Richard Foreman/CBS
February 17, 2012 at 05:39 PM EST

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On Tuesday, following How I Met Your Mother’s buzzy latest episode, I hopped on the phone with executive producer Craig Thomas to get you dish on what’s coming up for Robin and Ted, following Ted’s big love confession at the end of the installment. But what I didn’t mention in that piece is the fun in store for another couple whose flame was lit Monday night: Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Quinn (Becky Newton). Well, wait no longer.

The pair’s “enigmatic” relationship will begin to heat up in two weeks with an episode called “Karma,” according to Thomas, who says that’s when we’ll finally see Barney pine after a girl in a way we’ve seen many long for him over the years. “Barney hasn’t felt this way about a woman since Robin; he hasn’t been this intrigued,” Thomas says. “So this is Barney getting back out there.” But it won’t be so easy, since Quinn definitely has the upper hand in the situation.

In case it wasn’t clear, she works at the exact strip club that Barney frequents. “We don’t do it all that often — give the audience knowledge that the characters don’t have yet. So now the audience knows there’s this secret about this character and we’re going to see Barney learn about that secret,” Thomas says. “It’s great to see a character give Barney a run for his money and throw him a little bit and get in his head. And it was a fun reveal that she’s a stripper because she was playing a little high-and-mighty with him. It’s fun to realize she has him so cracked and knows him that well because she’s glimpsed him at the strip club that he goes to and he doesn’t realize it. He’s never seen her there, but she’s seen him and knows who he is. She’s not purely a psychic in her dissection of Barney.”

Newton will be with the show through the end of the season, appearing in five of seven remaining episodes. Beyond that, Thomas couldn’t say with certainty whether she’d appear in the next season. (He, fellow EP Carter Bays, and writer-producer Chris Harris have cast her in their pilot for Fox.) But he did tease, “Quinn is very important to this season and possibly beyond…. There’s a season 8, and I don’t want to confirm or deny, but she definitely could be a part of that season, too.”


Having just wrapped filming on their first season finale, the folks on Suburgatory have a lot to celebrate. Solid ratings. A loyal following. And being home to one of this season’s newest and most surprisingly earnest will-they-or-won’t-they couples. Admittedly, I didn’t see my love for Dallas (Cheryl Hines) and George (Jeremy Sisto) coming after watching the pilot many months ago. But in the episodes that have followed, they’ve definitely grown into a favorite, which is why my heart clenched a little when I learned a while back that not only would Dallas be “dipping her toe” into the dating world, but that George would be finding love with Alicia Silverstone.

Luckily, executive producer Emily Kapnek put me at ease this week when we hopped on the phone to talk about the rest of the season, starting with next week’s episode, which marks the start of Dallas’ post-divorce dating life (with Wilmer Valderrama!). “It’s really fun to watch George have to take in Dallas’ new dating life, and it brings some interesting feelings to the surface for him. He hasn’t really wrapped his head around what he feels for Dallas. He’s really close to her and feels very connected and that’s clear. And the audience knows Dallas has a fixation with George, but after the Christmas episode, she felt a little shot down. So now, she keeps a stiff upper lip about it all,” she says.

Given that Valderrama is only around for one episode, you can gather things don’t work out between Dallas and her new squeeze, leading to a bit of a depression era for the usually plucky mom. “That’s a new feeling for her, but George, again is there for her,” says Kapnek. “That’s a fantastic episode called ‘Down Time,’ where Dalia ends up seeing a therapist and Dallas and George connect over what it means to be a single parent. And that bonding over the issues helps create a basis for their relationship and deepens their ties with each other.”

But will Silverstone’s appearance in the next few episodes (and possibly next season!) throw a wrench in those plans? More scoop on Suburgatory next week!

NEXT: NCIS: LA, Cougar Town, Smash, and more!

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