It’s that time of year again, Roomies! I’m headed west (like Fievel!) from my home base here in NYC to hit up the annual PaleyFest celebrations in Los Angeles.
So if you’re a fan of Community, New Girl, Parks and Recreation, Sons of Anarchy, Bones, The Vampire Diaries, Castle, and Revenge, you’ll want to be following my moves on Twitter for the next week for the latest from all those panels. (My colleague Tanner Stransky will also be out there, covering Revenge, Parks, and more!) Be on the watch for plenty of goodies coming your way. (And there will also be a few more treats in store if your favorite show’s not mentioned in the sentence above. Just sayin’!)
Until then, enjoy this week’s offerings. I have to pack.
THE OFFICE: B.J. NOVAK PREVIEWS ARRIVAL OF KELLY’S ‘HERO’
Post-Florida fun, Ryan Howard is going to be in for a big (and completely unwelcome) surprise. Though he ever-so-briefly had his eye on Erin (Ellie Kemper), he’ll soon find that Kelly has a new crush of her own — except from the sounds of it, this is much more serious. Enter Heroes alum Sendhil Ramamurthy.
“When he gets back, Jim and Pam have set [Kelly] up with this handsome Indian pediatrician, who is their family pediatrician, and for some reason, he really likes Kelly. They get along perfectly, and this seems to be the perfect solution — not just for Kelly but for the office, which is really sick of Ryan and Kelly distracting them,” says writer and co-exec producer B.J. Novak, who reveals that the writers took inspiration from — oddly enough — The Jersey Shore‘s own embattled couple, Ronnie and Sammi. “They’re [both] terrible couples that just needed to be kept apart for their own sanity…. So Jim and Pam set Kelly up with this real adult relationship, and Ryan finds himself very jealous and tries to win Kelly back.”
And their romance will be anything but fleeting. Ramamurthy has currently filmed one episode and they’re hoping to get him for more. Even if they can’t, however, Novak says “the story line is definitely alive whether he’s in the episode or not” and it will be the driving force for Ryan and Kelly’s story line for the rest of the season.
“The whole point of [Ramamurthy’s character] is to show what a loser Ryan is, including physically, so that really was his job — to just make me look like [bad] and like only an idiot would choose me,” jokes Novak. “There’s a great line, I think Justin Spitzer wrote it, where Kelly, who is deciding between them, says all these great things about Ravi. ‘[He’s] an Indian doctor, he’s handsome, he treats me well, and he’s successful, and he’s loving. And Ryan puts me through so much drama, so I just have to decide which of those two things is more important to me.’ The girl loves drama, so I think that’s the only thing going for Ryan.”
‘REVENGE‘: BACK TO SCHOOL
REVENGE CAME BACK THIS WEEK!! …Erm, and now it’s gone again. And while I know the wait until April will be a painful one, I turned to Christine B. Allen for a preview of what’s to come for the Graysons and Co. as the drama — not to mention Charlotte’s drug addiction — continues to ramp up. Among the nuggets she shared? Char’s going to let her inner Grayson/Clark flag fly.
“How Charlotte goes about getting her drugs [will] become integral to the story,” she says. “They’re being obtained illegally. She gets them from one source and runs out and has to find a new source.”
So where’s a rich teen go to score some not-so-legal substances? Her ritzy prep school, apparently. “It’s private school with a bunch of rich young Hamptonites, and you know, I think bribery and deceit and less-than-kosher means will be how she goes about getting more pills — as addicts do.” And while Declan and Emily remain privy to her secret, don’t look for her preoccupied parents to catch on so quickly. “That’s the sick thing about it. From my perspective, she’s never really had the attention from her parents. Daniel has always been the golden child for reasons that Victoria has only ever fully known. But Char has always sort of been the black sheep, and this is her first major attempt at crying out and saying [she] needs love, too,” Allen says. “I think that just might be the deeper motivations — or one of them.”
‘SOUTHLAND’ CAST TEASES END OF SEASON ‘CHOICES’
Fans might have gotten a hint that Lucy Liu won’t be sticking around for another season of Southland after being booked in CBS’s new pilot. But that’s probably the smallest part of the puzzle. How she exits, is likely to be the issue that has the audience abuzz. “You’re going to see a lot of controversy in the last few episodes of this season for my character and her partner [played by Michael Cudlitz],” she tells EW. “They are going have a little bit of conflict and I think that’s going to be jarring because they have to still ride together, they have to communicate and work together, and they are still each other’s first line of defense when on this dangerous job. We might be fighting but we still have to keep each other from getting killed.”
Without getting into specifics, Liu says the argument has to do with decisions and judgment. “I don’t think you can say that either one is right or wrong; it’s just two points of view. It’s not trying to tell you what is the right opinion. It leaves it up to the viewer and the audience to form their own opinion,” she says. “I don’t think they’re going to be totally thrilled about what happens, but it isn’t shying away from the conflict and I love that choice.”
Meanwhile, Ben McKenzie (who stopped by this week to hang out on my Spoiler couch!) told me his character also finds himself making questionable decisions after a case involving a young girl, who’s being lured onto the street by her prostitute mother and pimp father, hits him close to home and possibly causes him to “go over a line.” “He does things that are completely insane and it’s going to be cool to see the reaction to that… There’s a very dramatic end to the season.” (More from our chat soon!)
Sandra, I know this isn’t totally TV-related, but I loved your chat with John Francis Daley and his writing partner [Jonathan Goldstein] about the Vacation movie! But what does this mean for him on Bones? — Michelle
Though the lab can sometimes be a dangerous place (R.I.P. Vincent Nigel Murray), Daley was fairly confident when I spoke with him that Sweets would be back next season (which the show has yet to be officially picked up for) — despite his insanely busy behind the scenes. “I spoke to [creator] Hart Hanson, who’s been so supportive. I’m optimistic things will work out, as they tend to do — as long as the scheduling goes according to plan. But who knows what will happen to Sweets,” he says.
These past 3 episodes of #HIMYM have been great. — @mksystem74
They sure have. And there’s plenty more goodies to come. How can I be TOTALLY sure? In an upcoming episode where Lily’s in labor (that will air before the finale!) the gang will distract Lily from the pain of labor by telling her stories. Twenty-two stories to be exact — yes, math-letes, that’s one for every minute of airtime! And I’m told the stories are as random as can be and take place at different times during the gang’s time together — and apart.
Sandra, Mary, and Marshall are a hoot to watch on In Plain Sight. Will we find out what happens to her sister, the runaway bride? And will Mary find her father? Thanks for all your work with the spoilers you provide. — Abby
The season opener will definitely answer the sister part of the equation, and, actually, what happens on that front is going to put Mary in a fairly difficult situation. Meanwhile, I intend to post the second part of your question to star Mary McDonald herself when she stops by the EW offices soon. And if you, or any other In Plain Sight fans have questions for her as we head into the show’s final season, be sure to shoot them my way!
Any last minute intel on The Lying Game before they close the curtain on season 1 this Monday? — Bruce
The night’s big reveal ending is a goodie and will leave us with one HUGE question as we exit the season! And on an unrelated matter, Blair Redford promises Ethan’s not done trying to get back in Emma’s good graces. “It’s obvious that Ethan doesn’t quit very easily. If there’s something he wants, he goes after it. Even though it seems like she made herself pretty clear, he’s going to make one more push for her [in the season finale].”
Hi Sandra! I loved the Parenthood season finale last night, but I’m nervous that they seemed to have wrapped up each story line quickly and neatly… kind of like you would if it were a series finale. Any good news about a season 4? Speaking of a season 4… I read that Josh Hopkins was cast in a new show for the fall. Noooo! What does that mean for the fate of Cougar Town? — Jen
The odds aren’t looking good for the Cul-de-sac Crew, according to Lynette Rice and James Hibberd’s TV Death Watch. Thankfully, they’re more hopeful about a return for Parenthood — as am I — and so is former recurring player Michael B. Jordan, who is starring in creator Jason Katim’s new medical drama pilot, County. And should his friends return for another season, Jordan tells me he wouldn’t mind a visit back! “I would definitely be open to that. I never close any doors,” he says. “If Alex could come back in the right manner and had some interesting things to bring to the table, I wouldn’t mind jumping back into his shoes again. Alex was a cool guy. He had a lot going on but he had a good heart, and I think that’s why a lot of people related to him.”
I just read that Natalie Zea was cast in Kevin Williamson’s new pilot. Are they killing off Winona!? If you can’t say, anything you can say about the Justified finale? — Ellen
Well, what I have to say about the finale won’t soothe you one bit. As the season comes to a close, someone will, in fact, be killed. And while executive producer Graham Yost won’t say who, he shares: “It provides an engine for Raylan to get the bad guy. That becomes the drive for the last episode. The last episode is get Quarles. I’ll tell you that. How that plays out with Quarles, and Raylan, and Limehouse, and Boyd, and Arlo — that’s our season.” Yeah, things aren’t looking good for Raylan’s squeeze. Although, EW’s Mandi Bierly, who does weekly chats with Yost, theorizes Zea might be safer than we think, considering Yost assured her earlier this season that the pregnancy would not be threatened. “We talked about it, but we quickly made the decision that we don’t want to get into that territory…. We’re not gonna put a gun to her belly, and we’re not gonna have her in a car accident or anything like that,” he said at the time. Let the theorizing begin!
This whole season of Raising Hope has been fantastic! I’m LOVING Jimmy and Sabrina together. What’s next for them as a couple? — Sarah B.
Prison! Well, for one of them. But don’t worry; Katy Perry (as a deranged guard) is there to keep Sabrina company after she ends up in the pokey for organizing an Occupy Natesville. (Actually, it was probably more for kicking an officer in the nads.) And while there isn’t much Jimmy can do to help his dearly incarcerated, Virginia’s the one who ends up having the real pull in this episode!
Any plans for the introduction of Tyrese from the comics into The Walking Dead? — Nathan
Not in the foreseeable future. Plus, I think there will be plenty going on between the arrival of the governor next season, the major death that leaked yesterday, and the other major death that hasn’t.
Any cute Nick/Jess moments coming up on New Girl? — Rosie
Is Nick and Jess sleeping together on the beach considered cute? If so, yes. If not… still yes. (P.S.: I chose my wording carefully to assure maximum sauciness.)
OK, I can’t wait three weeks to find out! The last thing we saw was Alaric getting shot in the chest at almost point-blank range. He’s not finally dead for real, is he? His life-saving ring has been failing of late, so we can’t count on that. It would be absolutely devastating if he were to leave the show! — MaryAnnMC
If he shows up to PaleyFest this week, then I think we’re safe to assume he’s not “dead for real” this time. (P.S.: I’m already assuming that.) Also, can I just say that I love that the phrase “dead for real” exists?
Any new scoop for The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, or Supernatural?
Is there a subfolder in your scoop files for “things that are never gonna happen”? If not, get out the label maker. You see, even though John Winchester hasn’t been on Supernatural in, oh, five years, I still get asked if he’s ever slated for return. So let’s let Jeffrey Dean Morgan put this to bed for good. “Yes, I would go back if they asked me. My stance always is I would love to come back. In fact, they have trashed John so f–king much on that show that I would like to come back just to set the record straight the real way,” he says. “I’m not that bad of a dad. I saved my kids. I went to hell to save my kids. How bad can I be, people? But there are a couple of story lines that I’d like to resolve and more importantly those people mean a lot to me. Jensen [Ackles] introduced me to [girlfriend and White Collar star Hilarie Burton] and they’re family, so it’d be fun to go back. But I don’t think it will ever happen.”
You haven’t had anything on Alcatraz in a bit and I was hoping for a little scoop on the two-hour episode. Anything good? — Caitlin
I would say the episodes are only loosely connected, so I wouldn’t necessarily call it a two-hour installment. But they are definitely two strong episodes — each with its own strength. The first episode finds the gang trapped inside Alcatraz during a wicked storm and features a pretty cool discovery at the end of the episode. And the second hour, titled “Sonny Burnett,” is the episode in which Sons of Anarchy alum Theo Rossi guests as probably one of my favorite cons so far. You know how our hearts were aching for poor Juice toward the end of the last Sons season? Well, you won’t feel bad for him here; he’s downright creepy — and after you see it, you’ll never want to see him another way!
Sandra, I know you’re a Jeffrey Dean Morgan fan! So you’ve gotta tell me about Magic City! Thoughts? Early intel? — Savannah
How about some preview scoop from the man himself, who plays hotel owner Ike Evans in the Starz crime drama, premiering April 6. “In the first episode, it is all about Sinatra playing our New Year’s party [but] we don’t ever see Sinatra. We hear him singing and Ella Fitzgerald,” he says. “You don’t want to throw an actor trying to be Sinatra out there because you run the risk of not doing it well, and I think it takes away from the reality you are creating by doing somewhat of a gimmick. But there’s the essence. You can smell Sinantra. You may not see him but you know he’s there. We do that quite a bit throughout the show.” And just because the show is set in a similar era, don’t be so quick to draw Mad Men comparisons, he says. “There’s nothing like it on television and thank God I like it. I was worried that I’d sign up for some seven-year commitment and then it turned out to be s—, like ‘What the f— have I done?'”
Sandra can you PLZ, PLZ, PLZ ask Blair Brown if she will get to direct a Fringe ep like she had hoped. She mentioned it last season. — @dublawgal
Answer here, along with some really great teases on the last part of the season!
I watch everything on HBO. So I’ll take anything you have on an HBO show! — Jeff
Do we live next door to each other?! I swear that’s the only channel my neighbor watches. (It sounds creepy that I know that, but it’s really not. New York = thin walls.) Anyhoo…you might be seeing a lot less Dustin Powers next season on Eastbound & Down. At the Indie Spirit Awards held last weekend in L.A., John Hawkes told us that he has “limited participation” in the next season of the show as a result of his busy film schedule. “I am in a few of the episodes. I was very excited to do one in particular, but I had a very small window from the film I was working on. When got off the set, [a] hurricane happened and I was never able to reshoot that. So I won’t be on the show a lot this season, but I will be watching every week,” he says.
Any scoop on this death coming on Community?
It’s not someone major, but it’s someone loved.
(Carrie Bell, Mandi Bierly and Lanford Beard contributed to this column.)