Question: I’m so sick of seeing the words "Grey’s Anatomy" in your column every week! How about you dig up some dirt on Bones for a change? — Jordan
Ausiello: Bones… Dig… Dirt… That’s the kind of genius play on words that inspires big-time scoopage. It was a year ago that Bones planted a wet one on Booth, so the time seems right to grill exec producer Hart Hanson about the eagerly awaited follow-up smooch. When is it happening? And will this one be real — as in, not part of some bet? "I think we’ll do a little better this season than just an actual, real kiss," Hanson teases. "But you tell me in about three months whether we’ve succeeded or not. There are a couple of things I’ve already said they’ll do: I’ve said they’ll be naked in bed, and I’ve said she will ask him to father her child. So, I think we’re moving toward something bigger than just a kiss." What could possibly be bigger that sucking face? Yep, sex was my first guess, too. "The truth is," Hanson counters, "if [two people] share a kiss and they’re in their mid-’30s, how long is it going to be before they consummate? My intention is to keep [the audience] very frustrated." Getting back to the how long before they consummate question, I’m thinking May sweeps. Why? Keep reading…
Question: I’m skeptical about Bones and Booth being in bed together naked. Is this a big fake-out? — Kelly
Ausiello: Depends what you’re definition of the word "fake-out" is. While Hart Hanson confirms that the pair will definitely end up in bed together naked (most likely during May sweeps), he refuses to disclose the context, except to say, "It’s not free of encumbrance. It’s not free and clear. Nothing is easy on Bones."
Question: Your fired actor blind item is killing me. Is it too much to ask for one clue? — Dana
Ausiello: As a matter of fact, it is.
Question: I’ve heard more Bones scoop from my dog than you, Ausiello. Please give me something! — Emily
Ausiello: Oh, yeah, well… did your dog tell you that Papa Booth’s coming to town! ‘Cause he just might be some day maybe! Explains Hart Hanson: "Booth has some issues with his dad, so we may bring in his father this season. We also talked about having his grandfather show up, but I’m not sure that will happen."
Question: In a just-released ABC press release about Lost, it states that Jeremy Davies and Ken Leung will be part of the main cast, but Rebecca Mader is not. Do you have any information that may explain this? — Eric
Ausiello: Jeremy and Ken are series regulars; Rebecca is not. Easy peesy. In other Lost news, awesome promo alert!
Question: The Unit is, without question, the most underappreciated show on TV! Got scoop? — Gooch
Ausiello: Do I! Robert Patrick’s getting his own Emmy episode. Or rather, he would be if Emmy would just watch the show already! An upcoming Tom-centric hour will feature flashbacks to the military man at ages 9, 15 and 19. As an added bonus, the kid cast as the 19-year-old Tom will get to play a scene with Eric Haney, the original Delta Force member whose book inspired the series.
Question: Got anything on The Unit for me? — Julia
Ausiello: Indeed, and especially if you’re in the 18-49-year-old female demo. A new recurring character named Zach Bradshaw but called Sam (I don’t get it, either) is being cast. According to my sources, he’s a twentysomething maverick who, in his debut, is put to the kind of test that would leave James Bond shaken (not stirred).
Question: Is True Blood returning for a second season? And, if so, got scoop? — Jeremy
Ausiello: Not only is there fresh Blood on the way, there’s also fresh… um, blood. The vamp hit is on the hunt for a new series regular to play Sarah, the pleasure-seeking missus of Steve Newlin, the Fellowship of the Sun’s big kahuna. New semi-regulars are also being sought for six-episode arcs as Daphne, Merlotte’s new waitress (and Sam’s likely new love interest), and Luke, a burly twentysomething who’s as dedicated to religion as Jason is to sex.
Question: I have recently become obsessed with Friday Night Lights. Any juicy gossip to share? — Anna
Ausiello: Get this: By season’s end, Dillon will open a second high school, upending both the town’s storied football program and Coach Taylor’s tenure as Panthers coach. Also, the finale (airing Jan. 14 on DirecTV – NBC reruns the season starting Jan. 16) will jump ahead five months to the end of the school year, at which point we’ll have a good idea who’ll be moving away to college and who’ll be sticking around for a possible fourth season. Hint: You might want to start saying your good-byes now, ’cause there are a lot of ’em.
Question: What are you hearing about the final episodes of ER? — Joel
Ausiello: I’m hearing they’ve found a way to tie all 600 seasons together. "How?" you ask. "With a very old man," I answer. The show is looking for an actor who’s pushing 80 (In Hollywood? Good luck!) to play a mugging victim who, through a bajillion flashbacks, is revealed to have been behind the founding of County General’s Emergency Room.
Question: Sam Who scoop? Please? — Melda
Ausiello: You’re gonna love this, and so will Sharon Lawrence’s agents (at least they should — she’s perfect for the part!). In an upcoming episode, we’ll meet Regina’s estranged sister, Amy, a glamour gal who quickly bonds with her impressionable amnesiac niece, Sam. This just in: Rosie’s BFF, Christine Ebersole, got the role! Sorry, Sharon.
Question: Nip/Tuck Scoop/Please? — Dani
Ausiello: O/K. Among the curious characters we’ll meet this year are an overweight nudist — we’re talking Star Jones-before-the-"medical intervention"-overweight — whose confidence mystifies Christian and a couple that’s considering taking the fixation with Barbie and Ken to what I can only assume would be its logical, surgical conclusion.
Question: As an avid Chuck fan, I have to ask: Where the heck is Anna? We haven’t seen her in weeks, and there was only a passing mention that she was at her parents’ for Thanksgiving. Is Julia Ling okay? The Buy More plots aren’t the same without her. — Katie
Ausiello: Fear not, Ling remains a part of the cast, albeit not as big a part as, say, Zach Levi. Like many of Chuck‘s supporting players, her contract isn’t for all shows produced (or ASP). The good news: She’s back in a huge way next week.
Question: Chuck question: Is the Dark Intersect from "Chuck vs The Suburbs" (episode 14) going to form the basis for a Feb/March sweeps trilogy? And how will the Dark Intersect affect Chuck? — Lou
Ausiello: I’m going to throw this one to Josh Schwartz. "The Dark Intersect is the first sign that the bad guys (read: FULCRUM) are figuring out that if they can’t find the Intersect, why not rebuild it — which makes Chuck even more valuable. And yes, it is a trilogy."
Question: You said you wouldn’t tell, but c’mon! You can’t hide things from us! Especially if we tempt you with some Diet Snapple! So, who’s the main character that’s been axed? — Joel
Ausiello: I’m sorry, but I really have to play this one close to the vest. That means no clues, hints, asterisk quizzes, charades, etc. Sorry.
Question: I apologize if I offended you awhile back. Got any more spoilers for NCIS? — Charles
Ausiello: Apology accepted. We’re totally cool, Chuck. And to prove it, here’s your NCIS scoop: In an upcoming episode, McGee finds himself trapped with dozens of women. Baw chika bow wow, right? Wrong. The women are in prison and they’re holding him hostage. "It’s a tense, exciting episode," reveals executive producer Shane Brennan. "Sean Murray puts in a fabulous performance. The story also reveals a little about McGee’s romantic past." (Editor’s note: Anyone know who the hell this Charles guy is and what he did to offend me? Send anonymous tips to email@example.com )
Question: Please tell me that you saw the Smurf balloon in the parade! — John
Ausiello: Meh, I wasn’t impressed. I have one twice that size sitting in my basement storage unit.
Question: Any news about the Veronica Mars movie? — Hailey
Ausiello: Yes, and it’s less than ideal (but totally understandable). Basically, between Cupid 2.0 and Party Down, Rob Thomas has been a very, very, very busy man. "I haven’t gotten far on my VM movie outline," he tells me. "I thought I had the idea broken, but I’ve hit a wall in the final act that I haven’t quite figured out. And with Cupid and Party Down occupying 80 hours a week, and a new baby boy occupying the remaining hours, I haven’t nailed it down. I’m hopeful that I can find the time to figure it out over the Christmas holidays." Take your time, Rob! We’re not going anywhere!
Question: I can’t believe Sylar killed Elle. Why would Heroes get rid of Kirsten Bell? — Sarah
Ausiello: Kristen’s return was never meant to be long term, so she was leaving one way or the other. But as I hinted in last week’s AA, I wasn’t expecting her exit to be so permanent. And it is permanent. Unlike 90 percent of the deaths on Heroes, this one will stick. Ironic, no?
Question: What’s the latest on Izzie and Denny on Grey’s Anatomy? Any word on how/if it will pay off? — Alex
Ausiello: Not a peep. But riddle me this: Don’t you find it odd, not to mention a little suspicious, that Katherine Heigl — the outspoken star of such scandals as Emmygate and Isaiahgate – hasn’t expressed a single opinion about this storyline yet? Just putting that out there.
Question: What’s the buzz on ABC Family’s 10 Things I Hate About You? — Claire
Ausiello: The buzz is good, but I suspect that has a lot to do with its promising pedigree: Greek exec producer Carter Covington is the show-runner. As already reported, Gregory Peck’s grandson, Ethan, has been cast in the Heath Ledger role. As not previously reported (until just now), Larry Miller (Boston Legal, 8 Simple Rules, etc) will play the father to Kat and Bianca (Lindsey Shaw and Jette Martin, respectively). It’s a role he should be comfortable with since, well… see the comments section for more. (Sorry, not everyone has seen 10 Things!)
Question: After watching The Shield finale, should I write in Walton Goggins for an Emmy nomination? — Chris
Ausiello: I don’t think the Academy accepts write-ins from non-members, but, hey, Walton was so unbelievable this season maybe they’ll make an exception. It’s definitely worth a shot!
Question: I’ve been reading all sorts of nutty things about the Tori Spelling episode of Smallville. I can’t believe that Clark comes out to the world as an alien! Is this going to stick, or are we looking at another case where time travel/mind wipes fix everything? — Robbie
Ausiello: I can confirm that Clark does, in fact, come out as an E.T. during an interview with Lois. I can also confirm that said revelation causes mass chaos.
Question: I know it’s probably way too early to be asking this, but what are the chances, if ABC does further irreparable damage to Pushing Daisies fans by not airing the remaining episodes, the second season will be released on DVD? — Beth
Ausiello: Considering the season 1 DVD sold well, I’d say the chances are very good.
Question: I’m still deeply in mourning over Pushing Daisies. But in all the worry about Daisies, I haven’t seen anything anywhere on my other two dearly departed ABC shows. Any word on whether Dirty Sexy Money or Eli Stone‘s final episodes will provide any closure? Three of my favorite shows being dropped mid-storyline would be too much to bear. — Robert
Ausiello: Good news. Unlike Daisies, DSM and Eli had the time and money to produce what an ABC insider describes as "satisfying series endings." DSM will finally answer the question, "Who whacked Dutch?" (brace yourself for a killer twist), while Eli wraps with what my source describes as a "powerful scene between Eli and his father."
Question: Stop jerking us around with all these song lyrics and tell us something specific about House‘s Christmas outing next week. — Sherri
Ausiello: Chase and Cameron are in the ep! The new team grills C&C about the anonymous Xmas gift House receives at the hospital. They want to know who sent it and they want to know now. Too bad they’re barking up the wrong tree for answers. (Was that better, Sherri?)
Question: One Tree Hill: What’s wrong with Peyton? Cancer? Pregnant? I’m dying to find out! — Christine
Ausiello: It’s one of those!
Question: Will the Blacks be a part of Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s new season? — David
Ausiello: One of ’em will: Vivica A. Fox has signed on to return for at least two episodes.
Question: Any new news on the contract talks with AMC and Mad Men exec producer Matt Weiner? — G
Ausiello: No movement that I know of. In other Mad Men news, perennial supporting actress contender January Jones wisely decided to enter herself into the lead actress race at this year’s Golden Globes. Her superior season 2 work more than justified the upgrade, wouldn’t you say? The only drawback: She’ll have to go head-to-head with the equally awesome Elizabeth Moss.
Question: How are you doing today? My name is Lili Aba. l saw your profile today and became interested in you. l will also like to know you the more and l want you to send an email to my email address so that l can give you my picture for you to know whom l am. Remember, the distance or colour does not matter but love matters alot in life. Please contact me. — Lilian
Ausiello: Okay, you win! The fired actor/actress is over the age of 30 and the show he/she works on does not air on Fox or The CW. That’s all you’re getting from me!
Send questions/hot tips/early Christmas presents to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Additional reporting by Andy Patrick)
More TV Scoop:
Last week’s Ask Ausiello
Reaper returns in March
CSI: NY casting news
Lost searching for a new Sayid!