By Sandra Gonzalez
December 17, 2012 at 09:15 PM EST
Skip Bolen/TNT

Happy Holidays, gang!

As we head into the greatest time of the year, I wish you nothing but goodness. May your stockings be full (of TV on DVD), your families be well (/less crazy than the Graysons), and your holidays be more magical than Storybrooke.

Enjoy your scoop and see you after the holidays! And, if you get a chance, hit up spoilerroom@ew.com with all scoop inquiries.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: ABOUT TONIGHT’S BIG EPISODE…

I’ll be direct: How I Met Your Mother fans do not want to miss tonight’s episode. Why? Let’s dig into a three questions that will hopefully they will enlighten you. UPDATE: More here in our post-mortem with EP Craig Thomas.

What happens on HIMYM tonight? Does Barney propose to Patrice? I have to know! — Erin

There is a proposal. Patrice is definitely involved. And, oddly, so is Ted. You’ll see…

I LOVE Seth Green, and can’t wait to see him on HIMYM. Any idea if there will be a Buffy reference of any kind? — Laura

Not to my knowledge. But one think I will tell you about Green’s character, Creepy Daryl: He’s not only a weirdo. He’s also pretty freaking ***h!

ANYTHING you can tell me about HIMYM’s midseason finale episode? The teases are killing me! — Tonya

There’s a running theme in the first half that you’d never expect would fit in the HIMYM world: Silence of the Lambs! But it totally works. Now to unbury the lead: Someone gets fired! It may or may not stick.

BONUS: I’m a huge How I Met Your Mother fan so any scoop would be appreciated but I do have a specific question. CBS just announced that Ashley Benson will be appearing in the January 21st episode as someone with a connection to Barney. Since she’s probably a little young to be a date, even for him, the general consensus seems to be that she must be playing his half-sister. This kind of throws a wrench into a theory that lots of fans have held onto for a long time, myself included, which is that Ted meets his wife at Barney’s wedding because she’s Barney’s sister. But it seems unlikely that they’d introduce the mother now. So have you heard if Ashley Benson is Barney’s sister? — Jillian

I can say this (and you’ll get more info soon): Her appearance will have Ted asking himself an important question. #Imightbemisleading

NCIS: WELCOME TO CASA DINOZZO

On tomorrow night’s episode of NCIS, Tony DiNozzo, Sr. (Robert Wagner) decides he wants to spend the holidays with his loving son! Awwwww — or not.

As it turns out, Dad’s unplanned appearance — and his insistence on having an old-fashioned family Christmas — is not entirely welcome. In fact, the younger DiNozzo is downright hesitant to let his dad to waltz into his home and stage a Christmas takeover. “[Tony] really doesn’t really bring a lot of people home to his place,” previews executive producer Mark Horowitz. “In fact, what we discover is no one has actually visited his apartment. It’s sort of his private place, and he doesn’t quite know how to deal with it.”

As for the rest of the gang? “They are their own family and when you think about all of these characters, they are single — with the exception of Vance [and Palmer],” says Horowitz. “[They’re] unattached and during the holiday season — because they have no one to go home to — they tend to gravitate together. And so I think that there is a certain amount of nourishment they all obtain just from the fact that they are all in the same boat. I think has a very delightful ending that reflects that.”

Sounds warm and fuzzy, which is great, considering there are dark times ahead for one character in particular in 2013. [Cliffhanger noise here.]

BUNHEADS: THE BALLERINAS ARE BACK

Judging from the e-mail pile, I’m not the only one who was charmed by Bunheads, and after checking out the midseason premiere, I’m confident in saying the show is still in fine form. So what’s the second half of the season hold? Here are four teases:

+ Michelle (Sutton Foster) might be gone longer than you think. That is, if you thought the show was going to return and find her magically back in action, think again. In fact, the only magic going on in this episode, is onstage at Michelle’s new place of employment. Sound grim? It is!

+ New romance for Sasha. Remember Roman, the former jock-turned-punk? He’s back — and he’s got his eyes on Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles). “His storyline parallels to hers a little bit, where he’s a lost soul trying to figure out who he is, too,” Telles says. “They’re both kind of sarcastic, so they get along well.”

+ Sasha’s tough time. When the show returns, the young dancer has little interest in returning home. And as Telles previews, things will get worse before they get better. “We see that collapsing throughout the season,” she says. “She leans on her friends a little bit, but she really needs someone to guide her and that’s Michelle.”

+ Hubbell returns!! No this isn’t Bunheads of the Walking Dead. (Although, dibs!) But Michelle’s former hubby (Alan Ruck) does make an important appearance in the Jan. 7 episode.

SIDE DISHES

I’m so excited about the return of White Collar, you have no idea! Give me some Bomer news, Sandra! — Hazel

My favorite part of the Jan. 22 midseason premiere? Seeing Neal drunk off his (very attractive) rump! Don’t worry, his indulgence is work-related — mostly. My second favorite part? The great flashbacks to Neal’s childhood that explain exactly what made his father abandon the family. Answers, people! We get answers! And if it’s that’s not enough scoop for you, make sure you e-mail me your questions for White Collar boss Jeff Eastin, who I’ll be chatting with tomorrow. (spoilerroom@ew.com) You have until noon ET tomorrow to get them in!

The return of Dallas is going to be so bittersweet. (RIP, JR!) Can you share anything about the first few episodes? — Lauren A.

Bittersweet, indeed — especially when you see how great the late Larry Hagman is in the first two episodes, airing back-to-back on Jan. 28. Besides Hagman, other stand-out performances include: Brenda Strong, who has some great material this year as Ann tries to uncover the truth about what happened to her now-estranged daughter; Julie Gonzalo, who is unapologetically evil now that Rebecca’s true colors are flying high; and Judith Light, who makes her debut in the second hour of the premiere as mother to Ann’s ex-hubby, Harris (Mitch Pileggi). Bonus scoops: What brings Light’s character into the fold will set up a HUGE feud that I’m excited to see play out, and John Ross (Josh Henderson) gets some action twice in the two-hour premiere. Easy, cowboy.

Sandra, I LOVED LOVED LOVED the reveal with John Barrowman at the end of Arrow’s midseason finale. Any hints about what’s next for the Dark Archer? — Kevin

Well, I can tell you he’s definitely back when we return and is around throughout the season. As for what’s in store, Barrowman says he’d love to see a little Merlyn backstory take center stage before season’s end. “I would love to go back to see where this all started, why it all happened and go into flashbacks,” he says. “That’s one thing I know works in this genre and in this type of program — when you do go back to find out why you are where you are at a given moment in time, where you have come from, and what has caused it. Backstory is beautiful. I love a beautiful backstory.”

I thought the Royal Pains movie was pretty good, and was glad to see Evan and Hank on the same page again. I hate when they fight. Are their troubles over? — Lisa

The show doesn’t officially start filming their next season until March, but when I spoke to Mark Feuerstein, he was convinced we hadn’t see the last of the brother’s troubles. “That will be an issue, I think, as Evan tries to build a family/start a life with his new wife and Hank is still without any real domestic concerns,” he says. “How will that play out? I don’t know.”

Sandra, I saw you went to a Doctor Who screening. SOOOO JEAAALOUUSS. I’m guessing that was the Christmas episode? If so, may we PLEASE have some scoop? — Abigail

Here’s the thing…I’m sort of sworn to secrecy. BUT, I will say this: By the end of the special, you’ll have more questions than answers about the Doctor’s new companion (played by Jenna Louise Coleman), especially in light of how it ends!

I NEED SCANDAL SCOOP NOW!! — Regina

NO NEED TO YELL REGINA! Ehem, as you now know, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) will be in major hot water when the show returns in January, but as Diaz tells me, Huck will find some comfort in knowing he has Olivia and Co. on his case. “I think Olivia and the team are going to do whatever is necessary to bring the truth to light, and he knows they are on his side,” he says. “I think there’s a little relief there. ‘At least Olivia and the team know I didn’t do this. They’re going to do what they can to get me off and figure it out.’ He’s just hoping for the best.”

Scandal is on FIRE! Scoop please! — Taylor

Prepare yourself for HUGE things in episode 13. As you might know, the show was originally picked up for a 13 episode season (a back 9 was eventually ordered) so this episode was designed to function as a season finale of sorts. Yes, it’s that big! So, what can Diaz share? Well, not much… “It’s another rollercoaster script,” he says. “S–t you won’t expect is happening.”

Sandra! From one Supernatural fan to another, what’s the next episode should I be most excited about? Season GR8 has been, well, GREAT! — Anna

Episode 11 — in which Dean and Sam get thrown into the world of LARPing — is going to be one to remember, but I’m most looking forward to the next episode from writer Ben Edlund, which I’m told is a “twisted” installment. “There will be an episode dealing with Nazi necromancers,” says executive producer Jeremy Carver. “It was written by Ben Endlund, so you know that’s going to be fun.”

Hi Sandra! Happy Holidays! Do you have any exciting scoop about the second half of season 2 of Suits? I really miss those handsome, well-dressed men and beautiful ladies on my television screen. Thanks! — Lauren K.

I miss them too! Thankfully the wait is almost over. But to tide you over until then, here are three bits of intel: We learn in the Jan. 17 premiere that Rachel is “not the goodie-good” Mike believes her to be, Mike has a major confrontation with a man from his past after a case makes him recall his parents’ death, and Harvey’s plans to woo Zoe take a very unexpected turn.

When will the adults find out about the twins? #TheLyingGame — @JcanTediBear

Well, as season 1 revealed, Rebecca (Charisma Carpenter) and Alec (Adrian Pasdar) definitely know more than they let on, so I guess it’s just Kristin (Helen Slater) and Ted (Andy Buckley) that we’re waiting on. And based off what I saw in the season premiere, the pair couldn’t be more oblivious. I can’t blame them, though. With their marriage in rocky times, much of their focus is going toward trying to be civil. Surprise!: It doesn’t work.

Any Lying Game spoilers? — Bonnie

The Mercer household is going to open its doors to a friend in need, and if you thought the Rebecca-is-the-mother reveal was big, be prepared for a moment at the end of the season premiere that will knock your socks off! It involves a family connection you won’t see coming.

Hey Sandra! Any Nick/Jess scoop to share? — Jennifer

You’re in luck! The New Girl actor stopped by the InsideTV podcast to chat recently and revealed big things will go down with Nick and Jess in the new year. What I can add? By episode 16, which primarily takes place at an unconventional speed-dating event, Nick will be itching for some one-on-one time with Jess so they can talk, but private time proves harder to get than he hopes. See where this is going?

I’d love something on Ben and Leslie but I’ll really take anything from Parks and Recreation. — Dana

Guess who’s getting a new, older love interest? (No, it’s not Ben or Leslie.) Word is that the show is currently looking for an actress to play a lovely 40-something named Lauren, who catches Tom’s eye. Suggestions?

Related:

‘Dexter’ showrunner explains shocking finale, season 8 plans

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