Welcome back from press tour! Did you bring us gifts? — Angel
Ausiello: Have I ever come back from press tour empty handed? And I’m not just talking about the three refrigerator boxes full of swag I shipped home. (Relax, I’m planning to re-gift most of it.) I’m talking about an Ask Ausiello column that’s so jam-packed with exclusive scoop that it’s coming to you a day late!
Any scoop on when Kristin Kreuk will be returning to Smallville? — Ian
Ausiello: Would you believe sweeps? Shocking, I know. According to exec producer Brian Wayne Peterson, who I cornered at The CW’s press tour party last week, Kreuk’s five-episode stint as Lana will kick off in early November. "She’ll come back at a very inopportune time for Clark," he hints. In the meantime, while Ms. Lang’s off "giving Clark some space," the man who would be Super will be growing closer to Lois. "They’ll be working together this year at Daily Planet," Peterson says, "and some friction is going to come out of that." Not to mention several winks to classic Superman lore — beginning in the season premiere. Teases Peterson: "There might be a phone booth moment between the two of them."
Now that Al Gough and Miles Millar are gone from Smallville, will the new show-runners amend their "No flights, no tights" policy? — Jeremy
Ausiello: Um… hell, yeah! "We are respecting everything that Al and Miles have set up," offers Peterson, choosing his words carefully. "All I’ll say is we can definitely guarantee that there are no tights."
Any other scoop about Smallville? — Patricia
Ausiello: Obviously, I wasn’t going to cut Peterson lose without asking him about Smallville‘s most celebrated non-couple, Clark and Chloe. "We definitely touch on [her feelings for him]," he says. Adds fellow EP Todd Slavkin: "They’ve been best friends for a long time, and Clark would never get in the way of her pursuing her happiness. But oftentimes, feelings have a way of creeping in. That’s all we’ll say." Um, you’ve said more than enough, my friend. More than enough!
Any juicy spoilers on House MD? — Beth
Ausiello: Are we still doing the "MD" part? No? Didn’t think so. Anyway, to answer your question, yes, the highly-anticipated second episode of Ausiello TV (debuting this Friday) will have some juicy House spoilers.
Most surreal moment of press tour? — Cindy
Ausiello: It’s a tie between my hatchet-burying red carpet run-in with
Invasion’s Prison Break‘s William Fichtner (video coming soon), and Mary Louise Parker’s near-collision with ex Billy Crudup at the CBS/Paramount party. I haven’t seen that many panicked publicists since Star Jones tripped on her train while working the Emmy red carpet for E! three years ago.
Got any more details on Lady Heather’s return to CSI? — Christy
Ausiello: Yes, but if you’re of the opinion that there’s only one woman for Grissom and her name rhymes with Farrah then you may want to jump ahead to the next question. According to executive producer Naren Shankar, when Melinda Clarke’s dominatrix returns in November to console an in-crisis Grissom, "This will be the most intimate that we have seen them." Shankar’s partner in Crime, EP Carol Mendelsohn, takes it a step further, revealing that, "Grissom will go to bed at Lady Heather’s. Whether he will go to bed with Lady Heather remains to be seen. But Grissom will spend most of that episode at Lady Heather’s."
What kind of "genetic quirk" will Grissom’s CSI replacement possess exactly? — Jaime
Ausiello: He’s going to have some funky (and potentially lethal) DNA. Hint: This isn’t the first time a character in the CSI-verse had this specific abnormality.
Dirty Sexy Money spoilers? — Trish
Ausiello: As I first revealed in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, the newly-retooled season premiere will feature a significant death.
How’s about a piece of Pushing Daisies casting scoop? — Amy
Ausiello: How about… OK! The O.C.‘s Taylor Townsend herself, Autumn Reeser, will guest star in the season premiere as a Southern Belle named Kentucky Fritz who has a deadly run-in with some killer bees. "She’s the number one girl at Betty’s Bees, who may or may not have been up to some mischief when she was stung to death by a swarm of bees," teases Daisies creator Bryan Fuller. The gig reunites Reeser with actress Missi Pyle (aka Betty Bee); the two appeared in an episode of Fox’s short-lived Wedding Bells that, unfortunately, no one ever saw. "I walked down the aisle to ‘Maria’ from Sound of Music," Reeser recalls. "But the show was canceled before it aired." Ironically, sounds like an episode I would’ve actually watched.
I know that you hate One Tree Hill, so I was hoping with all your happiness with you new digs, that you could throw me a bone! — Robin
Ausiello: Hate is such a strong word. Appropriate in this instance, but a strong word nonetheless. Anywho, here’s your bone (it’s a big one, so get ready): Lindsey’s back! Sources confirm to me exclusively that Michaela McManus’ new bosses at Law & Order: SVU have given her the OK to return to OTH this season. For how long, you ask? I’m not sayin’! In other words, don’t be so sure you’ve got the "Who’d Lucas Call?" cliffhanger figured out.
Any news on the Ugly Betty triangle front? Team Gio supporters need some good news. — June
Ausiello: You might want to consider joining a new team. I hear Freddy Rodriguez won’t be returning this season in any significant capacity. And defecting to Team Henry isn’t an option either. As previously reported, Harper’s Island-bound Christopher Gorham has parted ways with Betty as well.
What’s this I’m hearing about Jean Smart returning to 24? True? — David
Ausiello: False. However, exec producer Jon Cassar told me at press tour that we will find out what happened to crazy Martha this season. He also hinted that the fate of her hubby, the presumed-dead Pres. Logan, may not remain a mystery forever. For more on that — and the latest on the return of Jack’s cougar-lovin’ daughter, Kim — check out my column in the new issue of EW, on sale tomorrow.
I have fallen in love with Swingtown. What are its renewal odds? — Yolanda
Ausiello: Somewhere between "eh" and "nah." Luckily, exec producer Alan Poul tells me that the season finale could easily double as a series finale if need be. "The season ends with a cliffhanger, but it’s also a completely satisfying ending," he says. "So, if we go forward, there are many new things that are set up to explore. And if we don’t go forward, there’s no feeling that we’ve been left with something incomplete."
How about spilling something about Entourage? — Jesse
Ausiello: How about a scoop wrapped in a riddle? Kevin Dillon recently taped a segment on The View, only, A) it will never air on ABC, and B) he was there to promote a show called "Five Towns." Guesses? Scroll down to the comments!
Barb and Christine are getting married on The New Adventures of Old Christine? I’m all for gay marriage, but it needs to be Christine and Daniel. — Andrea
Ausiello: Actually, after hearing where this story is headed, I’m fairly certain it needs to be Barb and Christine. Although Julia Louis-Dreyfus was very reluctant to reveal details of this hilarious plot twist at press tour, she was willing to divulge to me that the union will last the entire season (at least), the unlikely duo will keep separate residences, and when series creator Kari Lizer pitched her the idea last month, her response went something like this: "Bring it on." Actually, since that’s a direct quote, it’s safe to say it went exactly like that.
Chi McBride was robbed of an Emmy nod for Pushing Daisies! — Todd
Ausiello: I couldn’t agree more. At least he’s getting a pretty nice consolation prize — an on-screen mother! That’s right, Daisies is casting the role of Emerson’s no-nonsense, chain-smoking and, get this, Caucasian mom.
Can you please give me some Grey’s Anatomy scoop? — Bryan
Ausiello: An epidemic of Gay Panic Syndrome will overtake Seattle Grace in the season premiere. At least according to Brooke Smith, who confirmed via this video interview that there would be some serious fallout from the big Callie/Hahn smooch. And just a friendly reminder that all of my on-camera interviews from press tour can now be viewed over at the ATV video hub, free of charge. My personal faves: Hugh Laurie, James Roday, Zachary Levi, Connie Britton and Adrianne Palicki, Sarah Chalke, Michael Urie and Becki Newton, Jesse Plemons, and Chris Lowell. But, really, you should watch them all.
Any idea what Season 5 of CSI: NY will bring for Danny/Lindsay fans? — Amy
Ausiello: Rikki’s returning, so you tell me. Actually, I’ll let NY EP Pam Veasey tell us all. "It’s going to be a little rocky for them this season," she reveals. "A lot of things are going to happen with Danny that don’t involve Lindsay, but she’s going to come to the rescue and still be a part of that relationship." Hmm… perhaps those pregnancy rumors are true? Veasey’s not saying, but this much she does divulge: Danny won’t be the only man in Lindsay’s life. "She’ll have eyes for someone else," she teases of the yet-to-be-cast role. "He’ll recur for several episodes and, of course, he’ll be very attractive." Yikes, it’s a throng of D/L fans! They’re coming at me — and they’re carrying pitchforks! Gotta run! Send questions/hot tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya next week!