Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ask Ausiello 6/30/10

Question: Please can you give us some House news that is not about Huddy? —Monica
Ausiello: Here’s something: Series creator David Shore confirms that they’re casting a new female doc to fill the temporary void left by Olivia Wilde. “We’re working on it,” he says. “There’s no definitive answer [but] it’s something we’re figuring out.”

Question: Last week you asked if anyone watches My Boys other than the very question-y “Kim.” I do! As a girl who’s always been equally boy-crazy and sports-crazy, I completely dig the show, and I’ve seen every episode. —Darcy
Ausiello: Thanks for letting me know. I will sleep much easier tonight, Kim.

Question: Any chance you have a scoop on Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8. —Jim
Ausiello: Did you hear the one about 30 Rock’s Cheyenne Jackson guest-starring? No? Cool, because that’s all I got.

Question: I know I am weeks late on who should play Chuck’s mom, but without a doubt she should be played by Sela Ward! —Kat
Ausiello: Is there a question in there, Kat? No. Fine, then. Let’s ask Zachary Levi who he thinks should play his mom. “I honestly have no idea,” he says. But “I’m excited to see who it winds up being. A lot of people have brought up Lynda Carter — Wonder Woman — which fits into the whole sci-fi/fantasy geek thing our show has going on.” However, the actor thinks the erstwhile Diana Prince looks like “Sarah Lancaster more. Two beautiful brunettes.” Unfortunately, EP Josh Schwartz pretty much ruled Carter out when he told me, “[Lynda's] an icon as an actress and is someone who fits the show’s universe…but not necessarily for this role.”

Question: Just letting you know I love My Boys and will be sad if it doesn’t make it for a 5th season. —Leesa
Ausiello: And by “Leesa” you mean “Kim.” I’m on to you.

Question: Can you please give us some information on season 3 of Castle? It’s my favorite show. —Malisa M
Ausiello: How’s this? The season premiere promises to be a hot one, as it takes place in a hush-hush burlesque club and introduces us not only to the joint’s star/owner, a knockout by the name of — I kid you not — Kitty Canary, but also her equally attractive hubby.

Question: I love My Boys! —Lisa
Ausiello: Whatev, Kim.

Question: Can you give me some scoop on the new season of Big Love? —IRHNFD
Ausiello: Can and will. The new season starts shooting July 13, and based on some fresh casting intel, we’ll be seeing a lotta fallout from the Henricksons’ “outing” as polygamists’, especially at the elementary school some of the kids attend. Maybe Bill will find a sympathetic ear in Richard Dwyer, the Majority Leader of the Utah State Senate and a new recurring character? On second thought, not likely, eh?

Question: Please post something about Gossip Girl! —Emily
Ausiello: It’s official: The Katie Cassidy-Leighton Meester deathmatch is on! Exec producer Stephanie Savage confirms that Cassidy’s new vixen will tangle with several characters, including the show’s reigning beeyotch, Blair. “When we had the idea for the role we knew there was going to be a really short list of actresses who could actually stand up to Blake and Leighton on the screen,” says Savage. “And Katie felt like a great choice.”

Question: Any news as of yet regarding the season-long mystery/mythology for Fringe? —James
Ausiello: Negatory. Can I interest you in the title of the season premiere instead?

Question: My friend Neosha and I have been watching My Boys from the beginning and we can’t wait until July for the long overdue return! —Courtney
Ausiello: Two fun facts: Your name is Kim and you have no friends.

Question: Regarding last Sunday’s True Blood sexcapades, I was not expecting that from Bill. Please may I have a scoop since I have to wait until July 11 for the next episode? —Angi
Ausiello: I warned you it would go down as the most, ahem, twisted sex scene in television history, didn’t I? Anyway, Kevin Alejandro — who goes back to work on Southland in October — says we’ll “be seeing more of Jesus” on True Blood. “I come back in the fifth episode, then you see me pretty regularly from there to the finale.” And, erm, a lot of him. As things heat up between Jesus and Lafayette, he says, “I promise it gets racy.”

Question: More True Blood scoop, please! —Sam
Ausiello: Alan Ball reveals that there will be a lot of “werewolves and vampires throwing down” at the end of the season. I know, not much of a scoop. Cut me some slack. It’s the Thursday before the 4th of July. Is anyone even reading this thing?

Question: Please answer my burning question: Will Jason Ritter be returning to Parenthood in season 2? —Cowsxgoxmooxtoo
Ausiello: Ask me again in September when the ratings come in for Ritter’s new NBC drama The Event. In the meantime, remember my item last week about Parenthood producers casting the role of Adam’s (Peter Krause) boss? Well, I neglected to tell you that the new guy will also be a love interest for Sarah (Lauren Graham).

Question: I am loving Pretty Little Liars. Definitely my new guilty pleasure. Have any scoop? —Kim
Ausiello: Silly question, Kim. And here’s a serious answer: yes. By season’s end, our plot will thicken so much, it’ll damn near solidify. For starters, Emily’s dad is about to come home and get a big shock from his little girl. Plus, Agent Wilden’s “bad cop” will soon get a “good cop” counterpart, a lady Fed who sounds like a Diane Lane dream role. And we’re about to start spending more time at the bank where Ashley works – at least enough to delve into her desperate financial situation and meet her 30ish boss.

Question: With all these crazy casting changes going on at Brothers & Sisters, do you know what the deal is with Balthazar Getty? Is he returning? —Anthony
Ausiello: I’m told ABC is currently in talks with Getty about how big a role he’ll play next season.

Question: I’m really happy that so many of the original cast members are coming back for the final season of Friday Night Lights. But what about Minka Kelly (Lyla)? —Isabellea
Ausiello: No plans for Minka to return, but if it’s any consolation Jesse Plemmons has officially signed on for the finale!

Question: I watch My Boys. And my name’s not Kim. And, as I remember, a bunch of people at EW must watch it too, considering all the love it’s gotten in the past. Has it fallen from grace so quickly? And, since I answered your question, I will ask one of my own: I heard a rumor that Cassidy Freeman’s Tess is still listed as series regular on Smallville. True? —Tom
Ausiello: I started that rumor, and with good reason: Freeman was among the returning series regulars listed in the CW’s upfront press release. In other Smallville news, IGN is reporting that Josh Schneider will reprise his role as Clark’s late adopted pa in the Sept. 10 premiere. Thanks for your question, Kim.

Question: My Boys! Love it! —Sara
Ausiello: I can see you, Kim.

Question: Love your column, and your scoops. I was wondering if there has been any update on the Heroes movie that was being talked about over at NBC? —Scott
Ausiello: Here’s your update: Don’t hold your breath.

Question: I love reading Ask Ausiello but I never see any Entourage spoilers. Got anything? —Sarah
Ausiello: Get ready to see a lot more of Autumn Reeser’s little-agent-that-could beginning with the July 11 episode, when she helps Ari score a huge piece of business. But is she looking out for Ari or herself? My guess is the latter since Ari will come to suspect that she’s stealing some of his clients.

Question: Love My Boys. —Leslie
Ausiello: Kim! Kim! Kim! Kim! Kim! Kim! Kim! Kim!

Final two episodes of Happy Town available online 7/1

The LATEST: With no explanation why (of course), we just got word that the last two episodes of Happy Town will be online tomorrow morning. 

Persons Unknown moved to Saturday

NBC's summer thriller Persons Unknown has remained anonymous to most viewers, and this past Monday it averaged its smallest audience yet, just 2.8 million viewers. No surprise, then, that the network today told its affiliates that starting July 17, the appropriately acronymed PU will now start stinking up Saturday nights at 8 p.m. It will air opposite Fox's Cops, which will likely reduce the show's already tiny viewership to microscopic levels. In another Peacock schedule shift, say good-bye to those extra comedy repeats NBC's been airing on Thursdays this summer. Affiliates were most unhappy with the low ratings that encores of shows such as The Office and Parks and Recreation were averaging from 10 to 11 p.m., leading into the local news; so, starting July 15, they'll be replaced by repeats of Law & Order: SVU. (The comedies will continue to air from 8 to 10, though.) 

Smallville: An Original Cast Member Returns

As Clark Kent goes into his tenth and final season of Smallville, and closer towards his destiny as Superman, he'll also be looking back into his past - as a pivotal character from the show will be seen for the first time in years.

None other than John Schneider is set to return to the series in Season 10, reprising his role as Clark's adoptive human father, Jonathan Kent.

Obviously Jonathan's return raises some questions, given that the character died back in Season 5. I can't reveal yet the how and why of Jonathan's appearance, but I can tell you that we'll see him in the season premiere, entitled "Lazarus." In addition, Schneider is expected to appear in at least one other episode as the season continues.
In May, The CW's Dawn Ostroff hinted that there will likely be guest appearances from many faces from the past during the final season of Smallville.
Look for the premiere on Friday, September 24th on The CW.


Party Over For Starz's 'Party Down', 'Gravity'

Starz has decided not to renew series Party Down and Gravity. I hear the pay cable network may make the announcement later today. Both shows were developed and launched by Starz's previous regime, but new president CEO Chris Albrecht has stated repeatedly that he is big fan of Party Down. While the off-beat comedy has become an instant cult classic, I hear at the end of the day its appeal was deemed not wide enough to keep the show beyond its recently concluded Season 2. Some of the actors on the show have already taken other jobs, like Adam Scott, who joined NBC's Parks & Recreation. Gravity is bowing out after one season. Starz's slate has evolved following the breakout success of period drama Spartacus. The pay cable network has focused on dramas with big, recognizable title like the upcoming series Camelot, Torchwood and the Spartacus prqeuel as well as limited series The Pillars of the Earth. Additionally, Starz is developing an U.S. version of the hit Australian mob drama Underbelly. 

The CW announces return dates for 'Gossip Girl,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Smallville,' and more!

Wednesday, Sept. 8
8:00-9:00 p.m. “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL” (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “HELLCATS” (Series Premiere)

Thursday, Sept. 9
8:00-9:00 p.m. “THE VAMPIRE DIARIES” (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “NIKITA” (Series Premiere)

Monday, Sept. 13
8:00-9:00 p.m. “90210” (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “GOSSIP GIRL” (Season Premiere)

Tuesday, Sept. 14
8:00-9:00 p.m. “ONE TREE HILL” (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “LIFE UNEXPECTED” (Season Premiere)

Friday, September 24
8:00-9:00 p.m. “SMALLVILLE” (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “SUPERNATURAL (Season Premiere)

Ausiello spoilers: Fringe, Burn Notice, more

Fringe fans, the wait is over: Producers have officially settled on the title of the show’s third-season premiere, and the latest episode of Ausiello TV is the only place you’ll find it. (Hint: Said title is very much in keeping with Fringe tradition. And it makes complete sense given the events of the season 2 finale.) Speaking of exclusives, you’ll also be treated to a first look at an explosive (literally!) Michael-Fiona clip from Burn Notice‘s July 15 episode, as well as a never-before-seen “prop” from the set of the upcoming Smurfs feature film. Enjoy!

IFC Picks Up Judd Apadow's 'Freaks And Geeks' & 'Undeclared'

A decade after their short runs, Judd Apatow’s cult series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared are getting another TV run on IFC. The cable channel has acquired all 18 produced episodes of the NBC dramedy, created by Paul Feig and produced by Apatow, and all 17 segments of the Fox comedy, created and produced by Apatow, from Paramount Pictures, which holds the rights to the two DreamWorks TV series. Freaks and Geeks premieres this Friday, while Undeclared will debut in the fall featuring a peviously unaired episode. The two series helped break a slew of young talent, including Jay Baruchel, Jenna Fischer, James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. 

On a commentary note, Freaks and Geeks is waaaay better than Undeclared.

Emily VanCamp confirms 'Brothers & Sisters' exit: 'Rebecca has run her course'

Someone better pour Nora Walker a tall glass of pinot, because her beleaguered clan is about to sustain another loss: After four years, Emily VanCamp is parting ways with Brothers & Sisters and her role of Rebecca. In the following exclusive interview, the Everwood grad sets the record straight about the circumstances surrounding her departure and teases the “traumatic” event that leads to Rebecca’s goodbye.

Is it true that you’re leaving?
EMILY VANCAMP: It is true. I’m going to go back for a couple of episodes, which I’m really excited about. I really feel like Rebecca has run her course. And the deal I was offered this year was for two more years, and I just felt like since renegotiations were happening that maybe it would be the right time to move on. I’ve been doing this for a very long time, and other opportunities have presented themselves that I haven’t been able to do. I’ve had such an amazing four years on the show and I felt like maybe it was time. It was a big risk, but I’m really excited about it.

Isn’t a six- or seven-year contract standard practice when you join a show?
VANCAMP: It is. I think [ABC] decided that they wanted to renegotiate with me and, I think, different cast members. All I know is what was happening with me. They [wanted to] renegotiate for the next couple of years and the idea of doing two more years was slightly daunting —not because I haven’t appreciated every single moment on that show. I’ve had such a brilliant time, and I had the opportunity to work with some of the best — I’m so grateful for that. But with family dramas, it’s hard to keep those stories alive. I just felt like it was time to move on.

There are reports that you were a casualty of widespread budget cuts at the show. Not true?
VANCAMP: I’d like to think that it was a mutual agreement. I don’t really make decisions based on [money]. For me, it was really a creative thing….I did a lot of soul-searching. It’s a big risk for me to take.

Are you concerned what your fellow cast members might think of your decision? Like, “Who does she think she is, leaving the show?”
VANCAMP: No. I think everyone sort of knew what was happening with my character and the relationship between Justin and Rebecca. There was a lot of fighting [between them]. It wasn’t moving forward in a way that was productive or exciting. I think this will give Dave Annable [Justin] an opportunity to do some different things, which will be exciting for him. I don’t think that anyone will disagree with what I’m doing. I think mostly they’ll be happy for me. It really is not an ego thing whatsoever….With such a huge cast, all I’m doing is opening up more time for them. [Laughs] Anyone who knows me knows that my ego really does not drive me. It’s about being happy and creatively fulfilled. I’ve been doing television for a long time. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to go off and do movies. I’d love to do some theater. I’ve thought about going back to school. There are so many things that are going through my brain. I’m 24 now, and I want to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone.

How many episodes are you going back for?
VANCAMP: I’m definitely going back for two or three episodes at the beginning of the season. I’m really excited about the story. I spoke to our showrunner, David Marshall Grant, and he’s come up with some great story lines for the next season. I’m very excited about what’s happening for Rebecca.

I’m guessing the yearlong separation between Justin and Rebecca caused even further distance.
VANCAMP: I think so. I also think that when families go through traumatic situations — like a massive car crash — there are a lot of emotional issues to deal with. No one really knows what happened to Holly [Patricia Wettig] yet. Everyone knows what happened to Robert [Rob Lowe]. I think there are going to be a lot of emotional implications as a result of that event.

What’s next for you professionally?
VANCAMP: I’m working on a Hallmark movie right now called Let Them Shine. I’m playing a teacher, which I always wanted to do. When my character was young and out of college, there weren’t a lot of job opportunities for her in the middle of the school year, so she ended up teaching homeless children and she essentially changed their lives. And then after this I’m going to do Brothers & Sisters, and then who knows? We’ll have to wait and see. It’s a really exciting time for me right now.

What say you, Brothers & Sisters fans? Will you miss Rebecca? Or do you agree with EVC that her character has run her course? Sound off below!

TVGuide Mega Buzz 6/30/10

Will Bailey's boyfriend Ben be back next season on Grey's Anatomy? — Sheena
ADAM: Jason George's role on Off the Map, Shonda Rhimes' midseason show, doesn't necessarily mean the end of Bailey's romance, according to Chandra Wilson. Whatever happens, she says the relationship is important for Bailey's growth. "How many of us go through long-term relationships that end and then you have to sit there and figure out what to do now?" Wilson says. "That's her journey. ... It was about that discovery and how it will change her personality."

Any scoop on the new season of Glee? — Amy
MICKEY: Jayma Mays tells us how she heard that John Stamos had been cast to play a dentist/Emma's love interest. "I got a text message from a friend and all it said was: 'Uncle Jesse?'" she recalls with a laugh. The season finale set up a pretty clear love triangle among Mr. Schu, Emma and Dr. Teeth, but what if it's actually a square? The cutie-pie clean freak may be getting competition on all fronts from Jessalyn Gilsig's dastardly Terri.

What have you heard about next season of NCIS: Los Angeles? — Trent
ADAM: The team is getting some extra help: Look for them to sign on a tomboy-ish intelligence analyst who often speaks before she thinks. But she's also unflappable in a crisis.

How long will Mike and Susan live away from Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives? — Lacey
MICKEY: It's going to be for most of the season, which isn't encouraging. We've all seen how the show's momentum suffers when the ladies are split up for too long. On the upside, one of Susan's new neighbors will make her a surprising job offer. It suggests that Karl's will and Julie Benz's story line may just have been clever foreshadowing.

Is it July 25 yet? I need Mad Men scoop! — Jackson
ADAM: Why would Matt Weiner be adding a political operative to the cast? Is Betty's beau running for office? Is Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce working on another political campaign? Hit the comments with your guesses.

How will they explain Steve Carell's departure from The Office? — Lowell
MICKEY: Well, obviously it's still very early, but our mole tells us that one plan reunites Michael with his "soupsnake," Holly, over the course of Carell's final season and then transfers them both back to Nashua. Here's the interesting part: In this scenario, nobody would replace Carell in the cast. Instead, the already large and talented ensemble would step up to fill the void, with Jim and Dwight's back-and-forth taking center stage. But maybe talented British actor Ricky Gervais is available?

What can you tell me about USA's new show Covert Affairs? — Wyatt
ADAM: Coyote Ugly's Piper Perabo stars as CIA trainee Annie Walker, whose instincts in the field help her earn an early promotion. But she's also not afraid to use her feminine wiles, as she does in the first episode, when she poses as a hooker. The show premieres Tuesday, July 13 at 10/9c.

Will we ever seen Johnny Drama act again on Entourage? — Charlie
MICKEY: No Viking Quest clips are forthcoming, and neither is any new work. Executive producer Doug Ellin tells us that this season will be about Drama's arduous quest for gainful employment, which Ellin finds far more entertaining.

So glad Rescue Me is back, but you've got to tell me who besides Tommy will end up in the hospital? — Denise
ADAM: I'll let the actor in question tell you. "There's a whole story line that comes up about Lou not taking care of himself as best he should," John Scurti tells us. "There's a price to pay for his love of cigars and martinis and beautiful women and food."

Will Debbie Pelt be as crazy on HBO's True Blood as she was in the books? — Tommy
MICKEY: I'm hearing yes, but not initially. Brit Morgan's debut will be somewhat restrained, and her character's quick temper and jealous streak will unveil themselves gradually. But once they do, watch out. "I'm going on a rampage against Sookie," Morgan tells us. "I'm not too happy with her."

Anything cool coming up on The Good Guys? — Kyle
ADAM: How about a Homer Simpson cameo? Dan Castellaneta, who voices the Simpson patriarch, will play a bank robber with whom Bradley Whitford's Detective Stark has some history. The episode has an Ocean's Eleven vibe; the heists are never what they seem.

I can't wait for the new season of White Collar — where will it pick up? — Whitney
MICKEY: We'll see that plane explode once more, but then there will be a time jump that allows Neal to move on fairly quickly from Kate's death — yes, I said death. Plus: Diana (Lost's Marsha Thomason) is back!

Mickey's Mega Rave: The promising addition of Janeane Garofalo to the already interesting cast of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior has me mentally setting my DVR now for its January 2011 debut. Anyone who saw her dramatic turns on The West Wing and 24 knows that she can handle rapid-fire technical dialogue under pressure. Unsubs, beware!

Adam's Mini Rant: True Blood's "twist" ending was a cheap attempt to distract us from an otherwise boring Season 3.

Reader Quote of the Week: "Let's get Robin Sparkles in on this action!" — sirlizard, on the news that two (real) former pop stars, Tiffany and Deborah Gibson, will face off in an upcoming movie

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two More Actors Board Starz's 'Camelot'

Claire Forlani and Peter Mooney round out the main cast of Starz’s 10-episode drama series Camelot, joining previously cast Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, Jamie Campbell Bower and Tamsin Egerton. Written by Michael Hurst and Chris Chibnall, the series – to be distributed worldwide via Graham King’s GK TV – is a fresh take on the tale of King Arthur (Bower). Paradigm-repped Forlani will play Arthur’s mother, Queen Igraine, while SMS-repped Mooney will play Kay, Arthur’s brother and right-hand man. Filming on Camelot is starting this week in Ireland for an early 2011 premiere on Starz. Forlani also is set to film indies Deauville and Crossmaglen. 

'Glee' gets syndicated on Oxygen, 'Modern Family' goes to USA

"Glee" and "Modern Family," the two biggest new comedies of 2009-10, have landed big syndication deals on cable.

"Glee" will go to Oxygen, while "Modern Family" is headed to USA. The "Glee" deal on Oxygen also includes the rights for the cable channel to do a reality show that searches for a new cast member, according to

Both shows will have their cable debuts in 2013. Terms for the sales weren't disclosed, but Deadline reports that USA paid north of $1 million per episode for "Modern Family," while "Glee" fetched "mid-six figures."

If the "Glee" reality show sounds familiar, that's because FOX announced it in January as part of the Season 2 pickup. The network later scrapped the idea so that show's producers could focus more on the new season, but Oxygen resurrected the idea. The talent search is tentatively scheduled to air next summer, with the winner earning a role on Season 3 of "Glee."

"Modern Family," meanwhile, is USA's first sitcom acquisition in a long time. The only half-hour comedies the network currently airs are "Wings" and "Becker," and they're on only in the wee hours of the morning.

Hulu Launches "Plus" Subscription Service

Hulu’s long-rumored paid service is now a reality as the online content hub has just launched Hulu Plus. A monthly fee of $9.99 allows subscribers to get season passes to more than 40 current series, including Glee, Modern Family, House, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and The Office, as well as access to over 120 previous episodes of current and old shows. The episodes can be delivered to iPhone, iPad and iPod, some Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players and soon to PlayStation3 and Xbox. A free version of Hulu is still available but offers only recent episodes of ABC, NBC and Fox shows. In its initial launch phase, Hulu Plus is available by invitation only. You can get one here. 

Ratings: 'True Blood' Steady While 'Hung' & 'Entourage' Slip In Return

HBO’s True Blood held steady with its third episode Sunday, while the season premieres of Hung and Entourage were down from last year. True Blood averaged 4.5 million viewers at 9 PM, up from the 4.3 million who tuned in for episode 2 the week before. However, the total audience when the 11PM airing is factored in was 5.1 million, down 9% from the week before.

At 10PM, the second season premiere of Hung averaged 2.5 million viewers, down 11% from the show’s series debut last year. The show’s ratings were down despite the fact that the show had a stronger lead-in this year. Last year’s episode of True Blood, which opened for the Hung premiere, drew 3.7 million viewers. But for the night, Hung’s cume viewership, 3.5 million, was close to last year’s total, 3.7 million. At 10:30PM, the season opener of veteran Entourage logged 2.5 million viewers, down 26% from last year’s season debut. On the bright side, Entourage held onto 100% of its Hung lead-in in total viewers, while dropping 6% last year.

Fancast Big Tease 6/29/10

I have my doubts about Cary working for the State’s Attorney’s Office on ‘The Good Wife,’ that they can make the story work longer than a few episodes. I don’t want them to drop Matt Czuchry after half of the season. Do you have any information? – Jess_No10 via Twitter
This Matt urges you not to fret about the other Matt. “Czuchry’s fans have nothing to worry about,” a source at the show tells me. “His storyline is going to really heat up this season.”

Got any ‘Psych‘ spoilers? – legendsinlove via Twitter
And how! Check out this peek at the July 13 season premiere, straight from series boss Steve Franks: “Shawn goes deep into a Chinese triad gang war, and shooting the episode was more fun than we should be allowed to have. I’ve always wanted to do some sort of Jackie Chan-style action and we hit the jackpot here. After that, Shawn won’t have much time to catch his breath as he has fast cars to race and UFO landings to investigate.”

Is Sosie Bacon coming back to ‘The Closer‘? I loved her last season! – Mooshki via Facebook
I loved her too – a real natural, and such a resemblance to her folks, Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon. As of right now, however, I am told there are no plans for Brenda’s niece Charlie to pay a return visit.

Can’t CBS just not do the ‘Criminal Minds‘ spin-off and use that money to keep A.J. Cook around? We don’t need a carbon copy of the show anyway. – Lauri
A lot of viewers have had that thought, but that’s not how it works – the two shows don’t share a pool of money. And ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’ (as it apparently will stay titled) won’t simply be a replica of the original. Rather, measures are being taken to give it a distinct feel, a la ‘CSI’ and ‘CSI: Miami,’ or ‘NCIS’/'NCIS: LA.’ Bringing on Janeane Garofalo is just (admittedly curious) one step in that direction.

The room that Patrick Jane went into at the end of the ‘Mentalist‘ season finale – was that his wife/daughter’s old room, someplace new, or…? – jmorgue via Twitter
We’ve seen that room on occasion. It’s one at his home that he keeps to remind himself about what happened with Red John.

I saw this tweet from Bryan Adams: “Message to Ryan Murphy/Glee: Please stop telling the press I rejected your show, when we’ve NEVER spoken. Be polite and pick up the phone.” Can you find out the real story? – Kimberley via Facebook
Thanks for the heads-up, Kimbers; I do need to Follow more Canadians on Twitter. I invited Fox to offer clarification on this ‘Glee’ Said/He Said dispute – seeing as Murphy is on record as saying, “My favorite rejection was Bryan Adams” – but they are declining to comment. My theory? Poutine.

Can you let us know your thoughts on the new season of ‘Entourage,’ without revealing too much? – Jeff via Facebook
By now, you’ve seen the premiere, which IMO was a bit thin. The good word is that Episode 2 has a lot more going on, including Ari in blockbuster deal mode, which is always one of my favorite elements of the show. P.S. How much fun does the show’s casting director have choosing the female extras? I am so in the wrong line of work.

Let me know how you like ‘Outsourced.’ The promo (watch it here) looks funny, but sometimes all the funny scenes are in the promo. – MarkyMarc70 via Twitter
I’ll say this for the NBC comedy: Few pilots have ever been as efficient in establishing their premise. Seriously, it’s like Whoosh-Bam! Middle American dude gets plopped in his company’s call center in India. The pilot was “fine,” but this show can only be assessed once it gets the painfully obvious culture clash jokes out of its system and starts exploring the characters in a real way. On a related note, check out our First Looks at the pilots for ‘Mike & Molly,’ ‘Nikita‘ and ‘Hawaii Five-O.’

I was wondering if you could clear something up for me. Is the new ‘Camelot’ series on Starz ongoing or is it a mini-series? – Scott
I double-checked for you, and ‘Camelot’ – starring ‘FlashForward’s Joseph Fiennes (as Merlin), Eva Green (Morgana), Jamie Campbell Bower (Arthur) and Tamsin Egerton (Guinevere) – is a closed-end, 10-episode series, set to premiere in early 2011.

I cannot wait for USA Network’s ‘Covert Affairs‘ to premiere. I love me some Chris Gorham! Is there any scoop to be had yet? – Daphne
How about this: Liane Balaban, who starred opposite Joshua Jackson in ‘One Week,’ has landed the guest star role of Natasha Petrovna, a beautiful, Saint Petersburg-bred hacker who happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Gorham’s CIA agent character, Auggie. Awk. Ward.

Any idea when the DVD for Season 4 of ‘Big Love‘ will come out? I’m getting really anxious! – Diana
Sit tight. An exact release date has not yet been set, but HBO tells me it won’t be until the end of the year/early 2011.

Do you have any scoop on ‘Bones‘? – Nera
Only that “The Gorilla In The Room” – as tweeted by show boss Hart Hanson – is not for certain locked in as the title of the season premiere, despite reports you may have seen elsewhere.

Did you see the ‘Chase‘ ad in the new Entertainment Weekly? It spelled Kelli Giddish’s name wrong. Who do we punish for this transgression? – Tara
I’m getting the name of someone in NBC marketing for ya, Tara. In the meantime, you get Kelli and her ‘Chase’ character’s ish-kickers at the ready. (After all, there’s a very good reason they call her “Boots” on the show.)

Psych: ‘Lost’ Star Cast As ‘Shawn 2.0′

‘Psych’s Shawn Spencer (played by James Roday) will meet his match – and then some – when ‘Lost‘ alum Nestor Carbonell joins the USA Network series for a multi-episode arc, Fancast has learned exclusively.

The Big Tease: Scoop On ‘Good Wife,’ ‘Psych’ and More

Carbonell has been cast in the role of Declan Rand, a criminal profiler who over the course of two episodes will shape up to be Shawn’s professional – as well as romantic – rival.

So savvy is Declan at what he does, I am told, that Gus (Dule Hill) will dub him “Shawn 2.0.” Gus!

How will Shawn react to being one-upped by this “upgrade”? Or might Shawn 2.0 be harboring a few… glitches?

Prior to playing ‘Lost’s ageless Richard Alpert, Carbonell enjoyed roles on such TV series as ‘The Tick,’ ‘Strong Medicine’ and ‘Suddenly Susan.’ His big-screen credits meanwhile include ‘The Dark Knight.’

Season 5 of USA’s ‘Psych’ premieres on July 14.

FX snags Elijah Wood for new comedy 'Wilfred'
Drama-heavy FX is getting serious about comedy. To wit: The cabler has successfully wooed ex-hobbit Elijah Wood to headline its in-the-works U.S. remake of the hit Australian sitcom Wilfred.

The project, which is being adapted by Family Guy vet David Zuckerman, revolves around a guy (Wood), a girl, and a mixed-breed dog named Wilfred that Zuckerman describes as “part Labrador retriever and part Russell Crowe on a bender.”

Jason Gann, who co-created and starred in the Aussie version, will once again play the title role (that is when said title role appears in human form).

This marks Wood’s first major foray into television. The Lord of the Rings vet will next be seen this fall in The Romantics opposite Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, and Anna Paquin.

Production on the Wilfred pilot will begin later this summer.

CBS orders 'Mad Love' sitcom

The sitcom "Mad Love" toplining Jason Biggs, Sarah Chalke, Judy Greer and Tyler Labine, has been ordered by CBS for midseason. The half-hour revolves around a quartet of single friends in New York City -- two who are falling in love and two who despise each other, at least initially.

Matt Tarses and Jamie Tarses are the executive producers for Sony Pictures Entertainment in association with CBS Television Studios. Pamela Fryman directed the pilot.

ABC Family gives 'Liars' 12 more episodes

Three episodes into its premiere run, "Pretty Little Liars" has earned itself a 12-episode extension, bringing its total first-season order to 22 hours.

ABC Family had positioned "Liars" as the centerpiece of its spring upfront presentations, and the network’s confidence in the series appears to have paid off. Per Nielsen, the latest installment (June 22) of the show delivered 2.74 million viewers, an improvement of 11 percent from the 2.47 million viewers who tuned in for the premiere.

"Liars" also has built on its already significant demos, averaging 1.33 million viewers 18-49 last Tuesday, topping its debut delivery by 20 percent. The younger set also continues to flock to the series, as ABC Family set a high-water mark with episode No. 3, drawing 1.84 million viewers 12-34 (up 6 percent from the June 8 premiere) and 1.58 million females 12-34 (up 5 percent).

“'Pretty Little Liars' is a breakout hit for the network,” said Kate Juergens, executive vp, original programming & development, ABC Family, by way of announcing the order. “We’re thrilled that our Millennial viewers have responded so strongly to the show. It’s a perfect fit with the network’s strong slate of original scripted dramas.”

Based on a series of bestselling young-adult novels, "Pretty Little Liars" stars Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson and Shay Mitchell.

'Supernatural': Mitch Pileggi's return will shed new light on Sam and Dean's past

'Supernatural' Exclusive: Mitch Pileggi's return will shed new light on Sam and Dean's past

It’s official: Mitch Pileggi is returning to Supernatural as Sam and Dean’s presumed-dead grandpa — and not for some one-off guest stint. As I first teased in Ask Ausiello, the X-Files vet will appear in multiple episodes during season 6.

“I’m a longtime fan of Mitch’s work,” gushes executive producer/new showrunner Sera Gamble. “And we all thought he did an amazing job the first time around, so we’re excited he was game to [return].”

What brings Gramps back? “For one thing, he’s a Campbell — from Sam and Dean’s mom’s side of the family,” reminds Gamble, “which, unlike their dad’s, has actually been into hunting for a very long time. There’s a whole side of Sam and Dean’s history that they know nothing about. We’ll get to find out a bit about it this season.”

In other Supe news, the show is on the prowl for an actor in his late-30s to mid-40s to play the recurring role of Christian. Described as “capable, calm under pressure, and very good at his job,” Christian has a special relationship to Sam and Dean.

Thoughts on who this Christian character is? And are you pumped for the return of Pileggi? Hit the comments!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Watch w/ Kristin Spoiler Chat - 6/28/10

Fangbangin' serial killer? Been there. Orgy-inducing maenad? Done that.

Big Bads in Bon Temps are a dime a dozen, but if you think you've sussed out True Blood's latest candidate—ehhh! (How awesome is my buzzer sound?) Try again.

Sure, Eric's pretty evil (if you count studliness as sin), and the King of Mississippi's got somethin' up his sleeve, and don't even get me started on that rubbernecker Lorena. Still, there's someone else, and his or her dastardly plans might just bring the tiny town to its knees.

So who's True Blood 's latest rotten apple? And which character is next to go vamp? Read on for that, plus the latest scoop on Gossip Girl, The Office and even (sniff) Lost...

Brandon in Devore, Calif.: Do you have any other info on that lost Lost scene?
As a matter of fact, we've confirmed reports from our pal over at PopWrap that the unseen story of Hurley and Ben will be called "The New Man in Charge"—how exciting is that?! The DVD extra will run exactly 11 minutes, 40 seconds long...just enough time to find out what went down between Jacob's reign and the end of our beloved Lost. Also, we'll get the scene on the Season Six DVD and also the complete compilation, so you can drop to your knees and thank whatever deity you like (Jacob?).

Drew in Moorpark, Calif.: Loving that Tater Top Awards is back! It's my highlight of the summer. Can I put in a word for Grey's Anatomy finale for Best Shocker? And Kate and Jack on Lost for Best Kiss?
Soitenly! Make sure you keep checking back each day to vote and nominate right here. We'll be doing a brand-new category or two every weekday for the next thee weeks.

Dalia in Wisconsin: I'm in love with Pretty Little Liars. Please tell me there's hope for more after this season?
Why wait? ABC Family is loving it as much as the fans and just this morning upped the first season episode order to 22—that's 12 more hours of Pretty Little Liars for your viewing pleasure!

Monica in North Carolina: Kristin, thanks for the scoop from Steve Carell himself that he's really leaving The Office. I can't believe he doesn't think it's a huge deal! Did he say what he'd want to do next?
"I'll just travel around the country doing the one man Michael Scott show." Funny how he thinks he's kidding, but I'm going to kidnap him and make him do it. Kathy Bates can help.

Jenna in Indianapolis: Got the goods on the next season of How I Met Your Mother?
Jason Segel is lobbying (pun absolutely intended) for a very specific guest star next season—Marshall and Lily fans, cover your eyes. "[I want] Hillary Clinton," he told us at the Despicable Me premiere Sunday. "I'd have an affair with her." Bwah! What kinda idea is that when there's finally baby talk being thrown around?!

Cody in Fresno, Calif.: I'm hearing good things about FX's new series Louie. What's your take on it?
Think Seinfeld, only darker! Parks and Recreation's Office Dave Louie C.K. is not, but that doesn't mean he's not a hoot. The format of the series takes a little getting used to, but it's part standup (with bleeped out words and everything!), part scripted show acting out the rants Louie is on. The verdict: Tune in and decide for yourself is Louie is your cup o' tea. We're just hoping he heads back to Pawnee to swoop Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) off her feet again.

George in Michigan: Alright, give it to me straight. What's the deal with Sam's little brother on True Blood?
What, you mean little ol' Tommy? He's harmless—in the sociopath, crazy-person sorta way! Marshall Allman, aka Sam's little bro Tommy, is in it for the long haul this season, and a source tells us he intends on "bringing Bon Temps to its knees." Sounds fun, right? "I go in and have a lot of fun," Marshall tells us. "There's not an impulse that I don't act on. I'm tons of fun. And then I'll take your wallet, [and] I'll also steal your girl." Yes, we're hearing some girl-stealing is afoot. Any guesses as to which lovely lady Tommy might have on his arm? Hands off Sookie, L.J., or we'll tell your Dad! (A little old-timey Prison Break humor brought to you by Wentworth's abs.)

Julie in Toronto: True Blood, please.
Marshall tells us he'll be around well into the "shocking" season finale, and that even though he'll do some pwetty tewibble things to Bon Temps during his stay (yep, he's moving in!), don't judge too quickly. "People will see that I have a heart, but they're just going to be frustrated that I'm not being who I was meant to be," he says, "I suffered a lot of dysfunction, and I just need a lot of love." Sources have also revealed that Tommy might be working to Sam at Merlotte's soon enough, so watch out for that, 'cause that seems to be where all truly terrible people end up at one time or another. (Note: Hands off Arlene, too, buddy. She's with child.)

Marybeth in Laurel, Md.: Anything good coming up for Tara on True Blood?
That depends on your definition of good. Rutina Wesley tells us our ever-troubled bartender "is gonna struggle with this vampire lover named Franklin Mott. He's very psychological and very hard. So this relationship is not necessarily by choice." Probably not your definition of good, huh? One thing you don't have to worry about? Tara becoming a vamp herself. "Probably not," she says. "I love being human. It's like I'm one of the only humans on the show!"

Neil in Santa Fe, N.M: Please tell me that Holly will be back on The Office next season! Michael needs his other half.
How about I promise that another ex will be back? Is that the same? No? Well, take what you can get because Jan is about to be all up in Dunder Mifflin, er, Sabre next season. "I am going to be back," Melora Hardin happily tells us. "I'm going to be doing a guest starring thing next year." A guest starring thing? Perhaps that means more than one episode, but whatever it means, we hope this thing involves another inappropriate baby shower. Also, since we now know Steve is serious about leaving The Office, can we please get Holly Flak back ASAP?!

Justin in Commack, N.Y.: Is there a chance Elizabeth Banks will be returning to 30 Rock this season?
We went straight to the big-time fancy movie star herself for the answer and here's what she had to say: "You would think I'll be back. I am knocked up, for sure by Jack Donaghy on the show so you'll have to wait and see." A vague, non-committal yes? We'll take it!

Mike in Kansas City, Kan.: Any Entourage scoop?
If you're curious about those Ari Gold marital woes, let's break 'em down: Ari's agency is now the biggest thing in Hollywood, thus no time for the wifey. Also, Autumn Reeser is back and doing big things for the company—except Mrs. A only sees her as that girl who slept with the family friend last season and misinterprets her relationship with the big boss man. Any questions?

Gabby in Mississippi: Entourage is back! What's coming up?
Before Scott Caan pops up in fall's crazy good Hawaii Five-0, he'll continue to make E's life miserable on Entourage. And not just 'cause his character is a big bad word." Vince and I get to be friends a little bit," Scott tells us. And yes, jealousy ensues. Secret Life's Megan Park also pops up in Sunday's episode with some not-so-suitable for ABC Family language.

Eddie in Sioux Falls: Hung is my favorite show. Anything juicy to reveal?
Not that these two have ever been the happiest of couples, but Ronnie (Eddie Jemison) and Jessica (Anne Heche) are headed for some tough times this season. Jessica is going to accidentally agree to have a baby with the doc (who does that?!), then attempt to back out of the deal on top of the fact that she has a budding friendship with her ex, Ray (Thomas Jane). How will Ronnie react? "He embarrasses his wife in front of hundreds of people publicly," he reveals, possibly at a sporting event, so keep your eyes peeled!

Eric in Long Island: What is the deal with My Boys?! Is it really over or will it be saved now that Jordana Spiro is out of Love Bites?
Although NBC and the Love Bites producers love Jordana, I'm told her casting on the show was always in second position to TBS' My Boys. So the producers took a risk but knew that if TBS didn't release her from her My Boys contract, they'd have to let her go. I'm told they don't yet know if they'll recast Jordana (it's shot like Love Actually, in vignettes, so her story might just go away or be reshot), and I'm also that there's still a teensy-tiny possibility Jordana will appear on Love Bites in some capacity later on. TBS says they just don't know yet about a fifth season for My Boys since the fourth season hasn't begun airing yet. It premieres July 25.

Jody in Boston, Mass.: Thanks for the story about My Boys returning. It's a favorite of mine! Can you tell us more about this upcoming season?
How about some extreme heart-stopping action scenes? Well, kind of. Unless you think falling down when trying to seduce your onscreen boyfriend is extreme sports. Jordana Spiro sure does: "I would say the biggest challenge I had was I had to do a couple of pratfalls in Christian Louboutin 7-inch heel shoes," she says. "That was a challenge but a really fun one." But...the Louboutins are safe, right?

Leslie in Chicago, Ill.: Super bummed that Jim Gaffigan isn't on this season of My Boys. Please tell me it's still funny without him.
According to the first three episodes back, hell yes! We get to find out how the gang met in a flashback episode, which means seeing P.J., Stephanie (Kellee Stewart), and Brendan (Reid Scott) in straight up '90s college mode. Plus, Rachael Harris joins the cast as a love interest for Mike (Jamie Kaler), and you just can't go wrong with her.

Brynn in New York City: After that 90210 finale, I need a reason to keep watching. Got anything for me?
When we return to West Beverly, Annie and Liam will be fighting those lovey-dovey feelings they've pretty much always had for each other. Liam's over Naomi and all that drama-rama, but Annie's determined to keep a clean conscience and steer clear of whatever happened between the two this summer. I'm guessing hot hookup. You?

Billie in Calif.: Anything on Gossip Girl today?
Former Melrose Place vixen Katie Cassidy is headed way across the country for her next CW gig, joining the cast of Gossip Girl. And yes, it's true tubers, she is taking the role Chace Crawford promised to someone very important, ahem, me! Yessir, Katie will be Nate's new Columbia co-ed galpal. And per usual with G.G. and K.C., she's got a lil' sumpin' sumpin' up her sleeve that will wreak a little havoc on the gang. Step aside, Georgina!

Lisa in Bridgeton, N.J.: I'm intrigued by USA's new series Covert Affairs. Piper Perabo and Chris Gorham would make a cute couple! Got scoop?
Do I ever! But it will burst your Piper/Chris hookup bubble, so gird your loins. Chris Gorham says that while Auggie "takes Annie under his wing" right from the get-go, the prospect of a romantic pairing is not in the cards for these two. At least not yet. "There's a real connection. And it's definitely a big part of the show," Chris tells us. "I think when they first met, he kind of assumes that they're going to hookup. But the relationship with her for some reason quickly moves past the casual hookup and into a real friendship." Aw, BFF necklaces for everyone!

Richie in Sacramento, Calif.: Rescue Me is back! Please tell me that Tommy lives!
What? You didn't hear that the writers decided to do this season without Denis Leary? Oh, I kid. He's gonna be fine. Well, let me rephrase it. Tommy is going to make it, but I can't promise he'll be fine, per say. Check out his freaky hallucinations after getting shot and make the decision for yourself. Purgatory or just emotional trauma from the shooting?

Trish in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario: Rescue Me premieres this week and I think we deserve some scoop.
Oh, is that what you think? Do you also think poor Tommy is going to get all kinds of sympathy after his brush with death via gunshot? Nah. Pretty much the whole first episode back is an ode to how much everyone is pissed off at Tommy. Of course, there's also the issue of firehouse 99 being thisclose to getting shut down. Tommy to the rescue? Perhaps.

Teresa in White Plains, N.Y.: Are Jack and Allison finally going to hook up for realz in season four of Eureka?
Um, remember that heartbreaking alternate timeline in Eureka's first-season finale when Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Allison (Salli Richardson-Wakefield) were married with a baby on board? The opening of season four involves another Jack and Allison time-travel hookup. This time they both remember their encounter, but as usual (sniff) circumstances conspire against them—and everyone else involved in their blast to the past. As new castmember James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) told us, "It's a reset button for this's exactly the same and everything's different. Everybody in the show now has things that they can't quite cope with." At least Jo and Fargo finally got the promotions they deserve (and how!).

Marc in San Diego: Any details on the new season of Warehouse 13?
Like Eureka, time travel is also the theme (it is Syfy, after all!) of Warehouse 13's second-season premiere. Instead of retrieving an artifact, the team is after a person: original time-traveler H.G. Wells (Dexter's Jaime Murray). She (it is Syfy, after all!) has been released from the Warehouse by Artie's (Saul Rubinek) nemesis, MacPherson (Roger Rees). Will they ever defeat this guy? Yes. Soon. The beautiful Wells, however, will probably be back to torment the agents.

Allison in Cleveland, Ohio: Friday Night Lights scoop, if you please.
Coach Taylor is on the wrong side of the tracks in this week's episode. After a dangerous altercation that leaves you screaming at your TV for Eric's safety (not that I did that or anything), he decides to get a sketchy park cleaned up. And Kyle Chandler continues to be awesome as he deals with the whole Tami/Glenn kiss sitch. Hilariously awkward scenes FTW!

Mitch in Oklahoma City, Okla.: What kind of drama is coming up on Friday Night Lights?
Besides all the football drama week in and week out, you mean? During the next episode alone: Someone is pregnant. A couple is getting a divorce. Someone gets a new job. And someone meets and makes out with a new dude.

Marvel Launches TV Division

Having becoming a feature film force, spawning blockbuster franchises such as "Spider-Man" and "Iron Man," Marvel Entertainment is setting its sights on television. The comic book company is encroaching even further into Hollywood, with the launch of its newly created small screen division.

The television wing will be overseen by Jeph Loeb, the Emmy-nominated writer of NBC's recently canceled "Heroes," the company announced on Monday.

As executive vice president, head of television, Loeb will work to translate Marvel’s characters and stories to television in both live-action and animation form.

In addition, Loeb will oversee the development and distribution of live-action, animated and direct-to-DVD series.

Loeb also has extensive experience on the pen and ink side of comics, winning an Eisner-award for his work with Marvel and writing such popular characters as Captain America and Batman. Not only was Loeb integral in finding a comic book formula that worked in prime time through his work on "Heroes," he also helped transform rival DC Comics' hero Superman into the protagonist of CW's "Smallville' (2001-2010).

Loeb was also a writer and producer on "Lost" and the writer of the feature films "Commando" and "Teen Wolf."

"Jeph’s work on multiple award-winning television series and popular films has shown fans worldwide his ability to deliver thrilling entertainment in a number of media. With Jeph as our EVP, fans will experience the highest quality and most exciting television projects featuring their favorite Marvel characters,” Alan Fine, executive vice president, office of the president and chairman of Marvel Studios’ creative committee, said in a statement.

Though Marvel had some past success turning its comic book characters into live action television shows way back with "The Incredible Hulk" with Bill Bixby (1978-82), most of its recent television hits have been on the animated end. Both "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" have been turned into popular and long-running animated series.

Janeane Garofalo In Talks For 'Minds' Spinoff & Andre Holland Set For 'Friends'

Janeane Garofalo is in negotiations to join CBS' Criminal Minds spinoff, while Andre Holland is set to co-star on the new NBC comedy series Friends with Benefits. Garofalo will play a new regular on the ABC Studios/CBS Studios-produced Criminal Minds spinoff, which was picked up for midseason. Also adding a new female regular following the axing of A.J. Cook is the original Criminal Minds series. Garofalo, who would co-star opposite Forest Whitaker, is coming off another drama series turn on Fox's 24. Holland too will play a regular on the 20th TV/Imagine-produced ensemble comedy Frinds with Benefits, which is recasting two of the male leads in the pilot. Holland's character is described as an oversexed personal trainer and king of the douchbags. The actor, who did another pilot for NBC this past season, Rockford Files, is repped by Paradigm. 

New Lease On Life For Fox's 'Breaking In'

Fox has ordered two additional scripts for comedy Breaking In a month after the network passed on the comedy pilot starring Christian Slater. The pilot, set at a digital-security firm, was written by Adam F. Goldberg and directed by Seth Gordon. It had buzz, tested well and was in the running for a series pickup before ultimately missing the cut. Now, with the additional script order, producing studio Sony Pictures TV is also expected to extend the options on the cast that also includes Reaper star Bret Harrison. This would prevent Harrison from being considered for the role on new NBC comedy series Perfect Couples, which is recasting a male lead. 

Morgan Wandell Exits Berlanti Television

Morgan Wandell has left Greg Berlanti TV after a two-year stint at the ABC Studios-based production company. The departure, which comes at the end of Wandell’s contract, was amicable and Wandell will stay in business with Berlanti. He will be a full-time non-writing executive producer on Berlanti TV’s new ABC series, No Ordinary Family, which he helped develop, and also is working with Berlanti on 1-2 other upcoming projects. Wandell left his post as SVP drama for ABC Studios two years ago to run Berlanti TV. Now I hear Berlanti is looking to develop fewer shows as he is also working on four features. Additionally, his way of generating projects is less dependent on development executives as it relies on his existing relationships with a group of writer friends with whom he frequently collaborates. Berlanti’s long-time development executive Melissa Berman, who was upped to co-president alongside Wandell a year ago, will now run Berlanti TV’s day-to-day operations as president, spearheading development as she did before Wandell’s arrival when the company fielded new series Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone. 

Greenblatt's Future Plans: TV Exec Job 'Rebuilding' A Net, Film Gig On Wish List

With his big decision to leave Showtime behind him, the network’s entertainment president for the past 7 years Robert Greenblatt sounded relaxed in a phone interview today, hours after the network officially announced David Nevins as his successor. “I had been wrestling with (the issue) for the last couple of months until I came to the decision that it was the time to move on,” he said. And no, the decision was not prompted by a new job offer. “I don’t have any specific plans, I’m not in negotiations on anything, and I don’t have anything lined up,” he said.

Greenblatt is not taking an extended time off, a 5-6-month vacation as some have speculated. After signing off from Showtime at end of July, he will do a little traveling and may consult, but he also will be checking regularly his email and voice mail. “I’m going to see what comes my way, who wants to talk to me.” There is one thing he is in not particularly interested in – returning to producing where he was successful with the Greenblatt Janollari Studio. "Producing is a lonely, difficult work, and I’m not sure that’s where I’m headed. I’m leaning more towards an executive job at the moment.” As for the kind of executive job that would appeal to him, “it’s all about innovating, building or rebuilding something,” he said. “I don’t feel like walking into a place that needs a new head. It needs to be a place where I have to rethink the whole system; I’m very entrepreneurial.”

Does it mean that he is looking to go to NBC, a network that is in need of a turnaround? Greenblatt acknowledged that he too has heard the rumors about him possibly going there but stressed that they are just that, rumors, that he has not talked to anyone at the broadcast network or its future parent Comcast about a job at post-merger NBC and that NBC has already put in place a large new primetime slate in an effort to turn its fortunes around. As for ABC, another broadcast network that has suffered a ratings downslide, prompting speculations about potential executive changes, Greenblatt said that he received a “generous” email from his long-time friend, ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson, who invited him to discuss opportunities there.

Greenblatt, who was a broadcast TV executive for 10 years at NBC and Fox before becoming a producer, is also considering taking on the one area he hasn’t tackled, features. “There is no greater uphill battle than the feature world right now, and, as an avid filmgoer, I feel there is something I can bring, an emphasis on pure storytelling which is sorely lacking.” How big of a movie buff is Greenblatt? He was preparing to go the Twilight premiere when the news of his departure from Showtime broke last week. He proceeded with his plans and went to see the movie anyway.

It's official: Fox's 'Breakout Kings' moving to A&E

Rejected Fox pilot Breakout Kings has found new life on A&E. Sources confirm that the cabler has picked up the hourlong drama for 13 episodes. 

'CSI' Showrunners Carol Mendelsohn & Ann Donahue Sign New Deals With CBS Studios

CSI mavens Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue are staying at the helm of CBS’ veteran crime drama franchise. Each has inked a new four-year eight-figure overall deal with CSI producer CBS TV Studios. Medelsohn will continue to executive produce and showrun the mothership CSI series, which anchors the CBS Thursday schedule at 9PM. She also is executive producing the new CBS/CBS Studios drama The Defenders. Donahue will continue to executive produce and run CSI: Miami, which moves to Sundays 10PM this fall. The new pacts succeed Mendelsohn and Donahue’s previous four-year eight-figure deals with CBS Studios, which expired in mid-June. Both have been under overall pacts at the studio since 2001. “Every studio dreams of having producers with this kind of passion and leadership on the set and in the writer’s room,” CBS TV Studios president David Stapf said. “It was very important to us that Carol and Ann remain not only part of CSI, but the CBS family too."

WME-repped Donahue and Mendelsohn have been with the CSI franchise since the very beginning, teaming with creator Anthony Zuiker to launch the first series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, in 2000. At the time, Zuiker was a TV neophyte with a handful of film scripts under his belt. Two years later, Donahue shifted her focus to the launch of the first spinoff, CSI: Miami, co-created by Zuiker, Donahue and Mendelsohn. Two years after that, the three created CSI: NY, which is now run by Pam Veasey. And while all 3 CSI series show signs of aging and have slid in the ratings lately, they continue to be important building blocks of CBS’ schedule and big money makers for the studio through off-network and international sales. The main CSI series was recently named the most watched drama in the world for 2009 with 73.8 million viewers. "Carol and Ann are two of the best showrunners of this decade," said CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler. "The ongoing success of CSI and CSI Miami is testimony to their incredible creative talents and leadership skills.”

'Futurama' returns with strong ratings

It's back to the future for "Futurama," with strong ratings for the animated sci-fi sitcom in its new home at Comedy Central and its first new episode in seven years.

"Futurama" averaged 2.9 million viewers and a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 when it aired Thursday night on Comedy Central, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. It was tied for the highest-rated show in adults 18-49 in all TV on Thursday's primetime, and was the highest-rated show among men 18-24 and men 18-34. Comedy Central said it helped the network to its highest-rated night in 2010 and its highest-rated Thursday primetime in the history of the network.

It was the first original episode of "Futurama" on TV since 2003, when the Matt Groening/David X. Cohen series was canceled after four years on Fox Broadcasting. Comedy Central snagged the rights to "Futurama" in a deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The show had been airing in repeats on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

Courteney Cox May Star in a New Friends! (Sorta)

What could be better than a Friends reunion with Joey, Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Phoebe and Ross?

Well…not much. But how about a Friends star in a show that has Friends in the very title? It could happen, Central Perk lovers! Here's how:

ABC might rename Courteney Cox's series Cougar Town by putting Friends in the title.

Or Neighbors. Or Neighborhooding—though I'm pretty sure that's not a word.

In case you hadn't heard, they are considering renaming the sophomore comedy series, and are currently testing out new names via marketing research. I'm told these are the current contenders:
Friends and Family
Friends and Neighbors
The Cul de Sac Neighborhood
The End of the Street
The Neighborhood
Jules Neighborhooding

You likey? Any of them? And could someone please tell me if that last option is in English? Perhaps it's a red herring to make sure respondents are paying attention?

One thing seems clear: They're trying to move away from the cougar reference (since Courteney's character Jules doesn't really pounce on young prey anymore) and up the neighborly/Friendly connection. As executive producer Bill Lawrence has joked to us, he'll do anything to get Jennifer Aniston on the show. So maybe this'll do the trick? Or how about Neighborhooding With Jennifer Aniston?

While doing press at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, Busy Philipps (Laurie) told us this of Cougar Town's name change: "It's true, they are considering it. Bill Lawrence and Courteney are talking about it and I know that Steve McPherson, who runs ABC, has said whatever they decide to do he's on board with. I think they just feel like the name Cougar Town is not indicative of what the show became at the end of the series. And I agree with them."

She adds: "I think that the change is just a natural progression of any creative process and the show just naturally moved in a different direction. Premise shows can only take you so far, and at the end of the day you tune in because you love the people you're watching."

Now that has a nice ring to it: Friends You Love Watching.


OK, fine. Jennifer Aniston Neighborhooding it is.

Any ideas for the new C-town name? What do you think of the ones listed above...better or worse than what it is now?

Steve Carell on 'Office' exit: 'It's a good time to move on'

t looks like The Office will indeed be Scott-free this time next year.

Steve Carell is reaffirming his desire to leave The Office and his role as Michael Scott at the end of the hitcom’s upcoming seventh season. “I think [Season] 7 will be my last year,” he told us over the weekend at the premiere of his new animated flick, Despicable Me. “I want to fulfill my contract. I think it’s a good time to move on.”

Asked if there’s anything that could change his mind, Carell said, “No. I just want to spend more time with my family.”

Back in April, Carell made headlines when he announced in a BBC radio interview that next season “would probably” be his last at Dunder Mifflin. And he’s not backtracking!

'Smallville' baddie in talks for Syfy's 'Being Human' remake

Multiple sources confirm to me exclusively that ex-Smallville‘s evildoer Sam Witwer (a.k.a. Doomsday) is the odds-on favorite to play vampire Aidan in Syfy’s in-the-works U.S. remake of the UK supernatural dramedy Being Human. A final decision is expected later this week.

Additionally, Ricky Mabe (Beautiful People), Sam Huntington (Cavemen), and Aaron Ashmore (Smallville) are in the running to play werewolf Josh, and Meaghan Rath (The Assistants) is up for the role of ghost Molly.

Being Human revolves around three twentysomething roommates — named Mitchell, George, and Annie in the British version — who attempt to blend in despite, you know, being a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost.

It’s Three’s Company meets True Blood, and it’s a big bloody hit across the pond!


Ex-'Dexter' Showrunner Clyde Phillips Signs Big Overall Deal With Lionsgate Television

Former Dexter executive producer/showrunner Clyde Phillips has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal at Lionsgate TV. For Lionsgate, this marks a rare pact with a writer-producer not tied to one of the company’s flagship series, like Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, who is under an overall there, as well as Weeds creator Jenji Kohan and her top lieutenant on the show Matthew Salsberg. But Phillips' work on Showtime's Dexter, which he joined after the pilot, as well as his background in both comedy and drama (Phillips also created the Fox dramedy Get Real and created the NBC comedy Suddenly Susan and the Fox half-hour Parker Lewis) were a major draw, Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs said. "These days comedy and drama are overlapping on the best cable series," Beggs said. “And Phillips is the real deal; it's hard to find people who are not only brilliant writers but can also manage a production."

Phillips left Dexter following the record-breaking season four finale in December to spend more time with his family in Connecticut. During each of the four years at the helm of the Showtime series, Phillips spent nine months in Los Angeles, where the show is produced, and three with his wife and his daughter, who is now 13. “I was working so hard on Dexter to support a lifestyle that I wasn’t able to live,” Phillips said in a phone interview from his Connecticut home. “I needed to be back here.” But he didn’t take a long vacation, instead working on feature and TV ideas and meeting with TV studios interested in bringing him onboard. “Lionsgate was the place I wanted to go – they are an aggressive and dynamic company, and I love the stuff they produce: they’ve always been classy and gracious and courageous.”

Any series Phillips develops for Lionsgate would be shot on the East Coast, which will keep him close to home (but out of the house where he’s been based for the past six months). “I don’t think my family would mind me going back to work,” Phillips quipped. Such setup would also work for Lionsgate, which has two series, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie and Fox’s Running Wilde, filming on the East Coast and has been looking to build a bigger talent roster there. As for leaving Dexter, CAA-repped Phillips admits it will be strange watching the show as a fan this fall. “I can feel it’s kind of my magnetic north, I feel it’s pulling at me. I wish them all well.”

Actors Join HBO's Film 'Cinema Verite' & CMT's Pilot 'The Hard Life'

Lolita Davidovich and Kathleen Quinlan have been added to the cast of of HBO’s original movie Cinema Verite, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the groundbreaking 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family about the Loud family. Willam Belli and Nick Eversman also have been cast in the film, while Steve Hytner has joined CMT's comedy pilot The Hard Life.

On Cinema Verite, Quinlan, repped by Fortitude and DF Management, will play Mary, one of Patty Loud's (Diane Lane) best friends who introduces Patty to producer Gilbert Craig (James Gandolfini) and talks her into letting her family be the subject of his documentary. Davidovich, repped by Fortitude and Binder & Assoc., will play Patty Loud's sexy and fashionable best friend, whom Patty accuses of having an affair with her husband Bill (Tim Robbins). Patty and Bill eventually separate and she files for divorse, all during filming.

The Hard Life is a single-camera half-hour that explores the contrast of modern parenting vs. old school parenting. It centers on parents Bobby (Matthew Lillard) and Gina (Gillian Vigman). Hytner, repped by Stone Manners Salners, will play Bobby's father seen in 1974 flashbacks: your typically strict 60's/70's dad - unwavering, no-nonsense and blunt, with a kids-should-be-seen-and-not-heard perspective on parenting.

Vampire Diaries: Did David Anders survive?

Though in last month’s Vampire Diaries cliffhanger Elena’s doppelganger brutally attacked John, his portrayer, David Anders, confirms that he’ll be back for the season premiere. And beyond that?

“That’s up in the air right now,” he says. “They haven’t picked up [my] option yet. I feel like the character has a lot of legs and you can go in many different directions with him. But ultimately it’s [executive producer] Kevin Williamson’s choice.”

Although on paper the odds of John surviving would appear slim — the dude got his fingers chopped off and took a blade to the gut — Anders reminds fans, “People don’t always die from knife wounds.”

As he awaits word on his VD prognosis, the Alias grad is currently shooting a guest appearance as a fugitive from the past on the second season of Syfy’s Warehouse 13 (premiering July 6; Anders’ ep airs Sept. 7). “There’s time travel involved,” he explains. “I run a magazine back in the ’60s. It’s shrouded in secrecy, so that’s about all I can tell you.”

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Judy Greer Joins CBS' Comedy 'Mad Love,' Which Is Now A Go For A Midseason Run

Judy Greer has signed on to star in the CBS comedy Mad Love. With her and recent addition Sarah Chalke on board, the pilot’s 13-episode midseason order has now been finalized. CBS had been working on a pickup deal with producing studios Sony TV and CBS Studios for the past month, but it was contingent on locking in the cast. Greer replaces Lizzy Caplan who played the role in the pilot as a guest star but couldn't commit beyond that.

Mad Love is an ensemble comedy about four friends in New York - Henry (Jason Biggs), Kate (Chalke), Larry (Tyler Labine) and Connie (Greer) - who are looking for love. Greer, repped by CAA and Principato Young, was an early favorite for the Connie role, but I hear it went down to the wire in a completive situation with ABC’s Desperate Housewives, which also was pursuing the Miss Guided star. The casting of Greer and Chalke, who recently replaced the pilot’s Minka Kelly, marks the second round of recastings on Mad Love, which replaced Dan Fogler with Labine and Ashley Austin Morris with Caplan just before the pilot was shot.

Mad Love, executive produced by creator Matt Tarses and Jamie Tarses, is one of two series on tap for midseason at CBS, along with the Criminal Minds spinoff. Additionally, the network and 20th TV continue to haggle over terms for a midseason order to drama Chaos. And I hear another comedy pilot, Team Spitz, looks promising to get an order for a new pilot.

Friday, June 25, 2010

'Gossip Girl' snags 'Melrose' minx Katie Cassidy

Look out, Blair: Ex-Melrose Place vamp Katie Cassidy is relocating to Manhattan.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that Cassidy — who was arguably the best thing about last season’s ill-fated Melrose reboot — is staying in the CW fold with a multi-episode arc on Gossip Girl.

She’ll play a student at Columbia and a love interest for fellow undergrad Nate (Chace Crawford).

This next bit probably goes without saying, but a Gossip source tells me that Cassidy’s character “will make trouble” for several Upper East Siders, adding, “She is not what she appears.”

Cassidy will first air in the season 4 premiere.

Coincidentally, Cassidy is currently in Paris shooting the teen adventure comedy Monte Carlo alongside fellow Gossip girl Leighton Meester (Blair).

Thoughts? Does Cassidy’s casting warrant an enthusiastic “Yes!” or an apat

Criminal Minds: Paget Brewster Inks New Deal & A.J. Cook Wraps Character

It's a case of good news/bad news for Criminal Minds fans, who had been rallying to keep co-stars A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster on the show. Brewster just closed a deal to return to the veteran CBS crime drama, and she will be in almost every episode next season. But Cook, whose option for next season was not picked up, will be gone after wrapping her character's storyline in 2 episodes early in the season.

I hear Brewster's pact is for "10 out of 13", which means that, extrapolated over the 22-episode season, she will be in the majority of episodes. The actress had been approached to continue as a regular on the show but for a reduced number of episodes; now the reduction seems to be pretty small. Meanwhile, Cook this afternoon tweeted the news that she will be doing two final episodes of Criminal Minds next season. "Thanks for your undying support but it's a done deal," Cook wrote. "Excited for what's next." As planned, Criminal Minds will introduce a new female regula sometime next season.

Criminal Minds - 2 episodes for AJ Cook

Thanks for your undying support but it's a done deal.I'll be doing 2eps to wrap up JJ.Excited for what's next and hope you'll come along!XO 

Will Jason Segel Be Fired From How I Met Your Mother Because Of This Quote?

Eight years is a long time to be chained to a network sitcom, especially when your career has blown up so much over the past few seasons that you are currently attached to star in big-budget features opposite Jack Black and Cameron Diaz, not to mention co-write The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made (really, that is the title). Just ask Jason Segel, who recently attempted to explain his dead-end How I Met Your Mother obligation to an interviewer and ended up sounding a bit resentful of the CBS series that helped make his name.

In an interview with GQ, the Forgetting Sarah Marshall star and scribe explained how he is still under contract for a sixth, seventh and eighth season of How I Met Your Mother, which is really more than he — or his character, Marshall — can handle:

“…When your idol is Peter Sellers, playing one character for eight years isn’t what you’re trying to do. I don’t really feel like I have that much more to offer with this character. Maybe if we got divorced or something — but that’s not gonna happen. It’s gonna be some iteration of, like, my TV wife opens the fridge, and she’s like, “What happened to the birthday cake?” And I walk in with a little frosting here [points to corner of mouth] like, “What birthday cake?”

So does Segel even care about the eventual How I Met Your Mother conclusion?

“I had two other suggestions [about how the writers should end the series]. One is that they’re dead. The two kids and their father — they’re dead, and they’re in purgatory, and he’s telling the story for eternity. […] And then my other suggestion, which they never used, which I think would be so funny, is — it’s the future, right? I think in one of those scenes, they should open the window, and it should be, like, a postapocalyptic wasteland outside. It should be like I Am Legend. Horrible mutants.”

Maybe CBS is better off just releasing Segel from his contract.

'Law & Order: SVU' Leaves New Jersey Over Nixed Tax Credit & May Move Into 'L&O' Set

Law & Order: SVU has become the first victim of New Jersey’s pending suspension of its film and TV production tax credit.

The veteran NBC crime drama has been the highest profile TV series based in New Jersey. Its sets have been housed at NBC's Central Archives building in North Bergen. But faced with losing the state's 20% tax incentive, the show is headed to New York, which recently proposed boosting its incentive to $420 million annually.

In New York, L&O: SVU might move into the studio space at Chelsea Piers that has been occupied by the mothership Law & Order series. I hear Universal Media Studios, which co-produces the Law & Order franchise with Wolf Films, is looking into the viability of moving L&O:SVU into L&O’s old digs, which will be vacant soon, following the veteran series’ cancellation by NBC last month. Such a move would carry on a long tradition: Chelsea Piers has been so closely associated with the franchise through the mothership series, a road leading to Pier 62 was renamed Law & Order Way in 2004.

L&O:SVU’s exit from New Jersey will probably have an impact on the local economy. L&O:SVU co-star Tamara Tunie and NBC Uni’s tax counsel Brian O’Leary were among those who testified in favor of keeping the New Jersey tax credit at a hearing earlier this month. According to estimates, nearly 7,000 New Jersey production workers earned more than $500 million in wages in 2008, the latest year available. More than 3,000 small businesses who supplied film and TV productions made a total of $508 million.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s budget reform package, which includes the scrapping of the tax credit, was approved by a state pane

Promising Start For ABC's 'Rookie Blue'

Promising Start For ABC's 'Rookie Blue'
In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. After a slew of new dramas opening in the 1.3-1.5 rating range among adults 18-49 this summer, ABC’s Canadian import Rookie Blue last night emerged as the most promising new off-season scripted prospect with a 2.0 rating/6 share in 18-49 and a solid 7.3 million viewers overall for its premiere. Described as Grey’s Anatomy in the world of rookie cops and airing in Grey’s Thursday 9PM slot, Rookie Blue held onto 78% of its lead-in Wipeout (2.6/10), which was down 16% from its Tuesday telecast but still ranked as the highest-rated program on Thursday. (In total viewers, Rookie Blue held onto an impressive 93% of Wipeout's audience.) Rookie Blue marks the top-rated scripted series debut in over a year and ABC's highest in almost 6 years. ABC’s other premiere last night, ABC News’ docu series Boston Med (1.3/4) did a so-so business at 10PM, finishing second in the hour hour behind CBS' Mentalist repeat. Fox's So You Think You Can Dance (2.3/7) was even with last Thursday's episode. CBS and NBC aired all-repeats with the exception of NBC’s 100 Questions (0.6/2), which was flat with last week and once again the lowest-rated telecast on the Big 4 networks for the night (and probably for the week since its main competition for the title, ABC’s Happy Town, has been pulled) ABC won the night in adults 18-49 with a 1.9/6 average, while CBS prevailed in total viewers with 7.4 million.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jonny Lee Miller cast for upcoming season of 'Dexter'

Jonny Lee Miller, best known for playing the lead in ABC's courtroom drama "Eli Stone," has landed a multi-episode arc on Showtime's "Dexter."

For the show's upcoming fifth season, Miller will play a mysterious man who ends up tangled in a storyline with Julia Stiles, who is beginning her first season on the skein.

On the bigscreen, Miller has appeared in "Hackers," "Melinda and Melinda" and "Trainspotting." Production for season five in underway and a debut is set for fall.

Showtime's entertainment president to step down

Showtime's longtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt is stepping down from his post after seven years.

David Nevins, who announced his departure as president of Imagine TV on Thursday, will take over Greenblatt's post.

Greenblatt has had a hugely successful run at Showtime. In 2003, Showtime had 12.4 million subscribers. As of March, the network has 18.1 million -- a climb driven by original series such as "Dexter," "Weeds," "Californication" and "The Tudors." Under Greenblatt's leadership, Showtime narrowed the gap with HBO from 15 million subscribers to 10.6 million.

Though the executive shuffle came down just this week, sources portrayed Greenblatt's decision as a long time in the making. It's unclear if the network's corporate communications chief, Richard Licata, will opt to continue at the network in the wake of Greenblatt's departure.

Showtime had no comment.

Jordana Spiro exits 'Love Bites'

Jordana Spiro has fallen out of Love Bites, NBC’s upcoming romantic anthology series from Sex and the City scribe Cindy Chupack.

Spiro’s involvement with the buzzy Bites (which also stars Ugly Betty vet Becki Newton) has been the subject of much speculation given the fact that she’s still contractually bound to TBS’ My Boys. Although the odds appear slim that TBS will renew the show for a fifth season (season 4 premieres July 25), it was a risk NBC apparently wasn’t willing to take. It’s unclear if her role will be recast.

The Peacock faces a similar dilemma with Spiro’s My Boys costar Kyle Howard, who is one of the leads of NBC’s new comedy Perfect Couples.

Speaking of My Boys, thanks to all those who participated in my informal poll in this week’s Ask Ausiello. The results are in and Kim is not the only fan of the show. Not by a long-shot.

Mary-Louise Parker on 'Weeds' costar Elizabeth Perkins' exit: 'I'm really sad' 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get Ready to Fall in Love: NBC's The Event Is Coming to Comic-Con!

If this isn't the most exciting news you've read all week, you tell me what is:

Comic-Con 2010 is sure going to be Event-ful!



OK, bad puns aside, here's the news that should make your insides explode with excitement:

1. NBC's The Event Is Coming to Comic-Con on Saturday, July 24! This is the jaw-droppingly good action thriller I've been already been raving about that just might be the best new series coming out this fall. I know you Lost, 24 and Heroes fans don't want to hear that anything could fill the void, but trust me, despite your best intentions, many of you will get sucked in.

2. You Get to See It Before Anyone Else: Yes, they will be showing the pilot episode to all you fans at Comic-Con in San Diego. And despite the supersecret covert screening I snuck into a week ago (a fake moustache will work wonders), no one from the press has seen The Event yet. Perhaps you could clue in the TV critics as to whether it's worth their time?

3. I'll Be Moderating the Panel: And not that it matters or anything, but some other faces you might know will also be there, including stars Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood, Laura Innes, Zeljko Ivanek and Ian Anthony Dale, as well as producers Evan Katz (24), Steve Stark (Medium), Jeffrey Reiner (Friday Night Lights), Nick Wauters (The 4400) and Jim Wong (The X-Files). I know what you're thinking: Couldn't they have found more people who've worked in guilty-pleasure basic cable instead of all those amazing scripted shows?

So mark your day planners: The world premiere of The Event, as well as its debut panel is taking place Saturday, July 24. I can't give you a specific time yet, but Saturday at the Con is usually prime real estate for the best shows in the biz, so I am not alone in my assertion that this show holds promise.

Ask Ausiello - 6/23/10
Question: This House fan thanks you for posting that awesome Huddy picture! This House fan is also going to be greedy and ask you what else you know about the season premiere? —Julia
Ausiello: A fellow Trojan tipped me off that Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein were on the USC campus Tuesday night shooting “some Huddy-ness.” Added the anonymous bystander: “They were kissing, hugging, and hand-holding. It was a fangirl’s dream come true. She had on the same outfit as in the beach pictures.” Speaking of those cutesy beach photos, series creator David Shore tells me that all may not be as it seems. “What the image depicts is rather different from what you’re going to experience when you watch the episode,” he reveals. “They’re [at the beach], but it’s not Beach Blanket Bingo.”

Question: I heard a rumor that David Anders will be a regular next season on The Vampire Diaries. Please tell me that it’s true! —Addison
Ausiello: I would if I could, but I can’t. But here’s something I can confirm: Anders will definitely be in the season premiere.

Question: There’s a rumor that Weeds‘ sixth season [premiering Aug. 16] could be its last. True? —Jeff
Ausiello: If it is, no one bothered to tell Mary-Louise Parker, although the actress concedes, “That’s not really up to me. That’s up to [Showtime]. I love doing the show. The only thing that’s tough for me is I live in New York and it gets harder to pick up and move when your kids get a little bit older. But I love doing the show.” In other words, she’s game for a seventh season…provided “they don’t fire me,” she says with a laugh. “You never know what’s going to happen on this show.”

Question: I may be the only person in TV land who actually watches it, but can you give me any My Boys scoop? Is it still on? Has TBS canceled it? —Kim
Ausiello: TBS has not canceled it — at least not yet. A fourth season is already in the can and set to premiere on July 25. A fifth season, meanwhile, remains a question mark. Equally uncertain: what the heck star Jordana Spiro will do if it does come back, seeing as she already hitched herself to NBC’s Love Bites. My guess? Boys will return to mediocre ratings and TBS will announce in early August that season 4 will be the show’s last. And for the record, Kim, you are not the only person in TV land who watches the show. Check out the next question…

Question: Any scoop about the fourth season of My Boys? —Kim
Ausiello: Um… On second thought, Kim, maybe you are the only person in TV land who watches the show. (Anyone else besides Kim watch My Boys? Shoot me an e-mail at On the scoop front, Jim Gaffigan’s departure will be addressed within the first few minutes of the season 4 opener. Of course, the big question is who will fill in for Andy at the poker table. And here’s the big answer: *t*p*a*i*!

Question: Love reading your column! You are witty, I follow your tweets, etc. Now could you please share any scoops on The Closer? —Linda
Ausiello: The second most important rule of Ask Ausiello: When showering me with compliments, don’t end with an etcetera. It’s critical that you list each and every reason you worship me. The more specific you are the better. Capisce? Now here’s your scoop: A resignation will rock the department at the end of the season 6 premiere on July 12.

Question: Anything on the new season of Hung? —Lauren
Ausiello: Feeling insecure about her role in their “operation,” Tanya seeks out help from a higher power: a more experienced pimp, played by Jericho alum Lennie James. Bonus scoop: Crossing Jordan‘s Kathryn Hahn will also appear in the first few episodes as a (very pregnant!) client of Ray’s.

Question: Any scoop on Make It or Break It? —Susan
Ausiello: Lauren’s long-lost mother is about to be found. The show is searching for an actress in her 40s to play Lauren’s recovering-drug-addict mom, who shows up hoping to rebuild a relationship with her daughter.

Question: Throw your international readers a bone and tell us what the big Friday Night Lights spoiler was in last week’s Entertainment Weekly. Not everyone can go out and buy the issue on the newsstand. —Matt
Ausiello: Fair enough, Matt. The spoiler concerned the final episodes of season 5 and a possible reunion between (wait for it) Riggins and Tyra! “Riggins is getting out of prison and Tyra is on break from school,” explains exec producer Jason Katims. “We’re looking at [them] reconnecting.”

Question: I’m desperate for some scoop regarding the new seasons of Friday Night Lights and Dexter. —Sean
Ausiello: Coincidentally, I’m desperate to unload some scoop on both those shows. FNL is casting the role of a “winning and charismatic” president of a non-Texas college (to meet with Riggins, perhaps?), while Dexter is looking for an actor in his late 40s to play an internal affairs agent at Miami Metro (to investigate Dex, perhaps?). Oh, here’s another FNL scoop-bit: Kyle Chandler will be playing coach on screen and off. Sources confirm that Chandler will direct his first FNL episode next season.

Question: Is there anything that you can tell us about my new favorite show Community? — Seth
Ausiello: Only that I think it’s NBC’s new favorite show, too. How else to explain the network’s decision to devote an entire night of programming to Joel McHale’s super-silly comedy? On Thursday, July 8, the Peacock will air a six-episode Community marathon from 8 to 11 p.m. And we’re not talking about just any six episodes. We’re talking about the best six episodes of the show to date: “Intro to Statistics,” “Romantic Expressionism,” “Modern Warfare,” “Physical Education,” “Contemporary American Poultry,” and “Debate.”

Question: Some friends and I are making an impromptu road trip to New York City this weekend. I realize you are probably too busy to meet with some lowly fans, so can I at least get some 30 Rock season 5 details? —Collin
Ausiello: Yeah, um, sorry, I’m actually even too busy to get together with uppity fans, never mind the lowly ones. But here’s your 30 Rock scoop: We’ve probably seen the last of Julianne Moore — and heard the last of her Boston accent. “It seems like she has bowed out of the Jack race because of [Avery's] pregnancy,” she notes with a sigh. “But I hope in some way she gets to come back. If they asked me, I’d be there in a second” — Beantown patois and all. “I went to school in Boston and worked with a lot of guys from Dorchester, so that’s where [the accent] came from,” she explains. “We made it thick…for humor’s sake, but then again, not really. There are folks with seriously heavy accents there, and they are proud of it.” And if you didn’t like it, Collin? “That’s what TiVo is for,” she laughs. “You can just rewind if you miss something!”

Question: Any spoilers on season 6 of Supernatural? —Shira
Ausiello: I hear the show’s fourth episode back — the one directed by Jensen Ackles — will be Bobby-centric and feature a character named Marcy Ward. Described as attractive in a down-to-earth/woman-next-door way, Marcy is a capable homemaker with a crush on her neighbor.

Question: I know you’re a huge fan of Parenthood. Care to share some scoop on it? —Callie
Ausiello: We’ll meet Adam’s boss in season 2. The recurring role is being cast as we speak.

Question: Season 3 has barely started, but I am dying for some True Blood news. Got any to share? —Kelly
Ausiello: Exec producer Alan Ball teases that a big secret Bill’s “been carrying with him gets revealed at the end of the season.” That noise you hear is the sound of me dipping into the Ausiello Files archives and going Hmm…

Question: Have you received confirmation from Alan Ball that Talbot and Eric will get, ahem, down to business on True Blood this season? —Rob
Ausiello: No, but I haven’t received a denial from him, either. “I think one of the things about being a vampire and living for 100 years is you pretty much try everything,” Ball says. “Whether or not [Talbot and Eric] end up getting together I can’t reveal. I’ll definitely tell you that this season is pretty pansexual.” Yeah, got that bit from the first two episodes.

Question: Do you have something on Bones? I don’t care what, just something? —Margo
Ausiello: Series creator Hart Hanson announced yesterday via Twitter that the “tentative, penciled-in, maybe, unlocked title for [episode] 1, season 6, is ‘The Gorilla in the Room.’” But that’s not the big news. This is the big news: Sources confirm to me exclusively that the title of episode 2 is “Their Arms Around Each Other.” What does it all mean?! Hit the comments with your theories!
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