Sunday, October 31, 2010

War Is Over: Fox & Cablevision Reach Deal
After a two-week blackout, Fox signal was restored in some 3 million Cablevision homes just before the start of Game 3 of the World Series. Fox just announced that the two sides have reached "an agreement in principal for a new distribution agreement." The agreement covers Fox O&Os WNYW in New York and WTXF in Philadelphia as well as MyNet's WWOR in New York and cable channels FOX Deportes, FOX Business Network, and Nat Geo WILD. It will also allow Cablevision customers in the New York area to watch home NFL team, the New York Jets, in tomorrow's match-up with the Green Bay Packers on Fox. The deal comes a day after Fox reached an agreement in its other carriage dispute with DISH Network. In its statement, Cablevision called the terms of the deal "unfair" and took a swipe at FCC for not intervening in the standoff. It also indicated that the rates in the final agreement were lower than the "unprecedented" fees Fox had initially asked for and that it would pass the rate increases on to its customers. (Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed but Fox had been seeking retransmission fees in the $0.50-$1 range per subscriber for its O&Os from cable and satellite providers.) Earlier this week, Cablevision offered to match the terms of Fox's carriage agreement with Time Warner Cable for the network's O&O stations but Fox turned it down as it wanted its MyNet New York station and 3 lower profile cable channel covered under the terms too. Here is Cablevision's statement:

In the absence of any meaningful action from the FCC, Cablevision has agreed to pay Fox an unfair price for multiple channels of its programming including many in which our customers have little or no interest. Cablevision conceded because it does not think its customers should any longer be denied the Fox programs they wish to see.

Cablevision thanks its customers for understanding the reasons for the dispute and for staying with us. We are also grateful to the 175 government leaders who raised their voices to urge government intervention and binding arbitration to prevent this blackout. It is clear the retransmission consent system is badly broken and needs to be fixed.

In the end, our customers will pay more than they should for Fox programming, but less than they would have if we had accepted the unprecedented rates News Corp. was demanding when they pulled their channels off Cablevision.

Ratings: Newsmagazines And 'Smallville' Up While 'School Pride' Slips
CW's Smallville continues to fly high as it approaches the end of its 10-season run. The comic book adaptation (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.9 million) was up 20% in 18-49 and 12% in total viewers from last week. Its lead-out, Supernatural (1.1/4, 2.5) was flat. The network finished third for the night in 18-49 and tied for No.1 in 18-34.

ABC's Primetime: What Would You Do? (1.7/5) led the rise of the newsmagazines this week. With a stronger lead-in, a rerun of It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1.6/6) vs. a No Ordinary Family repeat (0.9/3) last week, the newsmagazine surged 31%. At 10 PM, 20/20 (1.6/5) was up a tenth. ABC finished close second to CBS' dramas at 9 and 10 PM and won the 8 PM hour with Charlie Brown for a Friday season high in 18-49 and total viewers.

Like Primetime, NBC's Dateline (1.3/5) from 9-11 PM was also up from last week by 30% but no thanks to its lead-in. New reality series School Pride (0.6/2) continued its slide in Week 3 with a new low, finishing dead last in the 8 PM hour and raking as the lowest-rated program on the night. The show that has been the regular holder of the unenviable title, Fox's The Good Guys (0.7/2) was up a tenth from last week's series low. It followed a House repeat (0.8/3), which was also up a tenth.

CBS' drama lineup was virtually unchanged. At 8 PM, Medium (1.4/5, 6.9 million), whose order was just reduced to 13 episodes for what would likely be its final season, CSI: NY (1.8/6, 10.4 million) and Blue Bloods (1.8/6, 11.5 million) were all flat in the demo, with Medium and Blue Bloods slightly up in total viewers.

Friday, October 29, 2010

'Bones': Meet Booth's new archnemesis
Onetime 24 terror mastermind Arnold Vosloo is taking his evildoer act over to Bones. The actor has been cast as this season’s Big Bad — an elite sniper named Jacob Ripkin Broadsky who is accused of assassinating a pivotal recurring character.

“We’ve got someone worse than the Gravedigger coming,” Bones creator Hart Hanson told me over the summer. “And if the Gravedigger is Evil Brennan, this [guy] is Evil Booth. Remember, Booth was a sniper.”

Vosloo — who also played the title role in the Darkman films as well as Brendan Fraser’s nemesis in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns — is slated to appear in at least three episodes beginning in early ’11.

'Grey's Anatomy' boss vetoes controversial Alex/Izzie plot
It appears Izzie Stevens has cheated death once more.

In an effort to give Alex/Izzie fans some closure in the wake of Katherine Heigl’s abrupt departure last spring, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes contemplated bringing their love story to a tragic end this season. She stops short of saying cancer survivor Izzie would’ve died off screen, but — keep reading and do the math.

“We discussed a lot of options, and the one we settled on felt like the [best idea] without having Izzie actually there,” she explains. “But it also felt like the cruelest possible thing.”

Ultimately, Rhimes couldn’t go through with it. “It was ready to go, but then I went home and literally couldn’t sleep,” she recalls. “It just felt so mean. It wasn’t closure; it just felt brutal. Alex might have never recovered from it. And the audience who loved Izzie would’ve been devastated. So we didn’t do it.”

What now? “I’m open to seeing Izzie again,” she says. “So if [Katherine] were to come back, we would be thrilled to [wrap up her story]. But if she doesn’t, we’ll just move on.”

HBO Picks Up Female Vice President Pilot That Could Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus
HBO has picked up Veep, a D.C.-set comedy pilot about a female Vice President of the U.S. from British comedian, writer and director Armando Iannucci. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in talks for the lead in the project, set "very near the White House" and centered on former Senator Selina Meyer who finds being Vice President is nothing like she expected and everything everyone ever warned her about. Iannucci will co-write and direct the pilot as well as executive produce with Chris Godsick and Frank Rich under the New York Times columnist's deal with HBO. Iannucci has long political satire experience. His popular and BAFTA-winning British comedy series The Thick of It satirizes the inner workings of the British government. (Ianucci is writing Veep with one of his top writers on that series, Simon Blackwell). The Thick of It spawned the 2009 feature spinoff In the Loop starring Tom Hollander and James Gandolfini that earned an Oscar nomination for its script, co-written by Iannucci and Blackwell. ABC attempted to adapt the series during the 2006-07 development cycle with Mitch Hurwitz. The project went to pilot, which was directed by Christopher Guest and starred John Michael Higgins and Oliver Platt. After ABC passed on the pilot, several other networks, including HBO expressed interest, and Iannucci had conversations with the pay cable channel. By his reaction to the ABC pilot, he appears much better suited for cable. "It was terrible...they took the idea and chucked out all the style. It was all conventionally shot and there was no improvisation or swearing," he said of the ABC version. He won't have any problem with swearing on HBO.

Seinfeld alumna Louis-Dreyfus has been in high demand after her CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine ended its 5-season run in May, with a number of writers courting her to star in a new series project. She has had a steady presence at HBO where she has recurred on Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm playing herself. Iannuci and Louis-Dreyfus are repped by CAA. In addition to Veep, HBO has been close to picking up another female-centered comedy pilot, Kate Robin's Fall/Spring starring Tea Leoni.

Eugene Levy, Martin Starr Partner for CBS Project
CBS and CBS Prods. have made a blind deal for Eugene Levy and Martin Starr to produce and star in a project for the network.

Ben Feigin of Anonymous Content paired the duo and will executive produce. Feigin also brought in fellow exec producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum.

Levy is best known for co-writing and starring in films including "Waiting for Guffman," "Best In Show" and the "American Pie" franchise. He's working on the feature film "Goon" opposite Seann William Scott and Jay Baruchel.

Starr's recent credits include "Adventureland," "Knocked Up," "Superbad," "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" and the Starz series "Party Down." He's now shooting the feature "Lawless."

Levy is repped by Anonymous Content and ICM. Starr is repped by Anonymous and UTA.

FX Adapting Korean Film 'Soo' To Series
FX is working on a series project based on the 2007 Korean movie Soo (aka Act of Revenge) with Barry Josephson (Life as We Know It) on board to executive produce. A History of Violence writer Josh Olson is writing the adaptation, a drama exploring the nature of identity through the lens of twin brothers -- one a detective and one a hitman. After witnessing the killing of his estranged twin brother, a hitman decides to assume his life and become a policeman to find those responsible. Olson is executive producing with Josephson Entertainment's Josephson and Alexander Young as well as Ted Kim and Jiwon Park from Korean entertainment giant CJ Entertainment which distributed the movie based on the South Korean graphic novel Double Casting by Shin Young-woo. Olson, repped by UTA and Benderspink, has several feature projects in development, One Shot at Paramount, Oz at Warners and a script he is working on with the directing team of Neveldine/Taylor. He is also attached to direct his adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s short story Until Gwen. On TV, Josephson is executive producing Bones, now in its sixth season on Fox. 

CBS Picks Up Family Comedy Starring Rob Schneider & Produced By Tannenbaums
Eric and Kim Tannenbaum are fashionably late to the marketplace in their first development season at their new home, CBS TV Studios. But their last-minute comedy sale to CBS is a big one: a half-hour starring Rob Schneider in his first TV series gig in 13 years. The untitled project, to be written by Lew Morton (Saturday Night Live, Big Lake) and Schneider, is based on Schneider's life and centers on a solitary guy who marries into a huge Mexican-American family. Morton, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum are executive producing, with Schneider and his brother John Schneider producing through their From Out of Nowhere Prods. CBS TV Studios and the Tannenbaum Co. are producing the comedy, which has received a script order.

SNL alum Schneider's last major TV gig was as a star of the comedy Men Behaving Badly, which ran on NBC from 1996-97. He has since been focused on films, often collaborating with SNL cohort Adam Sandler, including on this summer's hit Grown Ups. This feels like a familiar territory for Eric and Kim Tannenbaum. The last time they landed a last-minute pickup at CBS for a comedy about a single guy that had an actor with a TV and feature comedy background attached as the lead, it resulted in long-running hit Two and a Half Men. Schneider is with Gersh. Morton and the Tannenbaum Co. are with CAA.

Taye Diggs Sells Adoption Drama to ABC
ABC has picked up a drama project from Private Practice star Taye Diggs.

Diggs is partnering with writers Kiersten Van Horne and Cara Haycak for Match, an ensemble drama centering on the ethically complex world of adoption. The show will examine how families are made and broken as the protagonists -- a Los Angeles-based team of lawyers, doctors and caseworkers -- struggle to make dreams come true.

Haycak wrote the young-adult novels Red Palms and Living on Impulse, and Van Horne penned last season's Pretty Little Mistakes for NBC/UMS.

Van Horne and Haycak will produce with O'Taye's Abe Hoch, Jennifer Bozell and Diggs. Van Horne and Haycak are repped by APA, Rain Management Group and attorney Loan Dang.

Chris Colfer Teases Glee's Biggest Moment Yet
What's coming up on Glee's November 9 episode that is so big and top-secret that creator Ryan Murphy sat the whole cast down to tell them to keep their mouths shut? We'll find out mid-way through this Kurt-centric episode, titled "Never Been Kissed."

"It's so big that we had a full meeting about it that we can't say anything," says Chris Colfer (Kurt). "That's never happened before. I will say it's about Kurt."

When he read the reveal in his script, Chris went through a rollercoaster of feelings. "At first I was very surprised," he says, "And then I thought, 'This is so terrific.' It's going to send a whole other message to the world."

Since this episode features a game of spin-the-bottle and introduces actor Darren Criss as Blaine, a new gay character from a rival glee club, are we talking about a boy-on-boy kiss? "Maybe," says Chris. "It leads you to believe that...but maybe something else happens that's even bigger. Don't let the title lead you the wrong way. The title of the episode has nothing to do with Kurt."

'Castle': 'That '70s Show' vet Laura Prepon cast as... Beckett?!

Apparently, Castle is about to get a new queen: I’ve learned exclusively that Laura Prepon has just been tapped to play Natalie Gray, the actress who’s been cast as Nikki Heat in the movie version of our hero’s book Heat Wave.

Go ahead and read that again: I realize it’s a lot to take in.

As you know, the author based Nikki on his actual partner in crime-fighting — and obvious true love — Beckett. So you can well imagine the sparks that will fly when, in essence, a second Beckett, this one bearing a striking resemblance to the hot redhead from That ’70s Show, arrives on the scene early next year.

'Grey's Anatomy' Scoop: Scott Foley checks in!

Seattle Grace is about to experience a Code Noel: Scott Foley has booked a multi-episode arc on Grey’s Anatomy!

The Felicity (and Unit) alum will play a patient named Henry who, according series creator Shonda Rhimes, “stirs things up” with Kim Raver’s Teddy.

I know what you’re thinking: It’s Denny/Izzie all over again! Not quite, insists Rhimes. “He’s very different from Denny,” she says. “But I guess in the sense that he’s a patient who comes in and has an effect on one of our doctors, I guess that’s similar.”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

‘Big Love’ Returns To HBO For Its Fifth and Final Season on January 16
via press release:



LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28, 2010 – The acclaimed HBO drama series BIG LOVE will return for its fifth and final season SUNDAY, JAN. 16, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to work with series creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer on this unique and provocative series, and I’m happy that they will be able to bring the story to its close the way they always envisioned,” noted Lombardo. “We look forward with great anticipation to collaborating with Mark and Will on their next venture.”

“When we created BIG LOVE in 2002, we had a strong conception of the journey the Henrickson family would make over the course of the series, of the story we had to tell,” said Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer. “While we were in the writers’ room this year shaping our fifth season, we discovered that we were approaching the culmination of that story.

“BIG LOVE has been our all-consuming labor of love for the past eight years. We are very grateful for HBO’s continuing support and for the collaborative effort of our partners at Playtone, our producers, our fine cast and our fellow craftsmen and crew for making this show the exceptional and joyful experience that it’s been. This coming January, we look forward to presenting our audience with the most vibrant and satisfying final season of a television series that we can produce.”

“BIG LOVE has been a truly rewarding experience in every way for Tom Hanks and me,” observes executive producer Gary Goetzman. “We’ve been so fortunate to have had such a tremendous cast over the five seasons, and we’ve never been less than amazed with their brilliance and willingness to take risks. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with Will and Mark and have always been blown away by their storytelling abilities. We believe this final season of BIG LOVE will be the best ever.”

BIG LOVE tells the story of Salt Lake City businessman Bill Henrickson, who balances the needs of his three wives – Barb, Nicki and Margene – their nine kids and three houses, and his own entrepreneurial ambitions. Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin star in the series, which is executive produced by Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, David Knoller, Bernadette Caulfield and series creators and show runners Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer.

Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer have a continuing relationship with HBO, and their next project for the network will be announced when it is confirmed.

Emmy®- and Golden Globe- nominated in the category of best drama series, BIG LOVE continued to inspire critical acclaim for its fourth season, which concluded in March 2010. The Wall Street Journal hailed the series’ “spectacular performances,” while the Salt Lake Tribune called the show “one of the finest hours of drama on any network,” and Entertainment Weekly termed it “bracing,” praising “the mighty performance of Bill Paxton.”

BIG LOVE is produced by HBO Entertainment in association with Playtone and Anima Sola Productions; created by Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer; executive producers, Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, David Knoller, Bernadette Caulfield and Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer; supervising producer, Patricia Breen; producer, Seth Greenland; producer, Peter Friedlander; co-producers, Dauri Chase and Don Bensko; co-producers, Melanie Marnich and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; executive story editor, Julia Cho; story editor, Jami O’Brien; staff writer, Aaron Allen; casting, Junie Lowry Johnson, C.S.A., Libby Goldstein and Lisa Soltau.

Trio Cast In Lena Dunham's HBO Pilot, Including Brian Williams' Daughter Allison
Jemima Kirke and Allison Williams have landed the two leads opposite Lena Dunham in Dunham's HBO comedy pilot executive produced by Judd Apatow and Jenni Kohner. Also cast in the pilot in a supporting role is Adam Driver (HBO's You Don't Know Jack).

The untitled comedy, which 24-year-old prodigy Dunham wrote and will direct/co-executive produce, is about the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of three girlfriends in their early 20's: Hannah (Dunham), an eternal intern at a publishing house in SoHo and a hopeful writer; Marnie (Williams), a sexy, bitchy and ambitious assistant at a slick political PR firm whose goal id to practice environmental law; and Jessa (Kirke), a space cadet with hippie tendencies who wants to be an artist/educator. Driver will play a handsome but slightly off carpenter with whom Hannah has been sleeping for the past 7 months.

Kirke co-starred opposite Dunham in Dunham's much buzzed about feature Tiny Furniture, which won the top prize at this year’s South by Southwest and just earned two Gotham Film Awards nominations. Dunham was the writer, director and star of the film, with Kirke playing her friend. (photo of the two from the movie is above; the trailer for the movie, which features Dunham and Kirke, is at the bottom of the story.) This seems to be the first major professional acting gig for Williams who graduated from Yale earlier this year and is pursuing a career as an actress and a singer. The daughter of the NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has gained online popularity with several videos, including the viral That's Why I Chose Yale and her recent performance of the Mad Men theme song

Ratings: ABC Comedies Rise Against The World Series
Just like its family-friendly Monday lineup posted week-to-week gains against the monster Monday NFL game on ESPN, ABC's Wednesday comedy block last night logged ratings increases facing the opening game of the World Series on Fox. The Halloween-themed quartet was led by Modern Family (5.1/13 in 18-49, up 9% from last week's fast national; 13.1 million viewers), which hit a series high in total viewers and matched its series high in 18-49 from earlier this fall. At 8 PM, The Middle (2.8/9, up 8%; 9.4 million) logged its most-watched telecast and its second highest 18-49 delivery ever. Freshman Better with You (2.5/7) had a nice 19% post-full season-pickup bounce to match a series demo high. Cougar Town (3.3/9, up 6%) posted its best numbers since the season premiere. ABC's boisterous ratings performance ended at 10 PM where recently cancelled legal drama The Whole Truth (1.2/4) was down 8%, falling sharply from the first to the second half-hour.

Just like on Monday against football, CBS' more male-skewing Wednesday lineup felt the effect of the World Series with moderate ratings declines. Survivor: Nicaragua (3.4/10) was down 6%, Criminal Minds (3.4/9) down 8% and The Defenders (2.1/6), down 9%.

NBC's Undercovers (1.4/4) was down a tenth from last week and remarkably ranked as NBC's highest-rated program of the night as the network aired Law & Order: SVU (1.3/3) and Law & Order: LA (1.2/4) repeats.

Fox is projected to win the night with Game 1 of the World Series, which posted 4.5/12 and 14.5 million viewers in preliminary ratings. More on the game's ratings shortly.

New Mentalist Character To Butt Heads with Jane
At the end of The Mentalist's November 18 episode, titled "Red Moon" and directed by series star Simon Baker, something will happen at CBI that casts suspicion on the organization's employees.

Enter Agent J.J. Laroche, played by character actor Pruitt Taylor Vince, the head of CBI's Internal Affairs. He arrives December 9 and will recur in five or six more episodes this the season. The character is described as quirky, charmless, professional, socially awkward and Patrick Jane's intellectual equal.

Pruitt, who has appeared in the films Mississippi Burning and Wild at Heart, previously had recurring roles on Deadwood and Murder One, for which he won a 1997 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor. And you won't need Jane's keen perception to detect Pruitt's trademark quality: a condition called nystagmus that causes his eyes to move involuntarily.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ratings: 'Rocky Horror' 'Glee' Rocks, 'NCIS: LA' Slips & 'Loser' Hits Low
Fox's Glee didn't miss a beat in its return from hiatus. The Rocky Horror-themed episode of the musical dramedy (4.8/13) was up 4% from the fast national result for its last original 2 weeks ago (up 2% from the final as Glee tends to go up a tenth). It also topped the night in adults 18-49 as it has done with every fresh episode this fall. The Halloween-themed episode of comedy Raising Hope (2.6/7) was even with its fast national result for its previous fresh episode 2 weeks ago. It wad followed by another Raising Hope original (2.3/6), which did 64% better than time slot's regular, Running Wilde, did the last time it aired after a first-run Raising Hope.

ABC's recently renewed new drama No Ordinary Family (2.0/5) continued to slide, down 9% from last week for a new low. Dancing with the Stars result show, which featured the surprise elimination of The Hills star Audrina Patridge, was down 6% for its lowest result this season. (It is expected to regain some ground in the finals.) ABC's other newly renewed freshman drama, Detroit 1-8-7 (2.0/6) was up a tenth from its fast national number last week. The cop drama tends to lose a tenth of a rating point in the finals when the Dancing overrun is taken out.

After posting across-the-board increases last week, CBS' drama lineup lost some ground. NCIS (4.1/11) was down a tenth from its fast national last week when it went up a tenth in the finals, a very good hold against an original Glee vs. a repeat last week. It also drew a massive audience: 19.9 million, the largest on the night and the show's largest since January. NCIS: LA (3.4/9, 16 million) was down 13% to a season low. The Good Wife (2.4/7, 12.5 million) was down 8% also for a season low. Both NCIS:LA and The Good Wife won their time slots in 18-49 and viewers, with CBS taking the night in total viewers (16.2 million) and finishing second behind Fox in 18-49 (3.3/9)

NBC's The Biggest Loser (2.4/6) was down 8% to log its lowest rating for a regular original telecast in four and a half years. Parenthood (2.0/6) was up a tenth.

TNT Picks Up 'Bird Dog' Cop Pilot
TNT has greenlighted another drama pilot, Mike Robe's Bird Dog, which has received a cast-contingent order. The project, from Warner Horizon, is a mystery fashioned around an unlikely partnership of two cops who happen to be father and daughter. It centers on Gail McGrath, who followed in her father's footsteps in becoming a police officer but had little else in common with him. She left the big city she grew up in to move to a small Pacific Northwestern town where she was patrolling the streets until her dad, a NYC cop, showed up on her front doorstep and join her as her new partner. Now this father-daughter team, call sign "Bird Dog," is being put to the test -- not only in solving crimes, but with each other. Robe (Shake, Rattle & Roll) wrote the script and is attached to direct and executive produce the pilot. The pickup comes on the heels of the network putting one of its recently ordered pilots, noir PI drama Hollywood & Vine, on hold because of difficulties casting it. Word spread quickly that TNT was planning to make another pickup in its place. Bird Dog is in the same crime/mystery genre and from the same studio, Warner Horizon, as Hollywood & Vine. Bird Dog joins 3 other pilots ordered by TNT last month: Dallas, Perception and an untitled project from Allan Loeb. 

HBO Renews Series 'Bored to Death' And 'Eastbound & Down'
HBO has renewed sophomore comedies Bored to Death and Eastbound & Down for a third season. With drama Boardwalk Empire already picked up for Season 2, HBO has now renewed its entire current Sunday lineup. The second season debut of Eastbound & Down averaged 1.7 million viewers, up 150% from the show's series premiere, while Bored to Death's season premiere audience was more modest, 1.1 million, despite following Boardwalk Empire. While not hits, the shows have remained relatively steady in the ratings, averaging 1 million viewers (Bored) and 1.44 million (Eastbound) this past Sunday, in addition to garnering critical praise for their sophomore seasons. Bored was created by Jonathan Ames and stars Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis. Eastbound was created by Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Ben Best and stars McBride. 

SyFy Pulls The Plug On Series 'Caprica'
It's over for Syfy's Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica. The cable network said today that it will be pulling the show off the schedule effective immediately. The final five episodes of the sci-fi saga will air in the first quarter of 2011 and will mark the end of the series' one-season run. "We appreciate all the support that fans have shown for Caprica and are very proud of the producers, cast, writers and the rest of the amazing team that has been committed to this fine series," said Mark Stern, Syfy's EVP of original programming. "Unfortunately, despite its obvious quality, 'Caprica' has not been able to build the audience necessary to justify a second season." After a soft start with the first part of its freshman season at the beginning of the year, Caprica returned with the second half of the season earlier this month to disappointing 889,000 viewers and a 0.4 rating with adults 18-49. That was down from where it ended in the spring, with the series falling even further in the ratings since, raising speculation about pending cancellation. But Despite Caprica's cancellation, the Battlestar Galactica legacy will live on at Syfy, at least for now. The cable network just greenlighted a two-hour pilot for Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, about the young years of Ensign William Adama, which hails from Battlestar Galactica exec producer David Eick. 

ABC's 'Charlie's Angels' To Shoot Pilot
After a year in development, ABC's Charlie's Angels reboot is headed to pilot production. The Sony TV-produced project was originally set up at ABC with a pilot commitment last November with Josh Friedman as a writer. It didn’t go to pilot stage and, after the upfronts, it was put in redevelopment with new writers, Smallville creators/executive producers Al Gough and Miles Millar. Back then, it was one of 5 projects put on fast-track development under previous ABC president Steve McPherson. After McPherson's successor Paul Lee took over in August, there has been chatter that he liked Gough and Millar's script. Top casting director John Papsidera recently was quietly tapped to start some exploratory search for the leads. The project just released an official breakdown and I hear it has locked in Miami as location for the shoot, eyed for January. Gough and Millar are executive producing with Leonard Goldberg, executive producer of the original series, Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen. The three also produced the two Charlie's Angels movies that starred Barrymore. So far, Charlie's Angels has followed closely the successful reboot of another popcorn 1970s series, Hawaii Five-0, which also went through two cycles of development until its second script by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Peter Lenkov was picked up to pilot. It went on to become a series, which was recently picked up for a full season. Now let the guessing begin who the new TV angels will be? 

Ask Ausiello 10/27/10
Question: Maybe I missed it, but when is your last day at EW? And where are you going? —Cynthia
Ausiello: Let me see if I can peel back the thick layer of denial long enough to type this next sentence: My last day at EW is this Friday. As far as where I’m going, click here to have your memory refreshed. Or just join — or, rather, like — my new Facebook page. More specific details about my next steps will be posted there shortly. There’s also Twitter. Okay, time to climb back into my denial suit and get crackin’ on my final AA at EW. Sources confirm to me exclusively that I’m going out with a bang!

Question: Any information on when Olivia Wilde is returning to House? —Christine
Ausiello: Probably not until spring. You’ll be happy to know that her temporary replacement, Amber Tamblyn, makes a positive first impression in her Nov. 8 debut. As you would expect, her character — supersmart and moralistic med student Martha M. Masters — gets quite a hazing from House‘s boys club. We’ll soon discover that a member of said club shares a past with House‘s “immutable obstacle,” as Dr. Crankenstein calls her. Other colorful nicknames assigned to the newbie on her first day of work include:

* The Internet with breasts
* Small Wonder
* The love child of Einstein and Mary Poppins
* The Bunny
* Pippy Long Division

Question: House scoop? —Jennifer
Ausiello: House pink-slips a member of his team during November sweeps. Not once, not twice, but three times. Also, three major characters do some jail time.

Question: Could you please give some spoilers on Psych regarding Shawn and Juliet? —Steve
Ausiello: The show’s fall premiere (airing Nov. 10) will pick up shortly after the couple’s big kiss in the finale. “Our viewers are probably a little unsure of what that kiss meant,” says exec producer Steve Franks. “Will Juliet still take some time away on the Amalfi coast with Declan, or did the kiss change her mind? In the 5.5 premiere, she is still on her way to Italy, and Shawn is on his way to Canada at the request of convicted thief Pierre Despereaux [a returning Cary Elwes]. Their divergent travel plans may have derailed their romantic momentum, until Juliet unexpectedly shows up in Vancouver for Despereaux’s extradition and that spark becomes a fire. The question is, Do Shawn and Juliet believe ‘what happens in Canada, stays in Canada’? Stay tuned.”

Question: I recently discovered that we share the same birthday — Feb. 23! In honor of that, I think you should share some Bones scoop with me! — Catherine
Ausiello: Seinfeld‘s Wayne Knight will channel his inner Willy Wonka when he guest-stars as a candy magnate in an episode that features “one of our most revolting body finds ever,” reveals exec producer Stephen Nathan. “A body is discovered inside one of the world’s largest chocolate bars. It’s delightfully revolting.”

Question: Which episode marks Hannah’s permanent exit from Bones? —Lexie
Ausiello: That’s awfully presumptuous of you, Lexie. The fact is, Katheryn Winnick’s stint as Booth’s lover (and Brennan’s new BFF) doesn’t actually have an end date. “We don’t know how long she’s going to be with us this season,” says Nathan. “We want to keep it open. Hannah’s story is still evolving; we don’t know how we want to wrap it up. And even if she does go away, we want to leave open the possibility that she may come back.”

Question: It’s been a while since we’ve had any good Bones scoops. Do you have any interesting information to get me through the baseball hiatus? —Amy
Ausiello: How ’bout another tidbit about everyone’s favorite character, Hannah. “I’m working on an episode right now where Brennan and Hannah’s friendship is tested,” reveals Nathan. “It relates to something that happened between Booth and Brennan at the end of the Brennan-centric episode. It creates some friction between Booth, Brennan, and Hannah that has to be worked out.” Hmm…any thoughts on what happens between B&B? Hit the comments!

Question: May I please have some Puck-related Glee scoop? —Brittany
Ausiello: He’s not the character getting expelled.

Question: Are Burt and Carole getting married on Glee? —Danielle
Ausiello: They are if Kurt has anything to say about it. Speaking of weddings, the rumors are true: Sue is going to make history by becoming the first person on earth to marry — or at least attempt to marry — ****el*!

Question: Any more Glee scoop — maybe something about Kurt and his new BF, Darren Criss? —Matt
Ausiello: Save the date: Their first kiss is scheduled for Nov. 9! In related news, did you hear about this?

Question: Do you have any extra clues you could shed about what exactly Tess “is” on Smallville? —Gage
Ausiello: You’ll get your answer on Nov. 12.

Question: Do you have any Modern Family scoop? It is easily my favorite show. —Billie
Ausiello: Mitchell’s “straight” past comes back to haunt him around mid-November when CTU legend Mary Lynn Rajskub guest-stars as his ex. “She dated Mitchell in high school, and they may’ve done the nasty,” says Rajskub with a chuckle. “I think he broke my heart.” The two have what Rajskub calls an “awkward” reunion at a shopping center. “Mitch and Cam end up coming over to talk to me about an incident,” she teases, “but I can’t discuss that because it’ll ruin the story.”

Question: I was curious if you had any information on the 24 movie. Will it be going into production soon? —Brandon
Ausiello: Based on the following status report from Rajskub, I’m guessing the answer is no. “I don’t know what’s going on with it,” she says. “Everybody asks me about it, but I don’t know anything. I think it would be great if it happened a year after the show went off the air, but I haven’t heard anything.”

Question: Beautiful series finale of Ausiello TV. I laughed, I cried, I was surprised and confused. Thanks for all the great scoop, wit, snark, and Smurfy goodness. I promise to weep for all of six seconds before moving forward with life. —Jen
Ausiello: Thanks, Jenny. That means a lot. One quick thing: You are aware I’m not dying, right? Just want to make sure you knew that.

Question: Can you give us a really juicy Grey’s Anatomy spoiler as a going-away present? —Ashley
Ausiello: Um, shouldn’t you be buying me the presents? Eh, whatever. This has always been kind of a one-sided relationship, so no point screwing with such a winning formula now. Here’s your scoop: Series creator Shonda Rhimes reiterated to me in a recent interview that Callie and Arizona are in it for the long haul. “Their journey is going to be long and hard, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to end up together,” she maintained. “People better just prepare themselves for things to be difficult.” I then asked her if she would out Mark and Lexie in that same soul-mate-type category, and she replied, “No,” before quickly adding, “That doesn’t mean that I don’t see them as two people who are going to end up together… There’s hope for Mark and Lexie, [but] Lexie has some growing up to do, as does Mark.”

Question: There’s a Grey’s rumor going around about an Alex/April/Lexie triangle. True? —Diana
Ausiello: False. “I honestly have no idea what [fans] are talking about,” responded Rhimes. “We have no plans for an Alex/April/Lexie triangle.”

Question: Got anything on the truly epic Boardwalk Empire? —Hope
Ausiello: We meet Nucky’s (Steve Buscemi) dad in this Sunday’s episode, and to say father and son had a frakked-up relationship is an understatement of epic proportions. The ep also features a memorable showdown between Michael Pitt’s Jimmy and the thug who slashed his hooker girlfriend’s face. Oh, and shocker: Another recurring character gets whacked!

Question: Can I have some scoop on Castle? —Lori
Ausiello: A pivotal couple will break things off in the near future, and I can confirm it’s either Gina and Castle or Beckett and this guy. Elsewhere, a new — and rather surprising — interoffice romance will ignite in January.

Question: Can you please give me some good NCIS scoop, preferably about McGee? —Z.
Ausiello: He’s not the team member who gets “shot” in the big two-parter on Nov. 16 and 23. For those keeping track at home, that leaves Tony, Vance, and Ziva in the running. Oh, and I put SHOT in quotes because it’s not exactly a traditional shooting. The person will be wounded not by a gun, but by an explosive weapon.

Question: Could you please resume using the term “hitcom”? I really like it. Thanks for your consideration. —Ron
Ausiello: Yes! This past week has been HELL without it! Consider it officially reactivated!

Question: I was reading that CBS might cancel CSI: NY. —Jen
Ausiello: I think you’re confusing CSI: NY with Medium, which just had its episode order cut back from 22 to 13. I think CSI: NY — which has been doing solid business on Fridays — is safe for the time being. Speaking of the spin-off, Karina Lombard of Rescue Me and L Word fame has just been cast as the grieving mother of the victim in a January episode.

Question: What chance does Parenthood have of getting a full season? —Chevy
Ausiello: I’d say it stands a pretty good chance, since it already received a full-season pickup in May.

Question: I would like some 90210 scoop, please. —Greg
Ausiello: Casting scoop: Make It or Break It‘s Zachary Abel has been tapped to play, um, Zach, a hot surfer dude that Naomi develops a major crush on.

Question: What is the deal with Juliet on Gossip Girl? —Kathleen
Ausiello: The deal is I’m hearing a major character (or two) will join forces with the troublemaker to take Serena down. Exec producer Stephanie Savage, meanwhile, says, “A good chunk of Juliet’s plan will be revealed by the end of the first half of the season, but elements of it will carry over.”

Question: I’m in need of some Chuck spoilers to make my day better! —Natalie
Ausiello: There’s a major twist at the end of next Monday’s episode, and it involves him and her.

Question: After watching this week’s episode of Brothers & Sisters I’m scared for the future of Kevin and Scotty. Please tell me they’ll live happily ever after! —Stucky
Ausiello: B&S showrunner David Marshall Grant sure isn’t talking like it’s the end. “This isn’t so much about the crisis itself,” he says, “as it is about watching two people fight their way through it.” BTW, we’ll met the “other man” this Sunday, and he’s going to look a lot like Ryan Abbot from Three Rivers (a.k.a. Christopher Hanke).

Question: Like, joking aside, what’s happened to all the Brothers & Sisters scoops?! Please! I’m desperate! —Sophie
Ausiello: As my frenemy first scooped, Balthazar Getty is returning in January for the show’s 100th episode. And per Grant, he’ll be sticking around for a while. “He’s coming back for [at least] three episodes,” says the boss, who confirms that Tommy returns with a new girlfriend on his arm. “It causes a big stir in the Walker family.”

Question: Got any Good Wife scoop? —Carly C.
Ausiello: Casting scoop!! Leelee Sobieski will guest star in a January episode as the girlfriend of one of Lockhart/Bond’s most influential clients. Both stand accused of using prescription stimulants.

Question: What’s the latest on Grey’s giving viewers proper closure for Alex and Izzie? —Jesus
Ausiello: The latest appears in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. And it’s juicy.

Question: Do you know any Vampire Diaries scoop? —Savannah
Ausiello: Trent Ford and Daniel Gillies have joined the show along with Lauren Cohan as centuries old vampires, Trevor, Elijah, and Rose. “They have deep ties to Katerina Petrova,” reveals exec producer Julie Plec. “They will be heavily featured in November Sweeps episodes ‘Rose’ and ‘Katerina’.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Office: Amy Ryan's Return Date Officially Set!
Deck those Dunder Mifflin halls with boughs of Holly...Flax!

Amy Ryan's triumphant return the The Office is already in the bag, but the question of when we'll see her lovely face again has remained a mystery—until now...

Rejoice Hott shippers, because Amy will be back for an adorkable reunion with Michael Scott (Steve Carell) on The Office for this season's one-hour Christmas episode. That means come Thursday, Dec. 9, we'll all be getting an early gift from good ole Santa Claus.

Better yet? This hilarious holiday treat is the brainchild of both Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute) and Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor), which equals total comedy brilliance.

"Finishing 'directing' @mindykaling's brilliant double episode 'Classy Christmas,' " Rainn tweeted last week. Adds Mindy: "Multi-hyphenate @rainnwilson and I are nearly done shooting our Christmas special. It's gonna wreck you, Jackass style."

In case your memory is fuzzy, Holly's Dunder Mifflin return was promised to Michael by Jo (Kathy Bates) in last season's finale. Just don't expect sparks to fly again between the one-time lovebirds right off the bat.

"Holly's in a serious relationship back in Nashua, so she's not thrilled to be back," executive producer Paul Lieberstein (Toby Flenderson) told us. "But Michael's not a guy who gives up easily."

So mark your calendars, kiddies. Amy Ryan will be back on our Thursday night lineup soon enough. Are you excited she'll be making a debut just in time for Christmas? Fill us in below, and don't miss the Dec. 9 episode of The Office on NBC.

'Medium' Order Cut To 13; Is This The End?
Medium cheated death once in 2009 when CBS rescued it after its cancellation by NBC. But the ghost crime drama might now be coming to an end after a respectable 7-season run on two networks. CBS today cut the order to the series starring Patricia Arquette to 13 episodes. While it has not been cancelled as CBS is keeping its options open, its chances for renewal are considered slim. In a similar fashion, CBS last year cut the order to Friday drama Numbers before canceling it in May. The CBS TV Studios-produced Medium, which has made a lot of money for CBS through its syndication deal with Lifetime, has been the lowest-rated series on CBS this fall following its move from 9 PM to 8 PM on Friday (though it inched up in the ratings last week). With CBS recently picking up all 5 of its freshman series, it had to open up some shelf space for the 3 more series it has ordered for midseason, dramas Chaos and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and comedy Mad Love. After fulfilling Medium's 13-episode order, creator and showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron, who is very well liked within CBS, will focus on development for CBS TV Studios where he is under an overall deal. 

Hawaii Five-0 Brings Back a Big Killer
Mele Kalikimaka! (That's Hawaiian for Merry Christmas). In honor of the holiday, Hawaii Five-0 executive producer Peter Lenkov is giving fans a gift — the introduction of the villainous Wo Fat, Steve McGarrett's archenemy from the original 1968—1980 series.

Just in time for their holiday episode (expect to see Scott Caan's Danny as Santa), Lenkov is planning the return of James Marsters as Victor Hesse, who murdered McGarrett's father in the pilot and, we'll learn, has a connection to Wo Fat. Like he's done with all the characters, Lenkov will give Wo Fat (originally played by Khigh Dheigh) a fresh spin. "There's buzz about Tia Carrere being Wo Fat," Lenkov says. "But we do have a man in mind."

Why ABC Should Save Detroit 1-8-7
Aisha Hinds, who plays Lt. Maureen Mason on ABC's Detroit 1-8-7, was feeling the love recently while at a Trader Joe's in Royal Oak, Michigan. "A woman wanted to give me her entire cart of groceries," she says. "I just came in for a bottle of water."

That's a typical reaction in the Detroit area to the stars of the freshman police drama for being part of the first network TV show to be produced full-time in the city. When you hear the numbers involved, you can understand why. The first 13 episodes of the show will inject as much as $29 million into the battered economy of the area, where the unemployment rate is almost 14 percent. Nearly 200 local people are on the production's payroll, and 15 actors from the area are typically used for an episode. One scene can provide a day's work for as many as 146 background actors or extras.

The Detroit 1-8-7 cast members, many of whom live in the city and its outlying neighborhoods, immerse themselves in the downtown art scene, charity functions and fine dining (Crave in Dearborn is a favorite), and show up at Detroit Tigers games and college football games at Michigan Stadium. Along the way, they hear firsthand how the show is making a difference in the lives of locals. "I asked one of the transportation drivers how he was doing and he said, 'I look at my life six months ago and think about how much life has changed because I have a job on this show,'" says Erin Cummings, who plays medical examiner Dr. Abby Ward. "My stand-in has three daughters. This is not just a cop show on ABC on Tuesday night. This is something that's making a difference in a city that a lot of people in America have written off as dead." City officials initially had misgivings about the show's impact on Detroit's image (1-8-7 is a hip-hop term for homicide), but were assuaged when the series' original faux-documentary format was scrapped.

But like most new 10pm dramas this season, Detroit 1-8-7 has struggled in the ratings. The network has yet to decide on giving a full season order to the show. It would pay for ABC to take a close look at the value of shooting in Detroit before giving up. Michigan's incentive program for film work gives the producers a 40 percent rebate on what they spend in the state. That means a show that typically costs around $3.5 million to make is coming in for about $2.6 million, the cost of most original basic-cable dramas.

ABC is also getting a better show than what it originally bought. Detroit 1-8-7 was developed as a straight procedural at the insistence of network executives who were desperate for one. The producers are slowly opening up the personal stories of the squad-room members, making a series that's more in the mold of NYPD Blue and Hill Street Blues, with an authentic local flavor that comes from shooting on location.

Working on a TV series means a lot to the livelihood of actors, producers and directors. In the case of Detroit 1-8-7, it means even more. "It says to the world that you can make a show in Detroit," says exec producer David Zabel. "And that brings in a lot of business.

Friday Night Lights Executive Producer Jason Katims on the Show's Final Season
Our favorite more-than-a-football show Friday Night Lights begins its fifth and final season Wednesday (9/8c, DirecTV; the show will air on NBC this spring). Executive producer Jason Katims shares his plans for the folks of Dillon, Texas, as they head toward the final down.

TV Guide Magazine: What are the main stories this season?
Katims: There are a couple. One is about the East Dillon Lions becoming a formidable team, to everyone's surprise. As the team begins to win games, success begins to breed problems. They start to win with a certain kind of swagger. This is a team that challenges Coach Taylor [Kyle Chandler]. Another through line is that Vince's father Ornette [Cress Williams] arrives and affects both Vince [Michael B. Jordan] and Coach. He wants to play a very direct managerial role in his son's football future. But he was in prison, and has a background of drugs and crime. He's really making an effort to come back and change his life. But that's easier said than done.

TV Guide Magazine: What's happening with the Taylor family-Coach, Tami (Connie Britton) and Julie (Aimee Teegarden)?
Katims: The big question that arises for the Taylor family comes at end of the season. It involves the future of the Lions, but also a very personal question about the Taylor family and some fairly big choices they have to make. Without giving too much away, as wonderful as the Taylor marriage is, it's always been very traditional in the sense that Coach Taylor's career has always led the way. This year, we're dealing with not only his career but Tami's career as well. That creates a challenge to their otherwise seamless marriage. We watch them grapple with that toward the latter part of the season.

TV Guide Magazine: Now that she's been forced out of Dillon High, isn't Tami working at East Dillon?
Katims: Tami starts as a guidance counselor at East Dillon. She shows up expecting to do her job and quickly realizes that there's a lack of resources for that school and a population of students shut down to the possibility of education.

TV Guide Magazine: What happens when Julie goes to college?
Katims: She hits a bump in the road. She gets involved with a guy she shouldn't and that leads to her coming back home shipwrecked.

TV Guide Magazine: Is Tim (Taylor Kitsch) still in prison?
Katims: Yes. But he still leaves his indelible mark on the show. We see him in the first episode then he returns for the last four episodes.

TV Guide Magazine: How is Becky (Madison Burge) coping after her abortion?
Katims: Becky is basically trying to throw herself into high school life. She winds up living with Tim's brother, Billy [Derek Phillips] and his wife, Mindy [Stacey Oristano]. She also slowly reconnects with Luke [Matt Lauria] over the course of the season. As soon as you feel like she's done that, Tim shows back up. And there she is again.

TV Guide Magazine: What's doing with Jess (Jurnee Smollett) now that's she back with Vince?
Katims: Jess has a great story this year. Following her dream, she becomes an equipment manager on the team. Having his girlfriend in the locker room leads to some tension with Vince. There's a nice bond that develops between Coach Taylor and Jess as he supports this weird pushy girl trying to create a life in football.

TV Guide Magazine: Talk about all the characters returning for the final season.
Katims: It's so great. To be able to really track these characters over time is fulfilling. Everyone's back for the holidays. Jason Street [Scott Porter] is now a young upstart sports agent, who has a nice storyline with Coach. Tyra [Adrianne Palicki] is in Dillon for the holidays and reconnects with Tim at a time when he's going through a lot. And Matt Saracen [Zach Gilford] bonds with Julie when she's at her lowest. They wind up thinking about bringing the relationship to another level.

TV Guide Magazine: It seems like everyone's storyline has a satisfying ending.
Katims: We wanted to give the show a real ending and hopefully a great ending. We wanted to give resolution to all the characters. But in the spirit of the show, we want to do that in a way that would not be sentimental or nostalgic. I'm really happy with the way it came out. I hope that people will respond to it that way.

'Big Bang Theory' promotes Melissa Rauch to series regular
Talk about a genius move: The Big Bang Theory has quietly promoted the hilarious and very much in-demand Melissa Rauch — a.k.a. Howard’s main squeeze Bernadette — to a series regular.

Although Rauch’s deal doesn’t call for her to appear in every episode (and may or may not continue past this season), the upgrade is a nice vote of confidence for the actress — particularly since Bernadette was only meant to be around for an episode or two.

It also gives producers the security of knowing Rauch — who played Hoyt’s scarily devoted girlfriend in season 3 of True Blood — won’t get poached by another show.

I wholeheartedly approve!

Ratings: 'Dancing' And 'Mike & Molly' Up, 'Chase' Way Down On Monday
The big Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants on ESPN had an impact on the broadcast networks last night, with male-skewing shows down across the board, including series lows for recently renewed freshmen The Event, Chase and Hawaii Five-0, while female-friendly fare did just fine, with ABC's Dancing with the Stars up week-to-week and CW's 90210, scoring its most watched episode of the season. As for MNF, it drew a 12.3 metered market rating, its best this fall, peaking at 10 PM when it was up 93% from last week's game.

Dancing (4.2/11) was up 5%, while Castle (3.0/8) posted another fast national inflated by a Dancing overrun. Expect Castle to go down by a couple of notches and Dancing to possibly go up a tenth in the finals.

Some disturbingly low numbers for NBC, whose Monday night is unraveling. At 2.0/5 The Event, which was down 9%, actually ranked as the network's highest-rated telecast last night, ahead of Chuck (1.9/5), which was flat in 18-49 and saw an uptick in total viewers, and Chase (1.3/4), which was down a steep 19% to ratings levels that doomed fellow newcomers Lone Star, My Generation and The Whole Truth. Both The Event and Chase hit series lows.

CBS' lineup was solid under the circumstances. How I Met Your Mother (3.2/9), Rules of Engagement (2.9/8) and Two and a Half Men (4.3/11) all matched their fast national numbers from last week. (HIMYM and Men went up a tenth in the finals and will probably to do so again today.) Nice bump for new comedy Mike & Molly (3.6/9), which was up .2 from its fast national number last week (.1 from its final rating), improving its Men lead-in retention to 84%. Hawaii Five-0 (2.8/7) was down a tenth from last week to a series low. It currently runs behind Castle at 10 PM in 18-49 and total viewers but will probably pull at least even in the finals.

With a House rerun (1.4/4) instead of an original as a lead-in last night, Fox's Lie to Me (1.5/4) fell sharply, by 21%.

CW's 90210 (2.0 million, 1.3/4 in 18-34) scored a season high in total viewers and matched season highs in the key demos. At 9 PM, Gossip Girl (1.9 million, 1.4/4 in 18-34) dipped in total viewers but built in 18-34 to help CW log its most watched Monday of the season.

'Grey's' boss on this week's 'huge' twist and Cristina's big comeback!
The memory of last season’s bloodbath looms large over this week’s Grey’s Anatomy. With a camera crew invading Seattle Grace to shoot a documentary about the hospital’s recovery efforts, the entire episode is shot from the POV of the filmmakers, giving the hour a very voyeuristic vibe.

“You actually feel like you’re getting a behind-the-scenes look at our characters’ lives,” suggests series creator Shonda Rhimes. “You see our characters in a very different way, because we’re approaching them in a very different way.”

Rhimes has long toyed with the notion of doing a docu-style installment, but it was coexecutive producer Stacy McKee — this week’s scribe — who figured out how best to execute it. “Stacy was obsessed with [ABC's summer docuseries] Boston Med,” notes Rhimes. “So she came in one day after watching an episode and said, ‘I think I have it! I figured out how we can do our own version of that.’ And we used the shooting as our jumping-off point.”

However, by ensuring that this season’s story lines also move forward, Rhimes & Co. avoided getting the episode tagged as a mere gimmick. Case in point: It’s during the hour that Alex figures out “what kind of surgeon he really wants to be,” reveals Rhimes. “It seems [pediatrics] is his thing.”

Other highlights:

• Mandy Moore reprises her role of patient-turned-mercenary from the finale. “Her character is one of the Seattle Grace 13,” notes Rhimes of the Lost-esque nickname she gave the survivors. “She was forced to sort of be a doctor, too, so it felt important to me to bring her back and close that chapter.”

• Through the use of confessionals, we discover how truly unhinged Cristina has become. “She has a long journey [before her],” says Rhimes. “But when she gets a little bit better, she comes roaring back.”

• Lastly, Callie and Arizona make “a huge decision” that will usher them “into a new chapter,” teases Rhimes.

Moreover, the boss lady stresses that Thursday’s episode is a continuation of this season’s overall theme of recovery and rebirth — but not closure. “Closure is the wrong word for every last one of my characters,” she says. “I spent a lot of time really trying to get this right, speaking to grief counselors and reading the Columbine book and really thinking about this, and not wanting to minimize this. I don’t think there’s such a thing as closure. I think you move on and become different, and you’re changed, but I don’t think it’s ever closed.”

HBO Nabs Clyde Phillips Crime Drama
Clyde Phillips has set up his first post-Dexter project. After a bidding war among several cable networks, HBO has landed a character-driven drama from Phillips and Lionsgate TV based on the Israeli series The Naked Truth. Phillips, who spent 4 years at Showtime running Dexter, will write the adaptation and will executive produce the project, his first under the 2-year overall deal with Lionsgate TV he signed in June. The Naked Truth is set in a major East Coast metropolitan precinct and follows the officers investigating the disappearance of a teenage girl from a prominent family in the pressure cooker atmosphere of an explosive high-profile case that has implications not just for the family of the victim, but for the cops themselves and the political infrastructure of the city. "It's about the cops encountering people on the worst day of the citizens' life," Phillips said. "It's a bit of an exploration of the middle class and the challenges we all face; it's a heartbreaking story about a family in a time of crisis and how everyone deals with it."

The original series, created, written and directed by Uri and Benny Barbash for Israel's Channel 10, is set entirely in an interrogation room and the adjacent room, separated by a dividing wall. In his U.S. version, Phillips plans to stay close to the basic story in the Israeli series while adding several changes, including opening up the action to other areas of the precinct but keeping it indoors. With its interior settings and focus on character and dialogue, The Naked Truth draws parallels to another HBO series based on Israeli format, In Treatment. (Israeli creators often say they are confined to a set by the limitations of their budgets but make up for that with inventive storytelling.) However, Phillips said that The Naked Truth actually reminded him more of ER, which too had an interior setting inside a hospital and centered on "intense personal dramas." Phillips had been working on several other series ideas when Lionsgate TV's Kevin Beggs and Barbara Wall gave him a DVD of The Naked Truth. He loved it right away, and half-way through the first episode, he knew he wanted to do it. "I can't wait to write those powerful and challenging scenes," he said. "It's all just character, character, character."

Lionsgate acquired the format rights for The Naked Truth from the Gersh-repped Armoza Formats, which distributes the original series. Alon Aranya will executive produce alongside Phillips. After 4 years at the helm, Phillips departed the Los Angeles-based Showtime drama Dexter in December to spend more time with his family in Connecticut. If The Naked Truth goes to series, it will be filmed on the East Coast so he can stay close to home. In addition to his stint on Dexter, CAA-repped Phillips also created the Fox dramedy Get Real, the NBC comedy Suddenly Susan and the Fox half-hour Parker Lewis. This is the third high profile network deal for an Israeli format in the past month as the Middle Eastern country continues to be the hottest destination for format imports. Showtime ordered a pilot for Howard Gordon's Homeland, while ABC just handed out a put pilot commitment to the Rob Greenberg comedy Tall and Greenbaum. Fox's comedy series Mixed Signals, also based on an Israeli format, launches in midseason. Here is a trailer for the original Naked Truth series.

Monday, October 25, 2010

ABC cancels 'The Whole Truth'
Despite buzz that ABC was giving The Whole Truth one more week to prove itself, the network has gone and canceled the low-rated legal drama. The news was confirmed on Twitter by co-executive producer KristieAnne Reed. “ABC gave us the word,” she tweeted. “We will only make 13 episodes of The Whole Truth.” It’s unclear how many of Truth‘s remaining unaired episodes will see the light of day; an original episode is still scheduled to air on Wednesday. 

Watch with Kristin Spoiler Chat 10/25/10
Want to know who's coming back—or not—to Smallville? What's up with Mark Salling on Glee? Whether there's any hope for Life Unepected? Click in for the latest exclusive TV scoop...

Redmond: The CW picked up everything except for Life Unexpected. What gives? Is it canceled?
No…t yet. I'm told that no official decision has been made by the CW suits as of today, but it's "not looking good" at the moment. We should know "pretty soon." So if you're a fan, you know what to do: Cross all your fingers and toes (or does that negate the first cross? I always forget) and tell every single person/animal/alien you know to tune into Life Unexpected Tuesday night on the CW.

Addy in New York City: I haven't heard much from you guys about The Walking Dead. Have you seen it, and if so, what did you think?
The Walking Dead is awesome...and scary, with incredible makeup and special effects. (Check out our video sneak peek!) Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd told us, TWD is more than just zombie-killing fun: "It's the emotional resonance of decisions you have to make when you survive and a loved one hasn't"—like one character's zombie wife, who lurches home every day because he doesn't have the heart to kill her.

Monica: Gossip Girl!
The hot boys just keep rolling in... Kevin Zegers (Damian) tells us he's doing one episode of Gossip Girl and will be back for a couple more later in the season. Who'll he be romancing this time? If only Kristen Bell were here to give us the goods!

Dennis: What's the word on Puck and Rachel on Glee? I'm so tired of all the Finn and Rachel news. When are Puck and Rachel getting back together?
Sorry, but Ryan Murphy was totally serious when he said that there's nothing in the works for Puck and Rachel anytime soon. My condolences to any and all Puckleberry lovers. Something tells me someone is getting some lovin', though. Though Ryan wanted to keep the storyline as much of a secret as possible, my frenemy reveals that Chris Colfer and Darren Criss are singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" lends further proof that eventually, they will be more than friends.

Rebecca: What's the deal on Brothers & Sisters? I hated last night's episode for Kevin and Scotty.
I join you in your hatred, missy girl. But fear not, I'm told things will work out. In other B&S news that is not BS (see what I did there?), I'm told that Dave Annable's real-life now wife Odette Yustman will be sticking around for a few more episodes as his love interest, so it seems that (holy shocker!) there is chemistry there. Also, word is they are just now starting to cast Olivia; Richard Chamberlain will be on roughly three episodes and have heavy scenes with Ron Rifkin; and Nora's new love interest Karl isn't going to make it past the midseason mark.

Meri in Utah: Any dish on The Vampire Diaries?
You know how Katherine likes to pretend she's Elena, just for kicks? Well, Elena's about to take a page from her doppelgänger's book. She pretends to be Katherine in an upcoming ep.

Monica: Any chance Mason will be back on Vampire Diaries?
I'd bet my favorite moonstone he won't. I'm told the death will stick.

Heather: Got any really good spoilers on Supernatural? Impress me!
I'd love to bring you the whole enchilada, but I've been told to only sprinkle a little sauce your way on this one because it's a big reveal. I'm told there's a really cool twist coming up regarding something that is missing. I know. I can't believe I just told you all that too! It's like you just watched the whole rest of the season!

@themagicoflaura (via Twitter): Anything on FNL or 90210! :D
I'll take FNL FTW! The final season of Friday Night Lights starts this Wednesday on DirecTV and is not to be missed. I know. You are so shocked that his quality show is, like, quality! But true story: I loved the season premiere. Tami reunites with her hubby at his school, Julie has all grown-up girl stuff going on (moving away to college), and the new QB Grey Damon (who was also the new quarterback on True Blood last season—but this time isn't hooked on "V") is totally drool-worthy. Plus, I've heard a thing or two about how the series wraps up, and at least one storyline is so giddy-good just the mention of it brought tears to my eyes. Either I'm that pathetic (don't answer) or it will be that good.

Heather: Any word on Michael Rosenbaum returning to Smallville?
I wish! But not as much as the producers and Tom Welling wish. That's what I'm hearing from sources—that Smallville producers have asked him to come back for the final season, but so far, Michael has not signed on. I'm told Tom himself also reached out to ask (beg?) him, but again, so far, no dice. Who's got a plane that can skywrite? Let's get creative, people! In other spoilery (and related!) news I'm told that Tess is a ******. Any guesses on which letters fill in those six blanks?

Veronica: Will Kristin Kreuk or Annette O'Toole return to Smallville?
I'm told there's nothing in the works right now on Kristin but Annette is likely to return. Tip: Don't forget to put gas in that skywriting plane before you take it out to skywrite all your Smallville casting pleas.

Beth in Hollywood, Calif.: Do you know anything more about Teri Hatcher's part of Smallville?
Have a box of Kleenex handy for this one, because Smallville bosses Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson tell us Teri Hatcher's role as Lois Lane's mom, Ella, is a major tearjerker. Apparently someone close to a crew member found out she was dying, so she "sat down and made these videos for her child. What we did with Ella Lane was pull that into the show because it was so heart wrenching," says Brian. "It came together beautifully," adds Kelly. "I just watched three takes and I had to stop for awhile because it was so heart wrenching. Teri just had an incredible performance, and it was beautiful."

Athena: So excited for the January return of Big Love. Any scoop?
Chloë Sevigny tells us, "I think that finally you see the Henricksons having to deal with some consequences, for their actions and for their lifestyle. And they are finally getting a little bit of comeuppance."

Riley in Palm Desert, Calif.: Peter Weller (aka RoboCop) deserved an Emmy nomination for his guest spot in Fringe—are we going to see more of him in Dexter?
Dexter is going guest star to the max! The inimitable Peter Weller returns as Quinn's (Desmond Harrington) private Doakes dick; joining him are Chris Vance (Mental, Burn Notice) as security chief for motivational speaker Jordan Chase (Eli Stone's Jonny Lee Miller). You knew Boyd's creepy "Take it now!" tapes would come back to haunt us, right?

Jojo via Twitter: I need to know what's going to happen with Lumen on Dexter. The tension is killing me!
You're not the only one! Next week Dex finally targets a fresh kill—but as usual, things don't go smoothly. This botched attempt leads to a hilariously staged murder scene—but also a deeper, trusting relationship between Dexter and Lumen (Julia Stiles). We just wish we didn't have to see that bloody bathtub again. Don't people take showers anymore?

Marion in California: Got anything on Will and Alicia in The Good Wife?
When the Lockhart & Gardner team has to leave a fundraising dinner early, Peter and Will's new lady, Tammy (Elizabeth Reaser), have time to chat. Tammy drops some not-so-subtle hints about Will being in love in college and now. Needless to say it just adds to Peter's long list of growing suspicions. On a related note, anyone else wishing for a Will and Alicia at Georgetown flashback episode?

Brandon: Hot mother of all, when will Teddy come out of the closet on 90210? Also, dying to know if Annie and Liam will get back together?
Actually, I'm only the mother of 1.5, but to answer your first question: Next year. And to answer your second question: Soon. That's the word on the scoop batphone anyway.

Megan in New York: Any news on my fave guilty pleasure 90210?
Shenae Grimes is the new Bette Davis, yes? This theory will be tested when 90210 launches an All About Eve storyline for Annie. Annie's cousin Emily comes to visit Beverly Hills and steal away all of Annie's acting jobs and friends while deceptively pretending to be a clueless naïf from the sticks. Interesting…Any casting ideas from the Lucy Hale/Willa Holland/SMG division of tiny fierce actresses?

Jamie in North Carolina: Got anything on No Ordinary Family?
Jim has been keeping a secret from Stephanie, J.J.'s superpower secret finally comes out, and Daphne's powers uncover a student/teacher relationship that is practically an epidemic on TV these days. Also, the Powells might not be the only supers in town. They're getting new neighbors who are harboring a secret—so either this new family has powers too, or they're hiding a homicidal relative in their basement, à la Desperate Housewives back in the day.

Berrycar via Twitter: Got anything on Chuck?
Jeffster is getting some fun-filled airtime tonight on Chuck's awesome "Aisle of Terror" Halloween episode. Says Scott Krinsky (Jeff): "We're given the task of decorating the Buy More for Halloween, [which becomes] another little mission for Jeff and Lester." Adds Vik Sahay (Lester): "[This is] yet again an instance where their worlds cross over into Chuck's world." Translation: Danger ensues. Also, NBC is having a fun virtual viewing party tonight on Philo (for both East and West Coasts!) to support the show, so just click here if you want to join in and the rest is easy.

Alice in Georgia: I love Sam Page, and I love that he's on every show I watch! Can you tell me anything about his upcoming gig on The Event?
Yes ma'am, we can! Sam tells us this about his bad-boy Event character: "I play somebody from Sean's (Jason Ritter) graduate school. We used to be computer hackers, but Sean went the route of video game design, and my character went the route of stock broker. So when Sean's on the run and he needs some help from someone who can find information [through] hacking, he calls me." Sounds like some sexy covert operation fun!

Jesse in Carlsbad, Calif.: What's coming up on Cougar Town?
An Andy (Ian Gomez)-centric episode, that's what. Our favorite Cougar Towner (shhh, don't tell!) is about to ponder his place in the cul-de-sac crew and whether or not he would even be a part of it—better yet, if he'd even be friends with Jules (Courteney Cox)—if he hadn't married Ellie (Christa Miller). Don't worry, Penny Can will live to see another day, it's just a fun look at Jules and Andy's attempt to become besties without his wife hanging around.

Terri in Georgia: Cougar Town has turned into such a great ensemble show—more people should watch. Got any scoop?
We'll soon be meeting Grayson's ex-wife. Hope Jules isn't the jealous type...

Boris in New Jersey: The Office Halloween episodes are always epic. What can we expect from this season's installment?
Get ready to see The Office's version of Lady Gaga, Bill Compton, Sookie Stackhouse, a sexy nurse (from an unexpected Dunder Mifflinite), Popeye and his ladylove Olive Oyl, MacGruber, Michael Moore, Kevin in drag, a shirtless Andy and a bucktoothed Michael—and guess what? Most of these things aren't even part of the Halloween costume contest! Oh, and the return of Michael's always offensive BFF Todd Packer.

Gail: What's coming up on Community?
If you liked Community's paintball episode "Modern Warfare" last season, you'll love this week's Halloween zombie adventure, "Epidemiology." It's on the same action-movie scale, plus there are crazy-scary special effects and some un-freaking-believable "undead" makeovers.

wingster55 via Twitter: I'd like to know if Community is going to return to romantic subplots again (Jeff/Britta, etc.).
As of now, what you see is what you get. The subtle flirty moments (à la Troy and Britta in the space bus episode) between characters will pop up every so often, but right now romance between the gang is on the backburner.

Jessica in Portland, Ore.: Yay for a full season of Hellcats! Any scoop?
If you're still a little anti-Alice (Heather Hemmens), you might actually switch teams in the not so distant future. Hellcats will soon be introducing Alice's rough-around-the-edges dad and his very young wife, and we'll finally get to see why she's as messed up as she is, and learn that there's a much softer side to the bitchy cheer gal.

Melody in Kentucky: I love Raising Hope. Dish!
In case you didn't see it, check out our scoopy convo with Raising Hope show runner Greg Garcia! Plus, we can tell you that tomorrow night's Halloween ep is a big one for Jimmy and Sabrina, who finally have their first date. Sort of.

Edward: Looking forward to the return of Burn Notice in a few weeks. Will Coby Bell still be around in the new eps?
Yes, Coby Bell is still on Burn Notice when it returns Nov. 11 (hallelujah!), even though he's feeling a little (understandably) snippy about having been taken advantage of by Michael, Fiona and Sam. (Dear Burn Notice Powers That Be: Can we please keep Coby for the duration of the series? Pleeeeasse?! Thanks!)

Full Seasons For 'Family,' 'Better'
Two new ABC shows just landed full season orders ... and one title was left in the cold.

The network has picked up nine more episodes of superhero drama No Ordinary Family, and its latest Wednesday comedy block entry Better With You.

In addition, the network has ordered five episodes of struggling Tuesday night crime drama Detroit 1-8-7, as well as four episodes of Brothers & Sisters (that latter giving the Sunday night veteran a full 22-epsiode season).

Left without a chair when the music stopped: Wednesday's underperforming legal drama The Whole Truth, which risks joining ABC's My Generation on the cancelled list.

ABC's fall lineup hasn't produced a breakout title, with No Ordinary Family recently coming in forth place in its time period and Better With You ranking as the lowest-rated performer in the network's comedy block. Modern Family has continued to impress this season, however, and Grey's Anatomy has been a dominating anchor on Thursday nights.

Fox Gives Pilot Order To 'Locke & Key'
Locke & Key already had a series commitment attached to it. Now Fox has officially greenlighted a pilot from the Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci-produced project based on the graphic novel, which is eyed for a potential summer run. The Locke & Key adaptation, written by Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles creator Josh Friedman, is produced by 20th Century Fox TV, Kurtzman and Orci's 20th TV-based K.O. Paper Products and DreamWorks TV where the project originated on the feature side. Based on Joe Hill's comic published by IDW Publishing, Locke & Key tells the story of Nina Locke and her three children, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode, who survive an unspeakable horror and attempt to rebuild their lives at Keyhouse, their family home in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. It is a mysterious New England mansion, with fantastic and transformative keys hidden inside its walls that are also being sought by a hate-filled and relentless creature with ties to the Locke family's past who will stop at nothing to accomplish his sinister goals. Friedman, who will serve as showrunner, executive produces with Kurtzman, Orci, K.O's Heather Kadin, DreamWorks TV's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank as well as IDW CEO Ted Adams. This is the third off-cycle pilot order for Fox, which also recently greenlighted drama pilot Alcatraz and comedy pilot Outnumbered. Both Locke & Key and Alcatraz originated as sough-after pitches that landed at Fox in early September. 

'Glee' Christmas album out Nov. 16
If you listen very closely in the next few seconds, you’re likely to hear a strange and wondrous noise: the sound of Gleeks everywhere tearing open their letters to Santa. Why? To update their wish lists!

Sources confirm to me exclusively that the Fox hit is releasing a Christmas album featuring the cast (and k.d. lang!) singing covers of 12 holiday classics. The disc is set to drop on Nov. 16 — three weeks ahead of a special Glee Yuletide episode (airing on Dec. 7.)

A complete track listing is below. Beware: It includes what I believe to be a major spoiler about the identity of Kurt’s boyfriend!

1. We Need A Little Christmas (Jenna Ushkowitz, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer)
2. Deck The Rooftop (Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Naya Rivera, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, and Jenna Ushkowitz)
3. Merry Christmas Darling (Lea Michele)
4. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Chris Colfer and Darren Criss)
5. The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year (Chord Overstreet, Mark Salling, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Heather Morris)
6. Last Christmas (Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Kevin McHale, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Chris Colfer)
7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Lea Michele, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, and Jenna Ushkowitz)
8. O Christmas Tree (Matthew Morrison)
9. Jingle Bells (Cory Monteith, Mark Salling, and Kevin McHale)
10. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (k.d. lang and Morrison)
11. Angels We Have Heard On High (Amber Riley)
12. O Holy Night (Lea Michele)

If previous Glee sales figures are any indication — to date more than 15 million songs have been digitally downloaded and over 5 million albums sold — I have a feeling this disc will do fairly well.

Will you be buying a copy?! Allow me to rephrase: How many copies will you be buying?

ABC Family 'Nine Lives' Pilot Finds Lead
Skyler Samuels (ABC's The Gates) has landed the lead in ABC Family's pilot Nine Lives, which is based on Alloy's Nine Lives of Chloe King series of 3 young-adult novels by Celia Thomson. The pilot, produced by Alloy Entertainment, centers on Chloe King (Samuels), a teenager with heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing…claws) who discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure. UPDATE: Also cast in the pilot are Grey Damon as Brian and Alyssa Diaz as Jasmine. Dan Berendsen penned the script and is executive producing with Alloy's Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo. 

Comedy Central Greenlights 'Waiting' Pilot
Comedy Central has handed out a pilot order to Waiting…, a half-hour project based on the 2005 indie comedy of the same name which starred Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris and Justin Long. Written by the film’s writer-director Rob McKittrick, the project follows the young and not so young employees at Shenaniganz restaurant as they gossip, make fun of customers, and avert boredom and adulthood with their antics. Each of the employees projects their own issues into the restaurant as they grapple with sex, booze, and whether they are temporary or permanent fixtures in the restaurant world. McKittrick is executive producing with Thomas Augsberger and Jeff Balis. Waiting... was featured on Comedy Central's 2010-11 Development slate announced in May. 

FX Picks Up Comedy Pilot 'Wilfred' To Series
FX has handed out a 13-episode series order to comedy pilot Wilfred for a summer 2011 launch. The project, based on the acclaimed Australian series of the same name, was hot from the script stage and then it solidified its chances in the pilot stage by landing Lord of the Rings's Elijah Wood to star opposite Jason Gann, co-creator and star of the original series. David Zuckerman, who wrote the pilot script and serves as executive producer, describes Wilfred as comedy “about a guy, Ryan (Wood), the girl next door (Fiona Gubelmann), and mixed-breed dog, Wilfred (Gann), who is part Labrador retriever and part Russell Crowe on a bender.” Randall Einhorn directed the pilot for FX Prods. Rich Frank, Paul Frank, Jeff Kwatinetz, Joe Connor and Ken Conner also exec produce. Wilfred is adding to FX's rapidly expending comedy series portfolio, which includes It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Archer, The League and Louie. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ask Ausiello 10/20/10
Question: Rumor around the Glee circuit is that Quinn and Rachel lock lips in episode 6. Any truth to that? —Joan
Ausiello: Sorry, no. If it’s any consolation, it looks like the frenemies get fairly close to first base in the new GQ. Speaking of Glee, I can now confirm that the show is planning a Christmas episode. I don’t have any other details at the moment. I do, however, have a suggestion for Ryan Murphy: Please give us (read: me) an It’s a Wonderful Life homage with Sue at the center. I, er, we don’t ask for much.

Question: Glee scoop, please! —Jeffrey
Ausiello: Someone’s about to get expelled!

Question: One Tree Hill. You’re a stingy Smurf when it comes to scoop on this gem of a show. —La-roo
Ausiello: Sources close to the National Weather Center confirm that Mother Nature is doing me a solid and sending a major hurricane Hill‘s way before season’s end.

Question: Do you have any spoilers on No Ordinary Family? —Mike
Ausiello: A recurring character has an appointment with the Grim Reaper in early December.

Question: I am loving No Ordinary Family. Got any good spoilers for me? —Deb
Ausiello: Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Julie Benz’s Ordinary parents will be played by Maddie Hayes and D-Day (a.k.a. Cybill Shepherd and Bruce McGill). Ma and Pa pay their superhero daughter a visit next month.

Question: Could you stop using the phrase “hitcom”? It bothers me. —John
Ausiello: Yes, but only because you asked nicely.

Question: Please, we need some 30 Rock scoop! Thank you. —Cindy
Ausiello: Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…wait, it really is a plane. And Matt Damon is flying it, in an episode that sounds like it’s going to take place largely on one of pilot Carol’s flights. Not only is Liz on board, but the show is also casting such fellow passengers as a neurotic suit (seated next to Liz, which I don’t think has ever dulled anyone’s neuroses), a snippy gay male flight attendant, and — this is where things get interesting — an *** ********.

Question: I can’t be the only one who loves Lincoln Lee in Fringe‘s “over there” universe! Will we learn new things about him (like how did he know Nick Lane, or where’s his “over here” version)? —Elena
Ausiello: Sounds like a question for exec producer Jeff Pinkner: “No, Elena, you’re not the only one! We love Lincoln (and Seth Gabel!). We love the energy he brings to the show, and the vibe of the Fringe Team “Over There.” (And we all fantasize about how much fun it would be to see the TV show Fringe that has been playing for the past two years in the Alt Universe with Lincoln, Charlie and Altlivia/Fauxlivia/(b)Olivia as the stars.) But to answer your question: We look forward to spending more time learning about Lincoln. And you raise a very interesting point: What is his doppelgänger “Over Here” up to?!”

Question: Weeds spoilers, for the love of all that is holy, I need some Weeds spoilers! Who is Lars? —Claire
Ausiello: Lars is an old friend of Nancy’s. A very good old friend.

Question: Your frenemy dropped some major Weeds scoop this week, and I know you are not gonna let her one-up you like that! What say you give us the deets on Guillermo’s return and just how far Esteban is willing to go to get baby Stevie back. —Claire
Ausiello: Guillermo shows up at the tail end of this season’s penultimate episode…with Esteban! And they don’t have to go too far to get Stevie back — just to the airport, which is where the Botwin clan is headed to flee the country. Quick, someone ask me who makes it onto the plane!

Question. Hey, there’s been no scoop on 90210 lately. Got anything? —Jane
Ausiello: New-couple alert: Navid and Silver! Look for sparks to start flying around episode 8. In other 90210 news, Ivy’s estranged father will be introduced in early ’11. He’s described as an all-American, Ivy League-educated charmer.

Question: Can’t seem to get enough Smallville spoilers. Have any new ones? —Dylan
Ausiello: If you’re a Clois freak, the Oct. 29 ghost-town-set episode is not to be missed. Trust me. Elsewhere, expect more Justice League appearances toward the end of the season.

Question: How is the new FX show Terriers doing? —Alexandra
Ausiello: Terribly. Seriously, the ratings are abysmal. It’s depressing because the show is fantastic. I screened the first five episodes last weekend and I immediately gave it the official Aushole Seal of Approval. The ceremony was private — i.e., friends, family, and Shawn Ryan — so don’t give me any grief about your invitation getting lost in the mail.

Question: There hasn’t been Desperate Housewives scoop in weeks. Got anything to appease me? —Connor
Ausiello: I hear Marc Cherry is putting the finishing touches on his annual winter cliff-hanger catastrophe, and this is what I’ve been able to glean from my Wisteria Lane moles: Two characters will be in mortal danger, the deadly event is not weather-related, and hordes of extras will be needed for the harrowing sequence. Guesses? Hit the comments!

Question: Do you have anything on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? —Stephanie
Ausiello: The Oct. 28 episode finds the gang (sans Dee) flashing back to try to figure out who got her pregnant. Mac claims they all “browned out” that night, which is a less severe version of blacking out. They piece together what vague memories they have and arrive at this disturbing conclusion: Dennis might have impregnated his sister! Ewwww!

Question: Do you know if any of last year’s guest stars from Community are coming back this year? I’m thinking John Michael Higgins, Tony Hale, Blake Clark, or Jack Black? —Tommy
Ausiello: Nothing cooking with any of those folks at this time. Here’s something cool, though: Judd Apatow’s go-to baddie Kevin Corrigan has just been cast as a guest professor in an upcoming episode.

Question: Is there any news on the rumored sniper on Bones? —Jessica
Ausiello: His name is Jacob Ripkin Broadsky, he’s slated to show up in early ’11, and I can confirm that he does in fact take out a pivotal recurring character.

Question: I’ve missed House two weeks in a row due to work, which is very depressing. Can I please have some scoop to cheer me up? —Kim
Ausiello: You should check out this new product that just hit the market. It’s called a DVR. All the cool kids are using it. In any event, exec producer Katie Jacobs teases that Taub’s marriage will be tested in “a completely unexpected way” later this season. Might this be connected to a certain spoiler that ran in AA last week? Maybe. Maybe not.

Question: Can you please use your impressive resources to find out if Rubicon will be picked up for season 2? —Nathan
Ausiello: I’m told that AMC would very much like a second season, but the ratings are atrocious. Even worse than Terriers’.

Question: I’m getting super-tired of Cristina’s “can’t do it” story line on Grey’s Anatomy. Tell me she’ll get over it soon. —Farrah
Ausiello: My guess is we’re closer to the end than the beginning. “It gets pretty dark for her,” teases exec producer Shonda Rhimes. “Cristina is a person who has identified herself purely as a surgeon — before anything else. And for her to be at a place where she’s not sure if she can even pick up a scalpel is fairly devastating.”

Question: Um, so tip fail? Unless a certain Mad Men character committed suicide after the credits rolled, I think you pegged that one wrong. What’s the scoop? —Elise
Ausiello: The scoop is there’s a big difference between a spoiler and a prediction. Look it up.

Question: Any Big C scoop? —Jeremy
Ausiello: A major character will commit suicide before the end of season 1. Now that, Elise, is a spoiler.

Question: I’m torn…I’m enjoying The Event, but I’m mildly happy that its ratings aren’t stellar. Why? Because Mr. Cyr [Jason Ritter] and Sarah were so perfect together on Parenthood! What are the chances of The Event lasting, in your expert opinion? —Wendy
Ausiello: Considering it was just picked up for a full season, the chances are good it’ll last at least 22 episodes. If the show’s ratings stabilize — or better yet grow — a second season is probably a safe bet. Chances are you’ll get closure either way. “I do have a shorter way of getting to [the endgame, should it conclude prematurely],” says series creator Nick Wauters. “Hopefully it won’t come to that. But I think it’s important to give viewers some kind of conclusion.”

Question: Any spoilers on The Event? —Sydney
Ausiello: Wauters says we’ll definitely find out who (or what) the “Others” are (aliens? time travelers?) by the end of season 1. “We’ll also find out what they want and where they came from.”

Question: Is there any way you can find out when Interview With the Vampire comes on? This probably isn’t what you normally do, but you are the best. Anyway, if you find out something, please post it or get back to me. —LT
Ausiello: Sometimes I don’t even know who you people are.

Question: Can you tell me more about Nicholas Brendon’s three-episode arc on Private Practice? —Catherine
Ausiello: As I revealed last week, he plays the nutjob who rapes Charlotte. Exec producer Shonda Rhimes describes it as a “random” attack. He comes into the clinic, and “immediately there’s [the suggestion] of some mental illness going on there,” she explains. “Charlotte tells him to wait his turn, and the next thing you know, he’s attacking her.”

Question: I would gladly give up my Papa Smurf action figure for some Private Practice scoop. I’m hoping that the upcoming sexual assault of Charlotte brings Cooper and Charlotte closer. Love this couple. BTW, last week’s episode with Dell’s daughter was one of the best episodes of all time. Ending was a classic. —The Rock
Ausiello: I think the attack will ultimately bring Charlotte and Cooper closer, but initially she’ll push him away. “The interesting bond that springs up is between Charlotte and Amelia,” reveals Rhimes. “They were both addicts, and there’s an interesting [connection] that forms there.”

Question: Damn you for pissing on my My Boys parade, Ausiello! That season finale was perfect, and now you’re telling me the show was cancelled?! I think I deserve some scoopage. Let’s go obscure. How about Huge? —Jenn
Ausiello: LOL! Good one, Jenn. You had me going there for a second. [Beat] Oh, wait — you’re not joking, are you? Um, this is awkward.
Related Posts with Thumbnails