Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TV Guide Mega Buzz 8/31/10


Who's zooming who when Glee comes back? — Cathleen
MICKEY: Finn is all about Rachel in Season 2, according to Lea Michele. "They're very much in love," she tells us, and, brace yourself, kind of into PDA. On the other hand, Jenna Ushkowitz hints at an upcoming romantic tangle for Artie and Tina. "Artie didn't give her what she wanted, so there's a love triangle," she tells us. "She's going to make Artie work for it." Who's the other lucky guy? Two words: Other Asian.

So excited about the Grey's Anatomy wedding. How will the other docs react? — Abby
ADAM: Well, Meredith isn't exactly over the moon. "Meredith is worried that Cristina is getting married for the wrong reasons," Ellen Pompeo tells us. "She's traumatized after [the shooting] and she's rushing into marriage, which doesn't seem like the right move. It's not that she doesn't want her with Owen. ... There's just a little too much change there and Meredith is worried about Cristina's stability."

It seems like Chuck has amnesia in the promos for the Gossip Girl episodes in Paris. Please tell me that isn't true. — Jill
MICKEY: It's more accurate to say that Chuck wants to forget certain things. Mostly though, Gossip Girl's petit voyage is inspired by the immortal Spin Doctors, in that there are two princes, both of whom are royally screwed when it comes to their feelings about Blair.

So Brennan really isn't going to be jealous of Booth's new girlfriend on Bones? — Tina
ADAM: Executive producer Stephen Nathan says that Brennan will no doubt wrestle with regret about her decisions last season, but it may be Booth who torpedoes his new relationship. "He has forged a new life for himself emotionally," Nathan says. "Of course, all of this occurred when he was not around Brennan. So Brennan's presence in the mix will alter the relationship — it just has to. He's moved on, but whether he continues to move on is another thing entirely."

What's coming up on Desperate Housewives? — Barrie
MICKEY: You know how Lynette and Tom have been taking turns working over the past few seasons? Well, with another mouth to feed now, they need to become a two-income family, which means they need a baby sitter. Tom's mom (Lois Smith) might be able to help out.

Please tell me Sela Ward won't be a new love interest for Mac on CSI: NY! — Max
ADAM: Executive producer Pam Veasey assures us that there is nothing of the sort planned in the immediate future. Besides, we hear that Mac will be too focused on a new adversary to worry about his love life. The show is building a three-episode arc for a new character, a high-ranking police official who butts heads with Mac over how to handle the media during a sniper case.

With Annie and Naomi both having other storylines, is Liam going to get lost in the 90210 mix? —Becca
MICKEY: Liam will have his own troubles, most significantly the lack of a postal address. He gets a job, but quits when he isn't comfortable with the dress code (or lack thereof). A good Samaritan will then invite him to move into her poolhouse — something that happens with some frequency in Beverly Hills, according to television. So yes, after leaving a job in which he has to take his clothes off, he'll become a pool boy. Well done, Liam!

Give me some Brothers & Sisters scoop, please. — Wendy
ADAM: Get ready to see a lot more of Gilles Marini — and not just because he's a series regular this season. In the year that has passed since the Season 4 finale, Luc has become an underwear model! We're also hearing the show is looking to cast Luc's mother, who will make quite a first impression on the Walker clan. Good luck, Sarah.

We love (the Emmy-winning!) Modern Family. Do you have any Mitch-Cam scoop? — Jacob and Lisa
MICKEY: I have it on good authority that Mitch and Cam will give the Glee kiddies a run for their money when they participate in an elaborate dance routine in an upcoming episode. I'm not a betting man (since the court order), but it's sure to be better than my favorite YouTube video ever this week.

What have you heard about Calleigh and Delko's relationship on CSI: Miami? — Chelsea
ADAM: Sounds like it will be more of the same for Calleighko, who ended last season in a place of uncertainty. But co-executive producer Barry O'Brien suggests the new season will provide clarity — eventually. "There may be some new elements that threaten their future together," he says. "You can look to Season 9 to clearly define their relationship, but we're going to take them on quite a journey first."

Are we going to have to wait another two seasons for True Blood's Arlene to give birth? — Warren
MICKEY: Well, if she brings the baby to term, she's definitely not giving birth for a long while, given the show's famously glacial timeline. But based on what Carrie Preston told us at the Emmys, I'm not so sure that she will. "There will be a resolution to Arlene's conflict, but it's not going to be what you think."

I have a feeling Don's behavior is eventually going to jeopardize the agency on Mad Men. Please tell me that I'm wrong. — Justin
ADAM: Sadly, I think you're on the right track, if only because of what Rich Sommer recently told us. "This season is about consequences and paying off things that have been building over the last three-and-a-half seasons," he says. "Decisions that were made and actions that people take all kind of reach a head. There are consequences for every single character on the show — some are minute and some are show-shattering."

Mickey's Mega Rave: I foolishly believed Nancy when she said she wanted a "normal" life for her family. But what's Weeds without, well, weed? The second the Botwins jumped back into the drug trade — this time they're going to try their hand at hash — I felt the show crackle with a familiar energy again. In this case, definitely say yes to drugs.

Adam's Mini Rant: I would have cheered louder for Top Chef's Emmy win if this season wasn't so terrible. #BringBacktheVoltaggioBros

Sharon Lawrence moves to 'One Tree Hill'


Look out, Brooke: Your monster-in-law is coming to town—and she wants to plan your wedding!

NYPD Blue‘s Sharon Lawrence is headed to One Tree Hill for multiple episodes as Julian’s (Austin Nichols) never-before-seen mother, sources confirm to me exclusively.

Although Lawrence’s character does in fact come to town to help with the wedding preparations, there’s no hard evidence to suggest she’s a monster. I mean, she probably is. I just don’t have any proof.

Lawrence—who snagged an Emmy nod in ’09 for playing Izzie’s white trash mama on Grey’s Anatomy—first appears in episode 6, which is slated to air at the end of October.

One Tree Hill‘s eighth season kicks off Sept. 14.

Fancast Big Tease 8/31/10


Do you have any new information on Henry Ian Cusick’s ‘Law & Order: SVU‘ character, and what’s in store for him and Benson (played by Mariska Hargitay)? – Dee93
The ‘Lost’ alum was hesitant to spill too much on his ‘SVU’ stint when I saw him at the Emmys, but he did say that graphic artist Erik and Benson “first meet in a train station, there’s sort of a flirtation, and it goes on from there.” Though Cusick is around for just two episodes – the September 22 season opener and the one after that – he promises, “It’s going to be an interesting role.”

I cannot wait for ‘Glee’s return – any scoop to share? – Alicia
Heather Morris – who looked positively golden at the Emmys – told me that in the Britney Spears/Brittany-centric episode airing September 29, “People will see more of what I do as an artist, which is dancing.” (If you’ve ever seen Heather back up Beyoncé, you know girl’s got mad moves.) Morris also said that while we will learn Brittany’s last name, her increasingly fleshed-out Cheerio won’t also gain a brain. “No, that’s confirmed – I will not be smarter!” she happily reported.

Do you have any information on ‘Glee’s Rachel and Finn? – Patricia K.
Between this scene shot (from E!) and this Twitpic (from Lea Michele), I’d say things are looking very good!

Do you have any scoop on ‘Nikita‘? Especially on Melinda Clarke’s character? – Angela
Shortly after the CW action-drama debuts on September 9, it will be revealed that the ‘O.C.’ alum’s character, Amanda, is nicknamed “The Inquisitor” because of her very thorough interrogation skills. Meaning, if you’re a hostile being detained by the top-secret Division and you won’t talk, expect a visit from Amanda… and don’t be surprised if she comes wearing (eek) a latex glove.

With the ‘Caprica‘ actors’ contracts expiring, executive producer David Eick said we’d hear a decision on Season 2 by August 15. It’s now almost September. Is the show canceled? – Pete
That deadline came and went, yes, but a source very close to Syfy’s ‘Caprica’ told me during Emmys weekend that NBC Universal worked out an “extension” that bought them until November to make a call on a pick-up. So hold out hope, Pete.

At Comic-Con, John Schneider said the ‘Smallville‘ Season 10 premiere (airing Sept. 24) features “the best-written scene I’ve ever done on [the show].” Any details? – Kipper
“I agree with him,” exec producer Brian Petersen said of Schneider’s rave. “He has a great scene with Tom Welling – kind of a reunion thing.” EP Kelly Souders added that Pa Kent’s improbable “return” is designed to kick off the final season with a bit of “the warmth, the mentor and sort of moral compass that Jonathan always was in Clark’s life – and that Clark has kind of been missing. He brings that aspect of ‘Smallville’ back.” Yes, this item is brought to you by Kleenex.

EW’s Michael Ausiello says that ‘Smallville’s Erica Durance is playing DC’s Isis. So, is she playing the comic/TV character or not? – history1776 via Twitter
Mere moments after I hit play on Oz’s video, I quadruple-confirmed what I had heard and posted in last week’s Big Tease. And I had it right: According to exec producer Kelly Souders, ED is doing double duty as an Egyptian goddess named Isis, but she is not the DC Comics character.

I was happy to hear that Brian Benben is now a series regular on ‘Private Practice,’ but do you have any idea what Sheldon will be up to? – Catalina
Alas, I don’t – nor does Brian! “I mean, he’s been rejected by everybody on the show!” the actor notes with a laugh. Still, Benben sees the glass as half-full. “There’s an ever-widening parade [of characters] on these shows, so we’ll see what happens.”

‘Angel’s Jenny Mollen said on Twitter that she will be appearing on ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles‘ (premiering September 29). Any scoop on her role? – Gabby
The erstwhile Nina Ash is guest-starring as Carly Morris, a party girl who is the recipient of some very, very nice gifts from her “clients.” She’ll be in just one episode.

Thank you so much for sharing the news about David Tennant and the ‘Fright Night’ remake during your Emmy tweets. Did he say anything about the status of NBC’s ‘Rex Is Not Your Lawyer’? – Dawn
I did ask about ‘Rex’ – which last I heard was being eyed by USA Network after NBC opted not to order the series – and Tennant confirmed what we sorta knew: It’s truly and sincerely dead. Shame, too – in addition to the former Doctor Who, ‘Rex’ also starred ‘Mad Men’ schoolteach Abigail Spencer.

Anything on how Eddie Cibrian will be written off of ‘CSI: Miami‘? – Tami
Since you apparently missed this story that quite bluntly reveals Jesse Cardoza’s fate, I’ll offer this sanitized version from Eva La Rue (aka Natalia): “In the season premiere, we lose Eddie Cibrian.” Turning to the bigger picture – that is, ‘Miami’s new Sunday time slot – Eva believes it could prove to be a better, more DVR-proof fit for the show’s fans. “It’s going to really interesting to see how they cover up Emily Procter’s pregnancy, Adam Rodriguez (Eric) is back…. There are a lot of good reasons to watch.”

I read that the ‘Covert Affairs‘ season finale is in mid-September. How long will I have to live without it? And to cope during its absence, what show(s) should I add to my Tivo season pass list? – Alicia
Sad but true, ‘Covert Affairs’ double-episode season finale airs September 14 – and the spy drama won’t be back until summer 2011. In the meantime, I would suggest that you DVR/watch On Demand the new shows ‘Nikita‘ (Thursdays, The CW) and ‘Undercovers‘ (Wednesdays, NBC), both of which offer a similar mix of espionage, intrigue and romance.

I am so happy about the Emmys for ‘Modern Family‘ and Eric Stonestreet. Do you have any scoop to celebrate? – Nancy
Well, in addition to meeting Cameron’s mom, Eric revealed backstage at the Emmys that in one Season 2 episode we will learn that Cam really, really “likes bike shorts, and he doesn’t get that they’re not appropriate [everyday] attire.” As such, he spends the whole episode enveloped in Spandex.

I was excited to hear that Gale Harold will play Marti’s law professor on ‘Hellcats‘! Do you have any scoop on his character, or any idea how many episodes he’ll be in? – Tariel22
As I scooped back in July, Gale’s law prof is someone Marti (played by Aly Michalka) will look up to – but not necessarily hook up with. At least not right away, seeing as The CW series will quickly handspring the blonde bombshell into a triangle with BFF Dan (‘Harper’s Island’s Matt Barr) and fellow cheerleader Luis (’One Tree Hill’s Robbie Jones). At this time, Harold’s episode count is TBD.

Does ‘The Good Wife’s Kalinda have a male or female love interest next season? Lesbians everywhere are wondering! – gabydunn via Twitter
When the CBS hit kicks off its sophomore season on September 28, don’t expect new light to be shed on Kalinda’s proclivities anytime soon. As Emmy winner Archie Panjabi said after claiming her much-deserved prize, “I’m as taken back by her mystery as the audience is, and her sexuality is one thing I still haven’t figured out. When [Kalinda] does confess it to me, I will certainly reveal it.”

Did you see ‘Glee’s Dianna Agron at the Emmys, Matt? – kb5961 via Twitter
See her? Yes. She walked thisclose to me. But talk to her? [Grumble] The luminous Dianna continues to be the Moby Dick to my Ahab. The Suzanne Somers to my Richard Dreyfus.

Bryan Batt Back to Mad Men?


By now I've learned that getting the super secretive Mad Men cast to confirm anything is impossible. Even so, I'm feeling fairly confidant that before long we'll be seeing Bryan Batt back in '60s-era NYC as artistic director Salvatore Romano on the Emmy-winning AMC drama. Why am I feeling so positive? Well, in the past, every time I'd run in to Bryan and ask for an update on his status, he'd tell me quite sullenly that he's heard nada from anyone. Basically, he was getting on with his life. But at the Emmy Awards, Bryan was back with his cast and just seemed tickled — as if he knew something we didn't.

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"A few months ago I got a call from the god of Mad Men [series creator Matthew Weiner]," Bryan told me. So what did Weiner say? "He told me Sal is not dead." That's all Bryan would say on the subject (which makes it sound as if the much-missed actor has been brought back under the cone of silence).

It's the most encouraging news we've heard since I broke news last year that Bryan had been dropped from the cast for storyline reasons. (His gay character had antagonized the firm's top client, Lucky Strike, which demanded his dismissal.) Also a good sign that the old team is being reassembled: the August 29 episode saw Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) rehired by the firm.

The Mad Men cast is currently shooting its top-secret season finale. Asked if that's the show when we'll first see Sal back, Bryan just smiled and said, "We'll see."

"We've missed Bryan so much," Christina Hendricks (Joan) admitted to me. "I love him like crazy crazy. Sal is just so charming. He brought such style to the show."

Asked to chime in, here's what big boss Weiner had to say on the subject: "Yes, Sal is alive," confirmed stone-faced Weiner. "There's hope, but you have to watch the show. You know I'm not going to say anything."

So where has Sal been cavorting this whole time? Bryan joked, "I can assure you he has not been in Central Park."

Good to know.

Stan Lee Takes on Nikita


Make mine Nikita! Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics legend known for co-creating iconic superheroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men, Hulk and many, many more, will be appearing on an upcoming episode of The CW's new series about the lovely and deadly former assassin, who is on a quest to get revenge against the group that turned her into a killer.

Lee of course has made cameo appearances in the vast majority of films based off of Marvel characters (and has an ongoing vocal role on the animated Super Hero Squad Show), but in recent years, he has also popped up in non-Marvel based projects like The Big Bang Theory and Heroes. Nikita will continue Lee's cameo-tradition, as he appears in the fifth episode of the new series, which will air Thursday, October 7th.

Lee's Nikita cameo came about when the show's star, Maggie Q, met Lee at San Diego Comic-Con in July and the two discussed the possibility of Lee appearing on the show. With Lee in Toronto (where Nikita films) for Fan Expo this past weekend, the timing worked out for him to also film a scene for the TV series.

Nikita premieres next Thursday, September 8th, at 9pm ET/PT on The CW.

HBO's 'True Blood' Hits New Series High


It may have lost at the Emmys where it was nominated for best drama series, but airing against the awards show on Sunday, HBO's True Blood hit a new series high, drawing 5.4 million viewers. The vampire drama added another 1.2 million viewers with the 11:30 PM replay. Also on Sunday, HBO's comedies Hung and Entourage averaged 2.5 million and 2.9 million viewers, respectively, with Entourage hitting a season high.

Joan Cusack Joins Showtime's 'Shameless'


Joan Cusack has joined the cast of Showtime’s new drama series Shameless and appear in all 12 episodes of the new series. She'll play the role of Sheila, an agoraphobic Chicago housewife with a sexually active teenage daughter who strikes up a special friendship with William H. Macy’s character, Frank Gallagher. She replaces Allison Janney, who played the role in the pilot but had to pull out because of her commitment to ABC's Mr. Sunshine after the producers of Shameless decided to make the character more prominent than originally planned. Production on the series begins in mid-September for a January 9 premiere.

Cusack, nominated for an Oscar for Working Girl and In & Out, most recently reprised her role as the voice of Jessie in Toy Story 3. Shameless, from John Wells and Paul Abbott, is based on the long-running hit UK series and stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. Macy plays a far-from-stellar working-class patriarch of an unconventional Chicago brood of six motley kids whose eldest daughter (Rossum) keeps the home afloat while he’s out drinking and carousing. The series co-stars Justin Chatwin, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Jeremy Allen White and Laura Slade Wiggins.

Major Grey's Anatomy Spoilers


Warning: I’m about to reveal a major twist in Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sept. 23 season premiere involving Cristina and Owen, so you best hit the nearest exit if you don’t want it spoiled. Everyone else, onward and downward…

As I teased earlier this month…they’re getting hitched! And I repeat: Star-crossed lovers Cristina and Owen are getting married—and series creator Shonda Rhimes is here to explain why. (BTW, for those keeping track at home, this wedding is not this wedding.)

“The theme of this season is rebirth,” declares the Grey’s boss lady. “Everybody is sort of coming out of this very dark place [following last season's massacre]. And there was something really hopeful and beautiful about Cristina and Owen getting married.”

At the same time, Rhimes says she wanted something to symbolize that the show was undergoing a major shift in season 7. Basically, she needed a game changer. “We talked about jumping ahead in time, we talked about jumping ahead a year,” she says. “And when it came down to it, the one thing that signals the biggest change in the world is Cristina wanting to be a bride. There can be nothing more different for Cristina than Cristina wanting to be a bride.”

With the will-they-or-won’t-they tension gone, is Rhimes at all worried “Crowen” will succumb to the dreaded B-word? “It’s really hard for Cristina and Owen to be boring,” Rhimes argues. “If Mer and Der are a lighter couple, Cristina and Owen are so fraught with their darkness and their twistiness that I can’t imagine them getting boring ever.”

Thoughts? Excited to see Cristina get her happy ending (at least for the moment)? Sound off below!

Monday, August 30, 2010

‘Mad Men’ Creator Dodges End Date Question


‘Mad Men‘ creator Matt Weiner sure got people talking – and undoubtedly irked AMC – when he said back in April that he saw the highly and increasingly acclaimed 1960s-set series running for six – and only six – seasons.

AMC was quick to undercut the power of Weiner’s words, issuing a statement soon after that argued, “M*A*S*H figured how to stretch the Korean War for more than a decade.”

Still, there’s a lot to be said for setting an end date and writing toward it. (Just ask two guys named Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.) So is that still Weiner’s plan?

“Yes,” the writer/producer told Fancast soon after winning his third consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. “And I don’t know what it is yet.”

“We’re all enjoying [doing the show],” he hedged. “So I don’t know what [the end date] is yet.”

‘Mad Men’ is currently airing its fourth season, Sundays at 10/9c.

Eddie Izzard Joins 'United States Of Tara'


In his first US series gig since his starring role on FX's The Riches, Eddie Izzard is joining the third season of the Showtime comedy United States of Tara in a major recurring role.

United States of Tara stars Toni Collette as Tara Gregson, a wife and mother who struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Izzard will play Tara’s brilliant psychology professor who starts as a DID skeptic, but becomes fascinated with Tara as a subject, leading him to explore the condition further. Collette won an Emmy for her role on the show, whose third season will begin production mid-September in Los Angeles for a 2011 premiere.

British actor and standup comedian Izzard, repped by UTA and the Collective, was recently nominated in the best nonfiction special Emmy category for the documentary BELIEVE: The Eddie Izzard Story, which ran on EPIX.

Watch w/ Kristin 8/30/10


Drew in Moorpark: Did you forget about the Married Couple spoiler game? You owe us another elimination! You're overdue!
In all fairness, I had said I could only narrow it down to three couples, but now I can actually give you the final reveal...Yay! I just cut it down to two right here and at noon ET/9 am PT tomorrow (Tuesday), my embargo will be lifted and I will reveal the couple.

Marty in Austin, Texas: Following Lost's huge injustice at the Emmy Awards, I had a question. What awards are Lost still eligible for this/next year? Golden Globes? SAG? Anything?
I completely agree. It was heartbreaking to see Lost miss out on some well-deserved Emmy gold. (Not even directing…Really?) But there's still hope! Lost is indeed still eligible for the Golden Globe Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, so the final season may still be recognized yet. Shall we start that Globes campaign now? I have some poster board and glitter puffy paint. Better ideas?

Joan in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.: Community or Glee, please.
How about both? Community really could be going all Glee (and I'm not talking about Joel McHale's fancy Emmys opening moves!) "We've been begging for a musical episode!" Alison Brie told me at last night's HBO Emmy party. "Yvette Nicole Brown is an amazing singer, Donald Glover raps as Childish Gambino and we have a lot of people with great voices. I sing a little bit. So we're all like, 'When's the musical episode, guys?' But they have yet to tell us they would do that." Dan Harmon, are you listening? Is this thing on?

Brandon in Minneapolis, Minn.: I'm having Community withdrawals. Anything new to share?
When Betty White pops up in Community's season premiere, she'll be doing more than just teaching anthropology. Love quadrangle with Betty, Annie, Jeff and Britta perhaps? "I can't answer that," the always fab Alison Brie tells us, "but I can tell you that Annie and Betty have some intimate moments." And now at the request of Alison we shall let your mind wander…

Mariam in Gaston, Texas: I think Kelly should replace Michael Scott on The Office.
You know who agrees with you? Mindy Kaling. "Kelly's gotten really ambitious this season. I feel like every episode she has some big speech about why she deserves to have everything," Mindy tells us. So, how would Kelly Kapoor pitch herself as the new regional manager? "I think her pitch would be that the office would be much more women friendly. She's really into feminizing Dunder Mifflin paper. She wants to make Dunder Mifflin a safe place for women." So, pink paper, pink printers, Pink the person. Pretty much anything that's awesome…Also, the "I" in the show's title would clearly need to be dotted with a heart. Think of all the new female viewers, NBC. This is a no-brainer!

Frederick: Gossip Girl. Give it up! Is there any hope for Chuck and Blair? I'm getting really depressed with what I've seen for the new season.
I know you Chair fans have been in a funk since May, when Chuck the Basshole did you know what with you know who (for shame!), but I finally have a ray of hope to offer...I can tell you exclusively that Chuck and Blair will have, um, relations, of the bom-chicka-bow-wow kind during the upcoming season. At least, that's what my sources are saying. Whether they will actually get back together, well…that I cannot say, sorry. But still, that's a pretty major reason to keep tuning in, right?

Leslie in Carmel, Ind.: Gossip Girl...What can you tell us?
Penn Badgley can sum up the return of your favorite Upper East-Siders: "There's a baby on the way, which I think everybody already knows anyway. We're in Paris for a bit. There's a gunshot wound and there's another marriage." Then he laughs. "I think. It's hard to keep track of the weddings, because they're all broken up anyway!" So, business as usual then? Indeed. "It's the same kind of sensational stuff you've come to expect, and the change of locale makes it even more gorgeous. More of the same but in an even more heightened capacity," Penn promises. Hang in there, GG fans. It's almost time for the season premiere.

Marco in Florida: Could I please get some Desperate Housewives scoop? You haven't talked about it in ages!
Damn skippy. And I'm about to fix that. But if you're under the age of 18, avert your eyes! Sources tell me that Teri Hatcher's Susan will be dabbling in some voyeurism—on the receiving end—for pay, in the coming season! Word is, she moves into an apartment building where her neighbor is cleaning her apartment in her lingerie for money, and Susan just might dabble in dusting while showing her derriere. Also, Vanessa Williams is totally the new Nicolette Sheridan of the show—on camera. She is a diva with money, a divorcée, and Lynette's former college roommate with whom she always had a very contentious relationship. Lynette's gonna have a whole heap o' drama courtesy of Ms. Vanessa this year. I hear her character is moving onto Wisteria Lane.

Greg in Maui: Some romance scoop on Glee, please!
Aside from our exclusive visual proof that Finn and Rachel will be PDA City: See it here! How about a big sigh of relief for the couple that is not happening?! Jessalyn Gilsig (who looked amazing at last night's Emmys, no?) tells us that producers decided not to do anything further with Terri and Finn. "That was too dangerous, so we decided not to go down that road again," she tells us. "Teri's gonna get a new life, which is good. And it integrates her into the glee club, bringing me around the kids more." Hmm, vocal coach maybe? She's got her heart set on a new lovah—or ten! "I'm insisting," she teases. "I definitely think Javier [Bardem] has wanted to work with me for a long time, so that's something we have to realize for him. I like that there's a history built in with Neil Patrick Harris' character, so that would be really fun too. I'm a very easy, slutty person, so I'll just go with anyone." And I will stay Team Jessalyn.

Jessica in Tenn.: Are we going to see something happen with Arlene's baby situation before the end of the season on True Blood?
As a matter of fact, Mrs. Carrie Preston assures us we will…well, kinda. "Arlene is still very conflicted. But there's going to be a resolution to the conflict," she says, "But it's also going to be open-ended." Either she's speaking in tongues or my Emmy (lack of sleep and too much ginger ale) hangover is worse than I thought. Does that make any sense to anyone? Carrie's equally wonderful hubby Michael Emerson weighed in on the baby drama, saying, "I mean, we have to see the baby," to which she responded, "If there is a baby…" Now I'm really stumped. She's not pulling a Terri Schuester is she? Or preggo with some sort of supernatural somethin'? The mind boggles.

Gina in Australia: Is Leven Rambin (Sloane) coming back to Grey's Anatomy?
We chatted up Leven at the Kari Feinstein Gift Lounge this weekend and though she said her "lips were zipped," her eyes at the HBO Emmy party (OK, fine, I was talking to her!) sure said yes. When asked which Grey's guy she'd love to hook up with, she told me: "Is it weird to say my dad? 'Cause I do love Eric Dane." Then she laughed. "Yeah, yeah, that is weird. Let's go with Alex. That would be a good fit!" She's also happy her character didn't show up in the latest shoot-out season finale. "Sloane probably would have just used someone as a human shield."

Cara in N.C.: Can you tell us anything else about the big kiss on Modern Family?
Who cares about Cam and Mitchell? Kidding. I do. But now that everyone knows that kiss is happening, how about the fact that the other couple who have never kissed are finally gonna do the deed, too, in the same episode. "It's a big kiss episode," Sofia Vergaga (Editor's Note: That is a type-o I am so leaving in!) tells us. "We all kiss each other. Family kiss!" And yes, that includes a long overdue smooch between Ed O'Neill and Sofia. The real victim here? Julie Bowen, who jokes, "I never get to do any fun kissing!" Clive, we feel for you man. We thought it was special, too.

Keith in St. George, Utah: Any fun storylines this season on Modern Family?
Fun? You want fun? Well, how totally super-fun-good-times is this?! The Dunphy family is going to mourn the loss of a loved one. Hooray! Oh, chill out, I'm just talking about a hunk of metal. "We say goodbye to the family car, which is actually very emotional," Julie Bowen deadpanned to me at the Emmys. "It's the sedan from like1985. I spent the week crying over that car. This is a car you haven't seen that's just been sitting in the garage." You heard it here first people: MF is going really dark for an episode. Have the hanky on standby.

Julia in Indianapolis: Since there's not one big bad on Dexter this season, is he going to be up against all the guest stars coming on board?
Nope! Or so says my Dexter girl-crush (MCH, see, we have so much in common!) Jennifer Carpenter. "The guest stars are not all about different cases. They each serve their own purpose." As for the tone of Dexter this season, J. Carp says: "It feels like the pilot, and things are running the way they were way back then. It's like a kick back to the original, which is fun!"

Kurtis in Los Angeles: Any news on a Quinn and Deb romance on Dexter this season
It sure sounds like it's a go! "They are a good fit right now," Jennifer says. "Deb's just trying to get back to work. There's a new case that's really exciting, and some of the dynamics in the bull pen are changing. The show is a lot more procedural that it ever has been."

Jessie in Houston: I'm craving anything you've got on Big Love, please.
It's still too early for any real Big Love dish, but fresh off his Emmy win, onetime Henrickson-in-law Aaron Paul tells us he and his onscreen wifey Amanda Seyfried might return for season five. Says the Breaking Bad star: "I haven't gotten any official, official word, but there have always been hints about having Sarah and Scott come back for a Thanksgiving episode."

Boris in Ore.: What have you heard about Andy and Erin's relationship on The Office this season?
Sorry to burst the bubble of any Andin shippers out there, but these two are still dunzo. "Andy is on his own journey," Ellie Kemper said at the Emmys. "Andy's focusing on other things, acting—he's in community theater, a show-stopping number in a show stopper of a show." So will Erin's ex-beau take on her rumored new beau Gabe (played to perfection by newcomer Zac Woods)? "No fist fights," said Ellie. But Zac put it more hilariously: "If the statement is 'I don't know who would win in a fight between you and…' regardless of who the other person is, I would lose. I'm jacked, but my Herculean frame is deceptive." Hate to say it, but they're kinda cute together, peeps!

Alicia in Pittsburgh: Any scoop on Jax and Tara on Sons of Anarchy this season?
Let's just put it this way: For Jax and Tara, season three is probably going to be both the best of times and the worst of times. They'll have some awful fights (for which Jax deserves most of the blame, BTW), and they'll have some really wonderful (top-secret) twists as well.

Schwartz, Savage build Fake Empire


Josh Schwartz and longtime collaborator Stephanie Savage are plotting an expanded TV empire.

The duo have sealed a rich multiyear pact with Warner Bros. TV to launch Fake Empire, set up at Warner Bros. TV.

Schwartz, the youthful showrunner behind "Gossip Girl" and "Chuck," had already been set up at Warner Bros. TV under a hefty eight-figure deal, while Savage had an overall deal at the studio as well. In a bit of crafty dealmaking, the duo's reps at WME took the key elements from both scribes' deals and merged them together.

Now, rather than hold typical producing deals at Warner Bros., Schwartz's and Savage's Fake Empire will take its place alongside some of the studio's other major pods -- including those run by Jerry Bruckheimer, J.J. Abrams and McG.

"Josh and Stephanie are an outstanding creative team, responsible for two of the most iconic television series in recent history in 'Gossip Girl' and 'The OC,'" said Warner Bros. TV prexy Peter Roth.

Schwartz said the enterprise, which will be based on the Warner Bros. lot, promises to be "a writer-friendly and writer-driven company."

Besides reaching out to scribes to develop and produce TV shows for network and cable, Fake Empire is looking to get into the feature film, music, digital, videogame and publishing business as well.

Schwartz and Savage plan to keep Fake Empire's focus on developing projects for younger auds -- a demographic they've targeted in the past with "patterns of fairytales" such as "The OC," "Chuck" and "Gossip Girl."

The pact finalizes a professional relationship that harks back to "The OC," when Savage -- who was in on the ground floor of McG's Wonderland Sound and Vision production company -- helped develop that Fox teen sudser with Schwartz.

Duo then collaborated on "Gossip Girl" for the CW. As Schwartz turned his attention to steering NBC's "Chuck" (which he co-created with Chris Fedak), Savage continued as "Gossip Girl" showrunner.

"There's a lot of trust between us," Schwartz said. "We're not afraid to pitch bad ideas to each other. Hopefully what this does is take what we do on a daily basis already and formalizes it. We've been fortunate to provide each other with a platform to get our shows on the air."

Schwartz and Savage also have experience in the music world, having produced several soundtrack albums for their series. "The OC," for example, was often cited for its influential music picks and, being big music fans, the two named Fake Empire after the lead track on the National's 2007 LP "Boxer."

In the online space, Schwartz created the music-centric "Rockville CA." And in features, Schwartz is set to write and direct an update of "Bright Lights, Big City" (which Savage is producing). He also penned the script for the upcoming "X-Men: First Class."

This pilot season, Schwartz is behind the CBS comedy "Hitched," which he created with Matt Miller.

Savage started out in development at Drew Barrymore's Flower Films, working on such pics as "Charlie's Angels." That led her to McG and Wonderland, which then produced "The OC." Savage eventually became an exec producer on the series, and wrote its seminal seg, "The Best Chrismukkah Ever."

"This seemed like a great time to do this," Savage said. "The shows are creatively healthy, and we've got great teams in place. And Warner Bros. is supportive of this endeavor. It's the right moment."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

2010 Primetime Emmy Award Winners

Outstanding drama series
"Breaking Bad" (AMC)
"Dexter" (Showtime)
"The Good Wife" (CBS)
"Lost" (ABC)
"Mad Men" (AMC)
"True Blood" (HBO)

Outstanding comedy series
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)
"Modern Family" (ABC)
"Glee" (Fox)
"Nurse Jackie" (Showtime)
"The Office" (NBC)
"30 Rock" (NBC)

Outstanding miniseries
"The Pacific" (HBO)
"Return to Cranford" (PBS)

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Matthew Morrison, "Glee"

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"

Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
Hugh Laurie, "House"
Matthew Fox, "Lost"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"

Outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie
Jeff Bridges, "A Dog Year"
Ian McKellen, "The Prisoner"
Michael Sheen, "The Special Relationship"
Dennis Quaid, "The Special Relationship"
Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack"

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series
 Lea Michele, "Glee"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"

Outstanding lead actress in a drama series
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Glenn Close, "Damages"
Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"
January Jones, "Mad Men"

Outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie
Maggie Smith, "Capturing Mary"
Joan Allen, "Georgia O'Keeffe"
Judi Dench, "Return to Cranford"
Hope Davis, "The Special Relationship"
Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin"

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series
Chris Colfer, "Glee"
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family"
Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series
Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"

Martin Short, "Damages"
Terry O'Quinn, "Lost"
Michael Emerson, "Lost"
John Slattery, "Mad Men"
Andre Braugher, "Men of a Certain Age"

Outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie
 Michael Gambon, "Emma"
Patrick Stewart, "Hamlet"
Jonathan Pryce, "Return to Cranford"
David Strathairn, "Temple Grandin"
John Goodman, "You Don't Know Jack"

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series
Jane Lynch, "Glee"

Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"
Kristen Wiig, "Saturday Night Live"
Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock"
Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men"

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series
Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice"
Rose Byrne, "Damages"
Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife"
Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife"
Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"

Outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movieKathy Bates, "Alice"
Julia Ormond, "Temple Grandin"
Catherine O'Hara, "Temple Grandin"
Brenda Vaccaro,"You Don't Know Jack"
Susan Sarandon, "You Don't Know Jack"

Outstanding made for television movie"Endgame" (PBS)
"Georgia O'Keeffe" (Lifetime)
"Moonshot" (History)
"The Special Relationship" (HBO)
"Temple Grandin" (HBO)
"You Don't Know Jack" (HBO)

Outstanding variety, music or comedy series
 "The Colbert Report" (Comedy Central)
"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (Comedy Central)
"Real Time With Bill Maher" (HBO)
"Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
"The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" (NBC)

Outstanding reality competition program
"The Amazing Race" (CBS)
"American Idol" (Fox)
"Dancing With the Stars" (ABC)
"Project Runway" (Lifetime)
"Top Chef" (Bravo)

‘Modern Family’ creator: Why I took on Hulu


Ever since "Modern Family" creator Steve Levitan told THR about his efforts to remove his Emmy-nominated comedy hit from ABC.com last month, the showrunner has been stirring up cyberspace with his take on Modern Viewing. In an interview Thursday, Levitan spoke about Hulu, piracy and how his ABC bosses feel about his stance.

THR: So we're hearing Steve Levitan hates the Internet.

Steve Levitan: (Laughs) My wife would think that's hilarious since I'm on it so much.

THR: Let's start with Hulu; what's your take there?

Levitan: Look, I'm not naive; I understand why big media backed Hulu -- to stave off piracy and to gain some control in the online space -- but I don't believe Hulu's upside outweighs the potentially disastrous long-term effects. Network TV has some distinct advantages over the music and newspaper industries. Sharing a few songs from an album requires very little bandwidth. News is available from a wide variety of sources. But at the risk of sounding like a pompous ass, nobody but a show's creator and producers is capable of delivering that particular show.

I acknowledge that Hulu's easy accessibility probably keeps some people from pirating. But a respected industry analyst says less than 5% of TV content is being stolen today. Even if that number quadruples as broadband speeds improve, that means 75% of the audience will still be perfectly happy with the present model. And, to quote that analyst, "The logic of 'I'm having trouble getting paid for my content, so let me give it away for free' probably drives Wall Street to allocate capital to other industries."

My other concern is that Hulu is an asset being built with our product. If I were responsible for News Corp.'s stock prices, I might do the same thing. But I feel compelled to speak out if I feel that "growth" comes at the expense of our show.

Listen to this quote by Hulu CEO Jason Kilar from an interview with Charlie Rose:

Kilar: "Everybody at Hulu is an owner in Hulu. That is so different from the cultures in traditional media."

Rose: "How is everybody at Hulu an owner? You mean all your partners are owners, all the people who provide the content are owners."

Kilar: "No. Team members. My assistant is an owner in Hulu. And that's the way it should be because, if we're fortunate to create upside, to create value in Hulu, then I think everyone should participate in that upside."

I'm very happy that Mr. Kilar's assistant gets to share in Hulu's profits. Assistants are underpaid, and I don't begrudge them anything. It would just be nice if he felt as strongly about those providing his content.

THR: And ABC.com streaming? Same essential argument?

Levitan: Look, I value every single one of our viewers, which is why I just want them to be clearly counted, no matter on what platform they're watching. Right now the producers of "Modern Family" have no idea how many people watch our show each week on all platforms, and nobody seems to want to tell us. If a disproportionate number of any show's viewers watch in alternative ways, then, under the current system, that show may not appear to be as strong as it actually is. If a show brings someone to a screen, any screen, then shouldn't they get credit for that? If not, then some really interesting new shows with a disproportionate number of young online viewers will get canceled because their audience isn't being counted. That said, I've been told that Nielsen will step up its measurement of online numbers this season and that other companies like Rentrak are making inroads. Hopefully, these are steps in the right direction.

THR: What about the argument that online viewing provides a valuable marketing platform?

Levitan: It's true. It's also a great way for people to catch up. But once a show is launched, once it's successful, it stops being a marketing platform. "Family Guy" does not need Hulu's promotion.

THR: What kind of business model would you like to see online for "Modern Family"?

Levitan: 1) Show "Modern Family" online, but include all the same commercials. The CW sold its 2010-11 upfront ad inventory this way and was able to charge higher rates than if the spots were on network alone. 2) Make those online viewership numbers readily available to everyone. 3) If some people want to view the show without commercials, then, by all means, allow them to do that for a fee.

THR: Some are doubtless reading this going: "But your show is so successful! So what if some watch online too"?

Levitan: The iPhone and iPad are very successful, but, with all due respect to the prophetic Steve Jobs, I don't see Apple giving them away. It's very simple. Shows like "30 Rock" and "Lost" and "The Office" are expensive to produce. Plus these "hits" cover the costs of all the misses. If viewers want to continue to see quality content like that, then we have to find a way to keep it profitable. Otherwise, we'll all be watching clips of a sneezing panda -- which, by the way, were adorable.

THR: Others probably wonder: Shouldn't this be addressed during WGA contract negotiations?

Levitan: This does not feel to me like an issue that gets settled by our union. This will be decided at the highest levels by those who have the power to do so.

THR: Rupert Murdoch also has been an advocate of content creators getting paid for use of copyrighted content online. Has he reached out?

Levitan: In June, I voiced some of my concerns when I spoke at the D8 conference, and Mr. Murdoch was sitting in the front row. Afterward, we had a very friendly chat. I was heartened to hear that he shares many of my same concerns.

THR: What's been the reaction from ABC bosses to your comments?

Levitan: I have a very friendly relationship with Bob Iger and Anne Sweeney, and I respect them both. They've been incredibly supportive of "Modern Family." They know my opinions, and while we may disagree on some issues, I understand they're wrestling with extremely complex issues in a fast-changing environment. Their job is to steer a multinational corporation, while my job is just to watch out for "Modern Family." I certainly believe that there exists a sweet spot where our interests align.

THR: Do you think that bringing this issue out in the open has advanced this cause?

Levitan: Many people at all levels are having this conversation privately. I'm the only one dumb enough to have it out in the open.

THR: Do you think other TV producers need to be speak up?

Levitan: I would never presume to tell anyone else what they need to do. However, if others share my concerns, I'd sure appreciate the company. A dramatic "I'm Spartacus" moment would be nice.

‘The Vampire Diaries’ smolderin’ season two ads


The eagerly awaited return of The CW's breakout hit "The Vampire Diaries" is being marketed with some luxurious-looking key art characteristic of the network's marketing department.

Here's a first look:

'Lost' nominee Michael Emerson responds to 'Office' gossip


The short list of possible successors to Steve Carell’s Office throne seems to get longer with each passing day, but one name has emerged as the clear choice among fans and professional TV watchers alike: Michael Emerson. And yes, the Lost Emmy nominee has heard the talk. Even better, he’s interested in the job—and he told me so at Entertainment Weekly‘s pre-Emmy bash last night. Emerson also weighed in on the recently released Ben-centric Lost epilogue and the possibility of joining his real-life bride Carrie Preston on True Blood. “I could play the mild-mannered accountant that gets torn limb by limb by supernatural beings,” he suggested. “People could pick up my gooey mess and put it in a bowl.” 

'True Blood' sexy beast Joe Manganiello teases Alcide's 'unfinished business'


 It’s nice to see that fame hasn’t gone to Joe Manganiello’s head. True Blood‘s breakout werewolf—and newly-minted Entertainment Weekly cover boy—was his usual humble, down-to-earth self at EW‘s Emmy shindig last night. “I never anticipated being on the cover of Entertainment Weekly this soon,” he confessed. “I called my publicist and asked if it was real. I couldn’t believe it.” Manganiello confirmed that after being MIA last week, Alcide returns in this Sunday’s episode to “take care of some unfinished business.” For more on that, as well as the actor’s thoughts on his big “sniff scene” with Anna Paquin, press play below!

Cobie Smulders on the big 'How I Met Your Mother' wedding twist: 'I was [spoiler]'


Cobie Smulders knows the identity of the bride and groom getting hitched on How I Met Your Mother this season, and she’s… unfortunately not squealing. Bummer. She is, however, sharing her thoughts on the top-secret nuptials, which we’ll sneak a peek at in the Sept. 20 season premiere. The actress—whom I caught up with at last night’s 2010 Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film pre-Emmy bash—also previews the next chapter in the Robin Sparkles saga, hinting that the follow-up to “Let’s Go to the Mall” and “Sandcastles in the Sand” will be “loaded with sexual innuendo,” and proposes a new nickname for her Emmy-winning costar Neil Patrick Harris. The video’s after the jump!  

'Big Bang Theory' spoiler alert: What's the story behind this picture?


Why is Penny tagging along on Sheldon’s first date with Amy (Mayim Bialik) in the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory? Kaley Cuoco provided some much needed context at last night’s 2010 Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film pre-Emmy bash. The game actress also offered a spoiler about an upcoming episode involving expensive *o*o*s, and tearfully accepted Big Bang‘s EWwy award for best comedy series. The Cuoco Q&A is after the jump! 

'Glee' Scoop: Jayma Mays, Mike O'Malley talk 'Wemma,' Kurt/Finn, and The Boss


Just how crazy did things get when I caught up with Glee’s Jayma Mays and Mike “Kurt’s Dad” O’Malley at the 2010 Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film pre-Emmy bash? Let me put it to you this way. Before we were done, she got a little too close to my, ahem, microphone while discussing her upcoming on-screen affair with John Stamos, and he persuaded me to use a Springsteen classic to make my world premiere as a singer right here on Ausiello TV. Or did he? Press play to find out! 

See What Dexter Does After Shocking Death


In less than one month, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) returns to our TV screens for what might be his darkest season yet. After his Rita's (Julie Benz) murder by the Trinity Killer, Dexter needs to balance his day job (forensics), his night job (murder) and single parenthood, all while evading increasing suspicion that he's the one who slit his wife's throat.

Get a sneak preview of what's to come this season in our exclusive clip:

'Office': Did Jan give Michael [spoiler]?


At Friday’s 2010 Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film pre-Emmy party, Melora Hardin revealed that when she returns to The Office this season, she won’t just be bringing Jan back, she’ll be bringing the old Jan back. (Yikes! Scary.) Not only that, but there’s a new man in her life. Does the name Jimmy Smits ring any bells? Video below!

Glenn Close on 11th hour 'Damages' pickup: 'I was really surprised'


Contrary to what you may have heard, I most certainly did not tell Glenn Close to take a flying leap when we spoke Friday at the 2010 Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film pre-Emmy shindig. However, amid talk of Damages‘ series-saving move to DirecTV—and the new freedoms said move has given the show’s writers—she did contemplate taking the plunge. WTH am I going on about? Press play to find out.

'NCIS': Pauley Perrette confirms 'big Abby story coming'


Getting scoop out of the casts of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles can be tricky. But at Friday’s 2010 Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film pre-Emmy hootenanny, I gave it the old college try, grilling Pauley Perrette and Barrett Foa to within an inch of their lives. What did I find out? Former Avenue Q denizen Foa revealed what he and new on-screen sidekick Renee Felice Smith get up to in his trailer when they’re not theatre-geeking out, and Perrette all but confirmed that this is the season Abby’s elusive backstory will take center stage.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Debra Monk Signs On to Brothers & Sisters


Veteran actress Debra Monk, who suffered through Andy Sipowicz's drinking on NYPD Blue as his put upon wife and mothered George O'Malley on Grey's Anatomy, has signed on to Brothers & Sisters as a rival for Sally Field.

Debra will debut in episode five of the new season as Alexandra Kirby. When Nora is offered a job as the host of an Ask Mom radio program, she'll face some stiff competition from the more experienced and flashy Alexandra. Who'll get the gig? Aw, I bet you can guess.

True Blood's Gran is Mom to Desperate Housewives' Tom


Let's hope she fares better in Fairview than she did in Bon Temps.

After being brutally butchered in True Blood's first season as Sookie and Jason Stackhouse's Granny Adele, veteran actress Lois Smith is headed to Wisteria Lane. Lois, 79, will debut in Desperate Housewives' fifth new episode as Allison Scavo, who moves in to Lynette and Tom's home to help son Tom (Doug Savant) get over a unique case of male postpartum depression.

Want more Desperate Housewives scoop? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!

"I was really excited to get Lois; I've been a fan of her work for years," says Housewives creator Marc Cherry, singling out her performances in Minority Report and a TV production of Grapes of Wrath. "One of the perks of this job is that I get to work with these wonderful actors from time to time."

Lois joins is an impressive roster of actresses who have breezed through Fairview as moms to the Housewives characters, including Carol Burnett (as Bree's stepmom) and Polly Bergen (as Lynette's boozy mama).

Cherry describes Allison as "a very traditional homemaker whose ideas of what women should be to their husbands really smacks right against Lynette's more modern views of womanhood." So far, Lois is slated for two episodes.

Who was your favorite Desperate Housewives guest parent?

Friday, August 27, 2010

'No Ordinary Family' adopts 'Twilight' vamp Jackson Rathbone


Coming up necks for Twilight bloodsucker Jackson Rathbone: A potentially recurring role on ABC’s No Ordinary Family.

The 25-year-old actor—whose two summer films, Eclipse and The Last Airbender, collectively grossed nearly $1 billion worldwide—will play Trent Stafford, a high school classmate of Kay Panabaker telepathic Daphne. Trent was recently the victim of a home invasion robbery, and I’m guessing Daphne will join forces with her superhero parents to help catch the perp.

Rathbone last appeared on the small screen in 2009, when he guest-starred as a serial killer with multiple personalities on Criminal Minds.

N.O.F. premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

'Desperate Housewives' meets the Wild West!


There’s a new sheriff in town on Desperate Housewives, and judging by this exclusive image from the show’s Western-themed season 7 promo campaign, her name is Vanessa Williams!

Six Feet Under Mama on Grey's Anatomy


Frances Conroy, who played matriarch Ruth Fisher on HBO's Six Feet Under, has been cast on Grey's Anatomy in a role that sounds perfectly suited for this Golden Globe winner's dramatic and comedic talents. Frances will guest star as a patient named Eleanor who blacks out. But that's not the fun part. Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes tells me Eleanor claims she blacked out right around the time she raced into a Laundromat and caught her naughty husband folding another woman's panties. Don't you just hate when that happens?

Grey's Anatomy: Ryan Devlin returning to Seattle Grace

"Whether or not she really blacked out is an issue," says Rhimes. Hmm... Might Frances' vindictive character have sent her husband six feet under? That'll be for Detectives Grey and Yang to investigate. Apparently all those Cagney & Lacey reruns I've been watching have gotten the best of my imagination.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Allison Miller Cast In Fox Series 'Terra Nova'


Allison Miller has become the second actor after Jason O'Mara cast in Fox's upcoming adventure series Terra Nova. The project, from Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin, follows an ordinary family from 2149 led by Jim Shannon (O'Mara) who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization. Miller will play Skye.

Terra Nova was originally announced at the upfronts as a midseason replacement, but has been pushed to fall 2011 with a May preview to give more time for the elaborate production and post-production. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox TV, DreamWorks TV, Kapital Entertainment and Chernin Entertainment. Miller, who recently starred on NBC's Kings and in the feature 17 Again, is repped by ICM and Thruline.

Chuck: Timothy Dalton's character possibilities


Maybe I’ve been watching soaps for too long, but the second I heard that Timothy Dalton was joining Chuck as a mystery man with ties to Chuck’s mom (a.k.a. Linda Hamilton) my mind immediately went here: James Bond is Chuck’s real father. Admit it, yours did too.

But is it true? Did 007 and Sarah Connor make a baby named Charles Irving Bartowski?

“Consider that theory squashed,” responds executive producer Josh Schwartz, who declined to reveal what connection Dalton’s character shares with Mama B. “We’ll only say that they’ve known each other for a long time.”

Landing Dalton is a major coup for Schwartz and fellow EP Chris Fedak. The actor—who allegedly turned down an offer to join the third season of Sons of Anarchy—hasn’t appeared on an American series in more than three decades (since a 1979 stint on Charlie’s Angeles). How’d they manage to lure him back?

“With my charm and Fedak’s singing voice,” deadpans Schwartz. “That’s not true. We’re huge fans of Mr. Dalton, not only for being a badass Bond but for his comic work in Hot Fuzz and The Rocketeer.

“In truth,” Schwartz continues, “we’ve wanted to have him on the show since season 1. When we came up with this part, we thought he’d be perfect. So we sent him [some episodes], he dug it, and then we started talking.”

Dalton makes his first appearance in Chuck‘s seventh episode, titled, “Chuck Versus the First Fight.”

Chuck‘s fourth season kicks off Monday, Sept. 20.

Casting News: Meet the Male Nikita!


 Good news TV fans! The CW's Nikita, one of my fave new shows of the fall season, is getting even sexier.

(You didn't think it was possible, did you, what with Maggie Q already being so fierce and gorgeous as a rogue operative fighting conspiracies and criminals?)

We've got the exclusive scoop on a new character who will be battling our heroine, and can reveal that Nikita's new nemesis is...

Devon Sawa, whom you might remember from the original Final Destination movie.

Devon is set to play the role of Owen beginning on episode five of Nikita, which airs Oct. 7.

Owen is described as "a highly trained Division agent who is equal to Nikita in skill."

Nikita premieres two weeks from tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW. Will you be watching?

'HIMYM': Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger claws her way into Robin Sparkles' orbit


How I Met Your Mother is about to fill in a major piece of Robin Sparkles’ pop-star backstory.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that Pussycat Doll-turned-Dancing With the Stars champ Nicole Scherzinger has been tapped to play Jessica Glitter, Robin’s former BFF and costar of the Canadian talk show that also featured Alan Thicke.

“It’s going to be a satisfying third chapter in the Robin Sparkles trilogy,” says executive producer Craig Thomas. “It’s a prequel to both ‘Let’s Go to the Mall’ and ‘Sandcastles in the Sand.’”

Adds fellow EP Carter Bays: “It’s the origin story of Robin Sparkles. You see where she came from.”

The Sparkles & Glitter flashback episode, simply titled “Glitter,” is slated to air during November sweeps.

First Look: The 'Bones' season 6 poster!


Anyone available to help me analyze another piece of Fox key art? This time it’s the official poster for Bones‘ upcoming sixth season, and, as you can see, there’s much to discuss. The coordinating outfits. The body language. Brennan’s sexy new ‘do. The cadaverous paws. And a tagline that screams, “Sex by May Sweeps!” Well, that’s what it screams to me anyway. I suppose that could be the jetlag talking. In any event, scroll down to the comments and scrutinize away!

NBC's 'Chuck' Adds A Touch Of Bond With Timothy Dalton Casting


First Linda Hamilton, now Timothy Dalton. After casting Terminator star Hamilton to play Chuck (Zachary Levi) mom, NBC spy dramedy Chuck has drafted another 1980s action star to recur next season. Dalton, who has experience in spy fare having played James Bond in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill, will appear in a multiple-episode arc playing a mysterious stranger who has a history with Chuck’s mom (Hamilton). This marks Dalton’s first series appearance on American television since he guest-starred on Charlie’s Angels in 1979. Dalton, who recently added his voice to the animated hit film Toy Story 3, will next be seen in The Tourist. Chuck returns for its fourth season on Monday, Sept. 20. 

Katee Sackhoff Returning to 'Big Bang Theory'!


 My new AOL TV column doesn't officially debut until Sept. 1 -- and debut it will, with a title and picture and everything. But when the nerd Batphone rings, you can be sure Mo Ryan will answer it, whether or not the Photoshop wizards have finished working on my column photo.

I found out that 'The Big Bang Theory' is breaking out the big guns for its impending move to Thursdays, and I just had to get this exclusive news out there now: Katee Sackhoff is guest starring on the CBS comedy again this fall.

The actress, who played Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on 'Battlestar Galactica' and Dana Walsh on '24,' won't be in the season premiere of 'Big Bang' (Thurs., Sept. 23, 8PM ET on CBS), but keep reading for scoop on that one, too.

Sackhoff will return later this fall to the role she first played last year -- the version of "Katee Sackhoff" who acts as the conscience of Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg). The episode will also feature the return of Melissa Rauch as Wolowitz's ex-girlfriend, Bernadette.

"He's struggling with his feelings about Bernadette and them breaking up, and in pops Katee Sackhoff again," Sackhoff laughed. "I can probably say [the scene] won't be in the bathtub. I don't know for sure ... I can't imagine them doing the same thing twice, but you never know."

Appearing on 'Big Bang' -- which grew into such a hit that CBS is using it as part of a new sitcom block in a hotly contested Thursday slot -- "really, really helped me decide that I could do [comedy]," Sackhoff said. "So when [co-creator Chuck Lorre] called to see if I could do a second episode, I said, 'Of course.'"

Sackhoff admitted that, prior to her first 'Big Bang' experience, she had avoided funny roles for years. It's not surprising given that her first Hollywood guest role -- on the WB comedy 'Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane' -- didn't go very well, especially when her character had to deliver a "throaty laugh."

"I was 18 years old. I had no idea what a throaty laugh was," Sackhoff said. When the episode aired, another actress' voice had been dubbed over hers for the laugh. Sackhoff's reaction: "And I will never do comedy again!"

But she said that a decade spent playing serious roles on shows like '24,' 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'Bionic Woman' had her on the lookout for a change of pace. "I think that people remember you for your last job, and ... no one can picture you outside of that," Sackhoff said. "So I was looking for something to tear the lid off that box."
Appearing on 'Big Bang' last November (in the aforementioned bathtub scene with Wolowitz) was "daunting ... thank God for the bubbles, because I didn't have to do it in front of a live audience," she added with a laugh. Though she said she was relieved that the episode was largely well-received, she was a bit thrown by the surprising reaction in some quarters.

"My mom called me and she goes, 'Everyone online thinks you've had your boobs and your lips done.' I was like, 'What?!'" Sackhoff recalled. "I just thought it was absolutely the funniest thing ever. I realized it's because they've never seen me with that much makeup on before. And because it's supposed to be Wolowitz's fantasy, I had on the stuff that pushed my boobs together and we traced the line of my lips to make them bigger, because in his mind, they're huge. I mean, it was a caricature of myself. I cracked up."

So is she open to coming back for more? Absolutely. "We're just trying to figure out how many times Starbuck or Katee Sackhoff can pop up in Wolowitz's head. It can't be every episode ... I mean, I would love to have me pop up every episode, but maybe it's too much. Maybe I could do a 'final thought,' like Andy Rooney does, at the end of every ['60 Minutes'] episode," she joked.

If you can't wait until Sept. 23 to see Sackhoff, she's also appearing on 'Futurama' this Thursday (Aug. 26, 10PM ET on Comedy Central).

Oh, and if you see her and Tricia Helfer (Six!) passing through your town this October on motorcycles, know that A) You are not seeing things, and B) the 'Battlestar Galactica' castmates -- who are very good friends in real life -- are riding from Los Angeles to Louisiana to raise money for the Gulf region in the wake of the BP oil spill.

"We're trying to continue to raise awareness that this will be an ongoing problem," said Sackhoff, who'll start selling T-shirts benefiting Gulf causes via the site actingoutlaws.org in a couple of weeks.

Even when not riding for charity, she and Helfer like getting on their motorcycles and cruising around Los Angeles. I asked what the reaction is when 'Battlestar' fans see them at gas stations. "It's kind of funny, especially when [fellow 'BSG' actor] Michael Trucco goes with us," Sackhoff said. "People are like, 'Wow, what just happened?'"

Christine Lahti Returns to Law & Order: SVU

An Oscar-nominated actress will return to Law & Order: SVU this season — but don't get nervous, it's not Sharon Stone. It's Christine Lahti, reappearing as overbearing ADA Sonya Paxton sent by the DA's office to ride herd on the SVU team.

A nasty alcoholic, she butted heads with Stabler (Chris Meloni) and was eventually forced to enter rehab. Paxton reappeared in a later episode only to warn Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) not to trust the cops. She'll return in this season's ninth episode on a case and is supposedly all cleaned up. "She has a huge scene where she faces off with Stabler," SVU's executive producer Neal Baer tells TV Guide Magazine exclusively.

More Manny for Modern Family's Second Season


When Modern Family returns to ABC on September 22 for its second season little Manny (Rico Rodriguez) will be front and center. Executive producers Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan tell TV Guide Magazine he'll go on his first date—his first on-screen date, that is.

"I don't think it's his first date," says Levitan, Adds Lloyd, It's his first serious girlfriend. The irst one he really feels he's falling in love with." The story line might end up being less about Manny than it is about his mother.

"It mostly turns into a clash with Gloria," says Lloyd. "Because in the Colombian culture the bond between a mother and son is very intense, and it becomes a little bit of a competition between the girl and Gloria for Manny."

Poor Manny will face an existential crisis as he turns 12. "He realizes that he's almost forgotten to live his childhood and he tries to figure out a way to pack it all in, because he's only got one year left before he's a teenager," says Lloyd.

And it wouldn't be Modern Family without some high jinks from Phil and the Dunphy family. "There's one [episode] where there's a chirping smoke alarm and he can't figure out which one is having the battery go wrong and it eventually drives him crazy, among other things," says Ty Burrell, who's currently shooting Episode 4. "This week's episode Phil's trying to help Jay [Ed O'Neill] fix a computer, which makes him so happy since Jay is basically the real man."

In other Dunphy news, "Hayley breaks up with Dylan but it's tougher on Phil than it is on Hayley so he continues seeing Dylan behind Hayley's back," teases Lloyd.

Nothing, however, prepares Phil for this: "The Dunphy kids walk in on their parents having sex," says Levitan. "Hey, it happens." Can you say awkward?

First Look: The 'House' season 7 poster!



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ask Ausiello 8/25/10


Question: Any Glee scoop? —Ines
Ausiello: I’m hearing a major character (a series regular!) will find himself/herself in a literal life-and-death situation in this season’s third episode. In possibly related news (I say possibly because I honest-to-goodness don’t know), Chris Colfer’s Emmy-nominated TV dad Mike O’Malley tells us that episode 3 will be “another emotional, emotional episode” for father and son. The actor goes on to hint that the show will revisit the complicated dynamic between Burt and Kurt’s crush, Finn. “The last time I was on the show, [Burt] threw Finn out of the house. There [may] be some resolution there. One of the things I think is really important in life and for human beings is to forgive and be able to rise up from our mistakes. I’m hoping that Finn and Burt are able to cross that chasm.”

Question: I seem to recall you said that Chord Overstreet (a.k.a. Glee‘s newest stud) wouldn’t turn out to be Kurt’s new boyfriend. Jane Lynch tells it differently. —Ashley
Ausiello: Actually, Jane Lynch tells it exactly the same way I did. Snap.

Question: Will Glee ever cast Rachel’s “two gay dads”? Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick are my top picks! —Kim L
Ausiello: Series creator Ryan Murphy sounds doubtful. Though “people always ask me to do that…I don’t know that we ever will.” Maybe he’ll go with Lea Michele’s idea. Says the boss, she suggested “we see them in season 3, like a shot of Elton John cheering her on in an audience. I haven’t decided how I’m going to do that.”

Question: Got any Grey’s Anatomy scoop concerning the Alex/Lexie/Mark triangle? —Maura
Ausiello: Yep—said triangle no longer exists! “At the end of the season Alex was asking for Izzie,” Shonda Rhimes reminds me. “It’s really hard to feel like there’s a love triangle going on if the man Lexie loves is clearly asking for another woman. And she’s very clear on that by the time the [season premiere] is over.”

Question: Some news about the future of Josh Holloway in television? —Olivia
Ausiello: Funny story: Shortly after I posted my story linking Holloway to NBC’s Rockford Files remake, Doc Jensen emails me and says he had a conversation with JH about Rockford back in April when NBC started casting the pilot. Doc J mentioned to him that after watching the “Sawyer & Miles” cop show in the sideways world, he thought Holloway would make a perfect Jim Rockford. Holloway’s response? “I thought so, too! And I was like, no way, don’t even go there… because I love The Rockford Files. And I thought Ken [Leung] would be great for [Rockford's sidekick]. I would have loved that show. But I wanted to give movies a shot, so I never even pursued it.” But that was April. This is August. Fingers crossed Holloway is having a change of heart.

Question: Is it too early to get any plot-related Big Love scoop? —Rachael
Ausiello: It’s sure not. Ex-president Gregory Itzin tells us that his senator character and newly elected Bill “will butt heads. [Since] he’s come out as a polygamist, he’s taking a lot of political heat, and I become the spearhead for that, because I am the Speaker of the House.” But before the conclusion of the 24 baddie’s arc—he’s in at least five of the season’s 10 episodes—”I extend an olive branch, and he does too. But,” he adds, “I don’t know how long that will last.”

Question: Some Gossip Girl scoop regarding Rufus and Lily, please. They’re my favorite couple, and we’ve heard nothing about them. —Sly
Ausiello: A certain rat Bass-tard is going to come between them early in the season—relax, I’m not talking romantically. While Lily is more than willing to forgive Chuck for what happened with Jenny, Rufus is having a harder time moving past it. And just when he finally starts to come around, Eric lets him in on a little secret (hint: It pertains to an ugly incident from the pilot). Cue World War III.

Question: I fell in love with Dan and Vanessa last season on Gossip Girl. Needless to say, Dan’s out-of-nowhere “signs” about Serena in the finale threw me for a loop. Please say Dan and Vanessa aren’t over for good as a couple. —Sarah
Ausiello: I’m guessing it’s not over, since they move in together in episode 3!

Question: Got anything on Brothers & Sisters? —Tim
Ausiello: Producers are looking for a “celebrity name” to play Gilles Marini’s gorgeous (natch) sixtysomething TV mom, who comes to town and makes quite an impression on the Walker family. Got casting tips? Hit the comments!

Question: What happened to Duck on Mad Men? —Karen
Ausiello: I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll find out in this Sunday’s episode. Meanwhile, Rich Sommer (Harry) says he’s optimistic that current contract talks between series creator Matthew Weiner and Lionsgate will yield a positive outcome. “I think the show is him,” he says. “Could a show called Mad Men exist without Matt Weiner? It wouldn’t be the Mad Men that we know and care about. Hopefully everything will get worked out soon, and I will get the phone call saying so.”

Question: I will be cutting my Smurf doll in half unless I receive some good How I Met Your Mother scoop. Your move, Ausiello. —Matt
Ausiello: Back away from the doll! [Beat] Take another step back. [Beat] You’re still too close. [Beat] Okay, that’s good. Marshall and Lily waste no time starting Project Concepción. “We’re going to pick up right where season 5 left off—it’s night 1 of them trying to have a baby,” previews exec producer Craig Thomas. “I’m not saying it’s going to be pornographic, but we are going to dig right into Attempt No. 1. We’re going to join them at the very beginning of that journey.” In other HIMYM news…wedding scoop!

Question: I’m in desperate need of some Weeds scoop, especially regarding Andy! —Kristen
Ausiello: Someone’s about to get gang-spanked, and that someone is Andy.

Question: Please tell me some good 30 Rock scoop! —Cindy
Ausiello: Would you settle for good-ish? A casting call has gone out for an African-American male in the 30s-60s age range to play Rutherford Rice, the distinguished, well-spoken host of Right On, a fictitious talk show focusing on African-American issues. Is it racist of me to assume this probably involves Tracy? Probably.

Question: Are you going to make a list of the new shows we should watch, and the ones that we should miss? I have no idea how to set my DVR! —Amanda
Ausiello: Help has arrived…

Watch: Lone Star (Fox), Undercovers (ABC), The Event (NBC), No Ordinary Family (ABC), Raising Hope (Fox), Mike & Molly (CBS), Better With You (ABC), Hawaii 5-0 (CBS), and Nikita (The CW).

Miss: $#*! My Dad Says (CBS) and Hellcats (The CW).

If a new show you’re curious about isn’t listed above, it means either I’m on the fence (e.g., CBS’ The Defenders) or I haven’t watched the pilot yet (e.g., Outlaw).

Question: I’m sure you’re sick of Castle/Beckett-related questions, but it has to be asked: Is there any good news on the horizon for them? —Darla
Ausiello: There is good news: Series creator Andrew W. Marlowe confirms that they will hook up—eventually. “There will come a time in the series when [a relationship] will be worth exploring,” he says. “But I don’t think the characters are ready to go to that level now. We still have a lot of storytelling—a lot of near misses—left to explore and play with. In many ways, Beckett is still a mystery to Castle. She has other things going on in her life that she’s very cautious about exposing to him because she feels that he’s not ready. I think the fun of the series is watching them do that dance. And the dance can continue evolving to the point where they can be in a relationship. I just don’t think they’re ready for that right now.” That’s sorta good news, right?!

Question: Got any Castle scoop for us? —Jennifer
Ausiello: There’s a somewhat significant death in the second episode. I’m also hearing something about Castle revealing his REAL name.

Question: Thanks for the scoop about Monet Mazur (Gina) returning in Castle‘s fifth episode. Can you tell us anything else about the episode? What brings her back? —Heather
Ausiello: Per Marlowe, “Castle has to attend a charity event that Gina’s throwing that’s honoring her. Of course, Martha’s take on it is that it’s very narcissistic, but we find out later on that she’s doing it for all the noble reasons. The theme of the episode is the things we do for love.”

Question: Many fans of The Office are concerned that Pam dated Timothy Olyphant’s character post-Roy and pre-Jim. Is this the case? Is Jim just finding out about it now? —Matt
Ausiello: Yes to all of the above! According to executive producer Paul Lieberstein, Pam dated Olyphant while Jim was with Karen. “Everyone in the office makes a big deal of it, and we get into Jim’s jealousy a little bit,” he says. “It bothers him a little.”

Question: You tell us that Erica Durance is playing Isis on Smallville and you don’t elaborate? WTH? —Steve
Ausiello: Do you still not understand how this works? Ausiello TV is where the seed gets planted, and Ask Ausiello is where we watch the flower grow. Put another way, Ausiello TV is the foreplay to Ask Ausiello’s full-on shag. So whaddaya say we get down to business? “It’s an inhabitation story,” explains exec producer Brian Peterson of the Lois-Isis connection. “Lois is actually going to be possessed by the spirit of Isis.” Was it good for you, Steve? BTW, quick clarification: Smallville‘s Isis isn’t the DC Comics character Isis. It’s the Egyptian goddess Isis with a nod to the DC Isis. Understand? Good, now explain it to me.

Question: Anything on Chloe’s return yet on Smallville? —Maria26
Ausiello: Allison Mack will appear in the premiere and then return “in the middle of the season in a very impactful way in Clark’s life,” reveals Peterson. “It’s a great wrap-up to her character, and it also dovetails into the Chloe/Oliver relationship.”

Question: I have loved this season of Burn Notice so far, and I’m totally digging the addition of Coby Bell. But last week’s episode has me wondering: Now that (SPOILER ALERT!) Jesse knows that Michael burned him, what will become of Mr. Bell? —Kristina
Ausiello: He’ll be back for the second half of the season, don’t you worry. In the meantime, Jesse makes a choice in this week’s finale that will affect Michael in a major way. In possibly related news, the cliff-hanger finds Michael in the most perilous situation we’ve ever seen him in. And this dude’s been in some seriously perilous situations.

Question: The last two Ask Ausiellos haven’t had any scoop on the best series at this moment: The Good Wife! —Ingmar
Ausiello: Good thing we spoke to Alan Cumming over the weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys or else it would’ve been three in a row. Look for Eli to get “more heavily involved in Peter’s campaign,” he teases about his character’s story line this fall. “He gets meaner and ruthlesser.” Regarding his recent upgrade to series regular, Cumming says the biggest difference is “I get paid more. And I sort of have an idea of where my character is going now. [Before] I had no idea what was going to happen. The next week I could’ve been a murderer.”

Question: What are the chances Chuck will get a back-nine order? I’m freaking out over here! —Eric
Ausiello: I assumed exec producers Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz would be too. But they’re not. As Schwartz points out, “We never started a season with more than 13 episodes. Like last year, we will hope for the best, plan for the worst, and be ready to have an incredible final episode 13 if need be with a contingency plan to keep the season going.” Adds Fedak: “Episode 13 no matter what will be epic.”
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