By Sandra Gonzalez
August 01, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT
Patrick Ecclesine/The CW; Sonja Flemming/CBS; Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

Howdy, Roomies!

It’s that time of the week again. Excited? You should be! I am. I’ve also had a lot of caffeine this week while covering the Television Critics Association press tour with my colleagues, so … this should be interesting.

As always, send your questions to spoilerroom@ew.com.

‘NCIS’ BOSS: ‘EVERYONE HAS TO WATCH THE FIRST TWO EPISODES’

I hear ya, NCIS fans. The departure of Cote de Pablo is an unfortunate turn of events, to say the least. NCIS EP Gary Glasberg was “saddened” by the situation, too, telling me earlier this week during CBS’ annual bash for television critics that “it’s the last thing we planned on.” That said, he promised, “At the end of the day, I’m really happy with what we came up with. Everyone has to watch the first two episodes.”

Why? Well, for one, he teased, the episodes were completely reworked in order to accommodate this curve ball. “I literally had to lock myself away and everything I was planning on had to be blown out and I had to start all over again,” he says of the news, which came after plans for the season had already begun. “Again, it’s not what we had hoped for. This family — this NCIS family that exists between [the characters] — is so special and so unique, and this was Cote’s decision and we have to respect that … but some really fantastic work is going to come out of what occurred. We have some really terrific stuff planned for the year.”

So what ARE those plans? For one, Ziva will be “prominent” in the second episode of the season and “it’s a really touching, emotional story and I promise the viewers will not be disappointed — especially the Tiva fans, as we say. I hope it’s everything they want it to be.”

He adds: “I want some of it to be a surprise, but I think people will be pleased at the end of the day with where it’s left both emotionally and psychologically — and not only for Tony, but Gibbs, Abby, and everybody. That’s a big part of what I was taking into consideration — really understanding how the people and the fans are so connected to our characters. You really have to honor that.”

Who’s already crying?

‘SUPERNATURAL’: PICKING UP THE PIECES; PLUS, ‘DOCTOR DEAN-LITTLE’

That Men of Letters stuff is just the gift that keeps on giving. It’s no secret that I was a big fan of the introduction of this mythology last year, and EP Jeremy Carver told me this week that they intend to ride the MOL train into this season. “We’ll be delving a lot more into that,” he says, “and in fact we’ll be seeing the very first two hunters to ever be stationed at the men of letters bunker. That’s a really, really fun episode we have coming up early in the season where we will be flashing back to 1935.”

Elsewhere, it will take at least the first three episodes for the show to get back into the case-of-the-week format as before, then they’ll be dealing with the fallout of thousands of angels falling from the sky. “There are a lot of pieces to pick up. As we pick up those pieces, we’re always introducing new things, but we’re very much in the world of consequences of last season,” he shared.

But when we do get back to the week-to-week ongoings, here’s something to look forward to: an episode that will cause Dean to become what EP Robert Singer called “Doctor Dean-little.” Yes, he talks to animals. (!!) “One of the highlights being Dean getting into a brawl with a pigeon,” Carver dished. “It’s a logical progression from fairies to pigeons.”

‘NCIS: LA’: FINALE TRAUMA WILL HAVE ‘UNBELIEVABLE EMOTIONAL CONSEQUENCES’ ON DEEKS

Poor Deeks. Poor Sam. Poor everyone!  The gang on NCIS: LA was up a creek without a paddle and headed for a whirlpool at the end of last season, and things will probably get worse before they get better. But here’s the upside to all of this peril: It’s going to make for can’t-miss drama, according to Eric Christian Olsen.

“It’s the best premiere we’ve ever had,” he says. “We have the most honest scene we’ve ever seen between Kensi and Deeks … we have a two-hour James Bond movie for our finale and our premiere that has consequences.”

As you’ll recall, Deeks and Sam were being tortured for information in the finale, and Olsen, who says the cast and crew are just finishing up work on episode 1, says we will see consequences to the traumatic events. “I think we’re going to see the most human reaction we’ve ever seen on this show to something like this,” he says. “I think a lot of times these things happen and there aren’t any emotional consequences and there are unbelievable emotional consequences. I don’t think he’s prepared to compartmentalize it. I don’t know if he knows how to get through it. … This is going to have a very real, long-lasting effect on him.”

Overall, he says, “It’s never been better. It’s so exciting to start off the season with this premiere.”

So are we!

DON’T FORGET PAGE TWO!

SIDE DISHES

Sons of Anarchy, PLEASE — Lynn

The premiere contains easily one of the most chilling scenes shown on television in a long time. And so many twists…Send specific questions about the season to spoilerroom@ew.com.

Any news on the Criminal Minds 200th episode? — T 

For this huge milestone episode, EP Erica Messer reports it will be a “J J-centered” hour penned by longtime writer/producer Rick Dunkle. “The general [idea] is [filling in] while she was gone. So season 6, that year we didn’t have her, we want to tell you those stories,” Messer teases. In the episode, she added, we’ll learn more about the history J J shares with Matt Cruz, the new BAU’s section chief, played by Esai Morales, who debuts in the third episode of the new season.

I heard someone dies this week on Under the Dome. Any hints or other scoop? — Dina

We bid farewell to not one but TWO of the Dome’d in Monday’s episode. One of those deaths comes after a power struggle turns ugly. The other is more mysterious and shrouded in questions, specifically about some of the Dome’s capabilities. Also, it’s sad. REALLY sad.

Any Under the Dome scoop? Thanks, Sandra! — Lillian

Angie’s out! But Neal Baer tells me all may not be as it seems between Angie and Junior and teases of twists to come. “You know how Junior always says, ‘Angie, you’re sick’? And everybody’s like ‘Junior, I hate him. He’s psychotic. He’s f—ed up.’ It’s like, really? Well, we’ll see…” he says cryptically. Also, he says, all viewers with questions about Joe and Norrie’s seizures will soon find some answers. “By episode 8, [the characters] will discover something that will change everything for the rest of the season,” he says.

So Carrie is off her meds again on Homeland, huh? What else ya got? needallthespoilersplease. — Liz 

To be clear: Carrie may be off her actual meds, but we do see her SELF medicating quite a bit. (Hello, booze!) Meanwhile, as the show’s EPs reported at TCA, we do spend quite a bit of time with the Brody clan, getting a glimpse into the life of a family whose world has been rocked. Tease: We learn one family member in particular had a pretty horrible spiral after everything went down.

Can a girl get some Graceland scoop? (Aaron Tveit…yum) — Chrissy

The Is Briggs Bad tango will continue, with Mike, who like us is trying to solve the mystery of Briggs, making a very ballsy move during an agency-monitored robbery attempt in the penultimate episode. The end of said hour will leave you more confused than ever. #pleasebegoodBriggs

Any Parenthood scoopage? — Kirsten

Though the cast gave some great teases at their panel during TCA this week, I do have a bit more to add. For one, look for Max to follow up his reign as Student Council president with a position working on the school’s yearbook, where he will have a brief stint as a photographer. Key word: brief. The youngster’s difficulty with social skills will once again step in to interfere with his ambitions — and Kristina and Adam might take it hard when they realize they can’t win every battle for him. Growing up is hard to do, kids — and, I guess, parents.

SO excited about Flash coming to Arrow!!! PLEASE tell me more. — Reilly 

EP Andrew Kreisberg is probably as pumped as we are, Reilly — not only because he’s getting a chance to bring to life a great character, but also because of what Barry Allen’s arrival means for all the residents of Starling City. “He’s a great character who’s going to affect all of our characters’ lives,” he teases. Most notably, look for Barry and Oliver to have a certain amount of “friction” in their relationship.

Anything on Twisted? It’s become one of my new favorite summer shows! — Anna

With just four episodes to go until the end of the first part of the season, Avan Jogia teased that we’ll be seeing Danny reaching “his lowest point” in the last new episode of 2013. And while he confirmed that we will not know if Danny murdered Regina anytime soon, he says he doesn’t know the actual answer to the big mystery. “They have not told me,” he says. “We have an opportunity to make a very interesting, challenging show and that’s all I care about. I want to hold my opinion on whether I want him to be a murderer or not. There are other ways that you can be a bad guy that have nothing to do with murder and that’s what I would like to explore … of course, he may still end up being a psychopath.”

Would love some Nikita scoop! — Amy

Bad news for Alex. The show is currently casting a character named Ellen Crawford, a CIA case officer who’s as blunt as she is well-versed in interrogation techniques. Eep. Let’s just say Ellen and Alex are going to share some scenes in which Alex’s past comes back to haunt her. But they will also serve as a reminder (as if you needed one) of how badass Alex is.

New Girl!! — Diane

VIVA Mexico! I hear the premiere episode is going to revolve around a trip across the border that will go terribly wrong. Notably: Someone gets sent to “jail,” several people get tasered, and Winston reveals a deep-dark secret. (Okay, it’s not deep.)

(Additional reporting by Carrie Bell)

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