN SEASON 4 OF ‘FRINGE’

We already know that since Peter sacrificed himself — rather, his existence — for the sake of the rest, there are major adjustments afoot. But how major? For that answer, we turned to inside man Lance Reddick, who breaks down some of the changes we might be seeing in the Fringe division.”Broyles and Peter weren’t that connected, but there is an affection that Broyles started to have with Walter that is gone now,” he says. “Now it’s about keeping the guy functioning so that he can work for us. And even though Olivia is still his top agent, there isn’t necessarily the same kind of paternal relationship that Broyles and Olivia had before.”

The new, subtle approach to their relationship will also be seen in another pairing: Astrid and Walter, says Reddick. “There was a closeness they had that I don’t think necessarily exists,” he says. “So it’ll be interesting once Peter reappears and as the season goes on, we try to figure out who the heck he is and what’s this crazy stuff he’s talking about. How in another reality we all knew each other. And how do we reintegrate that into the story.”

But the twist from last season won’t just fracture relationships. It will also bring together worlds, he reveals. “There may be more interaction in terms of casework between the two universes, which would be very interesting,” he says. “I don’t know that we can do too much of that because it takes so much time to shoot because we’ve gotten multiple versions of people. Particularly if they’re in the same scene because everybody has to play themselves, have a double, do it on green screen, and all that stuff. But it’s very intriguing.” He’s got that right.

More from my chat with Lance Reddick next week!

SIDE DISHES

Castle spoilers please! Any good Caskett spoilers for Castle fans? — Danielle Gerard

Worried about the addition of The Killing‘s Kristen Lehman as an art insurance investigator/love interest for Castle? Don’t be. I hear she’s only in one episode as of now and has a pretty darn good story while she’s there. Obviously the casting choice was made for a reason (Chemistry? Yup!), but I’d calm myself a bit. She isn’t the female Josh (a.k.a. ‘ship wrecker!). But while Lehman is only in one episode, I can’t say the same for Beckett’s psychiatrist, played by Michael Dorn. He makes his second appearance in Lehman’s episode. (The first being the premiere.)

Hi there, I love your column! I would love some Castle scoop. Can you tell us anything about the return of the 3XK episode, “Kick the Ballistics” being filmed right now? I assume we can look for some great scenes for Detective Ryan, dealing with the fallout and it will be nice to see him in the spotlight for once. Thanks! — Cheryl

You’re going to see a side of Ryan you’ve never seen before. Also, a bit of casting news! I hear recurring White Collar player Ross McCall (who plays Keller) will take on a role in the ep as a cop who figures into the case. Also appearing? Lost‘s Francois Chau. So far, I’m giving a solid A to the casting choices this season!

I love the Big Bang Theory? Any chance for a big spoiler?

First, can we pause to commemorate the awesome of the season premiere photos? [Pause] Great. Now we can move on. Last time I talked to Bill Prady, he was pretty excited about exploring sex-less Leonard. That sounds weird… but I’m going with it. “Once [Priya’s] gone, Leonard is going to face the daunting task of how — in this age of the Internet and high speed connections and video chatting — how you stay intimate from a great distance away. So that’s going to be a bit of a challenge for him,” Prady said. Um, I can think of a few ways… ehem. But Prady insists with a laugh, “I don’t think Leonard’s going to feel comfortable jumping into that.”

When we’re going to find out who is taking over Cuddy’s position on House? Is it something they drag out? I think you should just tell us now. :) — Dorian

You cheeky monkey. Nice try. But no. I can tell you, however, that the series won’t leave you hanging for too long. I’m told you will get your answer in episode 2… and most definitely not now. :P

I’d love some scoop on Pretty Little Liars! — Claire

Remember the casting news from earlier this week about Boy Meet’s World‘s Anthony Tyler Quinn that teased “a 16-year-old hottie son”?  Meet your hottie: It’s Secret Life of the American Teenager alum Shane Coffey. Need a refresher? He played the character Jimmy Nash in some episode early last year.

NEXT: “Scoop on ‘Bones,’ ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ ‘Desperate Housewives,’ and more!”

Anything new to report on Bones to cheer me up? I’m bummed it’s not back until November.  — Alyson

We’re going to see a mini-Booth flashback. There’s no speaking. But it already sounds adorable.

A little Nikita scoop? Anything will do! Okay, not anything, please make it Mikita related! J — Lanie

Sexy times ahead! Except — not necessarily between Nikita and Michael. “There is some sexy stuff, [but] not that they’re doing to each other. But some clothes come off and there’s a little bit of that,” teases Maggie Q. “But what’s sexy about them in the first couple of episodes is how they deal with each other in their new environment and it’s at times, very sweet. When you have to survive a situation with someone, it heightens the bond.”

I’d love something on Modern Family or The Middle! — Tina

In the third episode of The Middle, Sue struggles with an issue close to my own heart: too many tardies. Hopefully she finds a better solution than mine; I just stayed in one class all day or didn’t go at all, which I later learned was probably the wrong approach.

Hey, Sandra. These photos from the premiere have me more excited than ever! How about some How I Met Your Mother scoop?! — Abby

I have it on good authority that now is the best time to catch up on the series if you were late to the game. There will be several nods to the mythology this season — and some exciting old favorites returning. You do not want to be left out. With that terribly vague tease, that’s about all I can say for now. Tell me who and what you’d love to see return this season. Time for the last slap? Another visit from Wayne Brady as Barney’s (literal) bro? Sound off and I’ll pass word along. ;)

Give me something BIG on Parks. I mean BIG. — Jacki

A major pairing will split before episode 5. Who it is will bum. You. Out.

I’d love some NCIS: LA scoop! Do you know who gets shot in the premiere? I hope it’s not Deeks!!! — Victoria

Two things for those seeking NCIS: LA scoop. 1) Email me your questions for EP Shane Brennan before noon ET. 2) Follow me on Twitter before Monday. You won’t regret it.

Thank you for the Sons of Anarchy scoop! Any new Jax scoop to report? — Becky

He’s going to make a shocking confession to Tara in the first episode (which is 90-minutes long, FYI!). And it’s going to set in motion a lot of this season.

The finale of Rescue Me is coming up. Any scoop on the final 2? — Peter

Next week’s episode ends with a huge bang. But what you should really be looking forward to is the first 10 minutes of the final episode. You won’t see it coming…

Anything on the ladies from Wisteria Lane? — Rachel

We knew that Tom would start dating following his separation from Lynette, but it looks like he’s not the only one getting back into the dating game. After couples counseling goes south, I hear Lynette is going to go back into the dating jungle. From one single gal to another, Godspeed, Lynn. Upon learning this, I was reminded of a convo I had with Felicity Huffman a few weeks back at the Television Critics Association. When asked about her post-series plans, Huffman said, “I’m really sad. I think it’s a cold, hard world out there waiting for all of us.” Don’t know why, but that seemed fitting to share now…

(Carrie Borzillo contributed to this column.)

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