Ausiello: Yes — the entire cast will be following T.R. Knight out the door. At least series creator Shonda Rhimes is braced for them to. Eventually. She got to thinking about it both because of Knight’s exit and Ellen Pompeo’s impending maternity leave. “It’s going to be tricky,” Rhimes acknowledges. “Ellen is incredibly optimistic and somehow thinks she’ll be back and ready to rock ‘n’ roll. [But] I have a child, so I know that that’s not true. [So] we have a lovely story [on deck] that will take us into her maternity leave. And we have plans for some really interesting stand-alone episodes for [while she’s gone]. But we’re heading towards the future of the show and eventually, unless we’re really lucky, everybody’s going to go. That’s what the end of season 5 taught me. So we’re looking at, How do we mess with that structure now while we have everybody and figure out ways in which, ‘What would we do without Ellen? What would we do if we had an episode without Patrick Dempsey?’ So season 6 is important. A lot of shows don’t make it through season 6 because they don’t know how to transition.” Can Rhimes envision Grey’s someday going on with Pompeo (and Mer) completely out of the picture?! “I don’t know” she hedges. “I clearly want Mer Grey on the show for as long as Ellen Pompeo wants to be on the show; that’s not even a question. But I think that there’s a possibility of [her leaving for good at some point]. I haven’t even thought that far. That’s the one blank spot I have in my head. I can’t really picture Mer Grey not on the show. But [at least] we have Lexie Grey. There is another Grey if we really needed one.” But would anyone watch Lexie Grey’s Anatomy? Would you? Scroll down to the comments! (BTW, here’s an exclusive first look at this week’s Grey’s-themed EW cover story, penned by yours truly!)
Question: Will Ellen Pompeo’s pregnancy be written into Grey’s Anatomy?
–John Ausiello: No. “Ellen is pregnant, but Meredith is not,” Rhimes tells me. “Meredith wouldn’t be pregnant [right now].”
Question: Now that Grey’s Anatomy has finally started production, you got anything? And I really mean anything. –Dana
Ausiello: Look for Owen’s PTSD to possibly flare up in the Sept. 24 opener. I say this because my Grey’s mole tells me that Seattle Grace’s go-to shrink, Amy Madigan, will appear in the second hour of the two-hour premiere.
Question: So, what exactly will you be doing during your virgin Comic-Con voyage? –Damon
Ausiello: You mean when I’m not riding around the convention floor in the Pope’s bulletproof jitney? I’ll be holed up in Entertainment Weekly‘s ultra swanky (or so they tell me!) suite interviewing lots of famous TV people on camera. The resulting video will then be quickly uploaded to the blog you’re currently reading, so check back often. But first do me a solid and send me some really smart questions to ask the folks listed below via firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and as for the 75 of you coming to my very first Aushole gathering tonight, I can’t wait for you to tell me how much thinner I am in person to meet you! Kristen Bell Michael C. Hall/Dexter Lucy Lawless/Spartacus Jim Caviezel/The Prisoner Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku/Dollhouse David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel/Bones The Big Bang Theory cast 24 cast Stargate Universe cast True Blood cast V cast Vampire Diaries cast Chuck cast
Question: I have a need for Speed! So will we be seeing Speed(le) in the flashback episode of CSI:Miami, or did Rory Cochrane turn it down? –Kristine
Ausiello: Believe it or not, Rory Cochrane turned ‘em down. I kid you not. Methinks someone’s still a little peeved about getting killed off. Question: Please more CSI: Miami scoop! –Jordan
Ausiello: The aforementioned flashback episode will reveal how Tripp lost all his hair — and it wasn’t because he was late to the Propecia party. As exec producer Ann Donahue explains, “We’ll see Tripp with a comb over and Calleigh says something like, ‘You know, bald men are really sexy.’ And then the next time we see him he’s shaved his head.”
Question: Will Grissom be joining Sara back on CSI early in the season? –Lois
Ausiello: No, but some old friends of his will be. Exec producer Carol Mendelsohn reveals to me exclusively that CSI will be bringing back a few members of the infamous Millander clan in this season’s second episode. “The last time we saw [serial killer] Paul Millander was in season 2 when Grissom had dinner at [his alter ego] Judge Mason’s house, because, if you remember Paul lived a double life as a judge. And we met Mrs. Mason and their young son, Craig. Well, Paul’s dead, but Mrs. Mason and Craig live on. And we will see them in episode 2.” Why? Keep reading for a possible clue…
Question: The season premiere of CSI is only two months away. I’m sure that you’ve gotten some kind of spoiler or tidbit to throw to us! –Andy and Rebecca
Ausiello: You can drop the “or.” I’ve got a spoiler and a tidbit, courtesy of exec producer Naren Shankar. First the tidbit: “You’re going to get an explanation for that ring Langston (Laurence Fishburne) still has on his finger in [episode 2].” Now for the spoiler: “We’re going to launch a new season-long serial killer arc. Starting at the end of our premiere, a brand new nemesis [will emerge] who has a very unique way of killing.” More unique than that whole miniature thing? “This time, the crime scene is always the body,” Shankar teases. “We’re calling him Dr. Jekyl.”
Question: Will David Ramsey (Anton) be back for the fourth season of Dexter? –Katya
Question: Any info on Bones? –Grace
Ausiello: The show is looking for an actress in her late teens to play Cam’s adopted daughter Michelle. I know what you’re thinking: “We’ve already met Cam’s adopted daughter Michelle!” Do I have to draw you a picture? Obviously, we’re going to learn that Cam’s got another adopted daughter around the same age and with the same name. Duh.
Question: Regarding the controversial hookup that Dan partakes in on Gossip Girl — is the show finally following the books and exploring Dan’s bisexuality? –Michael
Ausiello: That’s a negative. His controversial hookup is with a girl.
Question: Okay, I’m ready for another clue about the lead character getting shot multiple times. At least eliminate a show from the list. –Bruce
Ausiello: It’s not Mad Men.
Question: Any scoop on Nurse Jackie? –Soomi
Ausiello: Peter Facinelli’s Coop kisses a dude in the season finale.
Question: Out of all the fall pilots you’ve seen, which are your three favorite broadcast comedies and dramas? –Conor
Ausiello: Modern Family, Cougar Town, and Community are tops among comedies, while Parenthood, Vampire Diaries, and The Good Wife rate best among dramas. But I still have a bunch more to watch, including Flash Forward.
Question: What does ABC plan to do to reestablish Ugly Betty as a force again? –Dave
Ausiello: You mean aside from moving it to red-hot Friday nights? Well, it looks like the musical episode is finally going to happen in the spring. And they just hired Meadow Soprano to play Daniel’s new assistant. Oh, and Rescue Me‘s Adam Ferrera is guest starring as a Queens contractor who crosses paths with Hilda. That’s all I got at the moment.
Question: I’m sad Kirk Acevedo is leaving Fringe, but what I really want to know is if Ari Graynor is coming back for season 2. She and the niece added something special to the show, and showed us a different side of Olivia. –Tim
Ausiello: Yes, Graynor’s Rachel returns in the season premiere. Her involvement beyond that is TBD.
Question: Do you have any information on Barney and Robin on the next season of How I Met Your Mother? –Lynn
Ausiello: Their relationship will be one of two major focal points of season 5, per exec producer Craig Thomas. “Barney’s feelings for Robin are out there, and it seems like Robin might have feelings for Barney herself,” he says. “And it’s so much fun to write for two people who are emotionally illiterate like the two of them are.” (For the record, the other major season 5 story is the Mother being one of Ted’s students.)
Question: Any more scoop on Eric McCormack’s arc on Old Christine? –Joey
Ausiello: “He’s going to be a therapist in Matthew’s suite of therapist offices and I’m going to start to see him as a therapist,” says leading lady Julia Louis-Dreyfus, adding that, “a [possible] romance and plenty of dysfunction abounds.” JLD also tells me that Wanda Sykes’ upcoming late night talk show on Fox shouldn’t interfere with her day job as Christine’s sassy sidekick. “But I’ll let you know a couple of months in,” she adds with a laugh.
Question: Do you know if Kate Voegele, Ashley Rickards, and Stephen Colletti will be reprising their roles as Mia, Sam, and Chase next season on One Tree Hill? –Jillian
Ausiello: Yes, maybe, and yes.
Question: Are you doing the Press Tour Diaries this year? –Christine
Ausiello: Let’s get through the Con first, k?
Question: Any info on which ABC show Dominic Monaghan will be on this season? I’ve scoured the web high and low and couldn’t find any info. –Stacey
Ausiello: I think you mean what shows. And you’ll get your answer soon enough.
Question: I can’t wait for Cougar Town. Do you have an spoilers? –Becca
Ausiello: Courteney Cox’s old Friends will definitely be paying her a visit. “You and I both know that we’ll do that eventually,” concedes exec producer Bill Lawrence of a visit from Aniston, Kudrow, Perry, Schwimmer, or LeBlanc. “But right now [ABC] is marketing and selling Courteney, not the [possible] guest stars.”
Question: What episode marks the return of Jennie Garth to 90210? –Lee
Ausiello: That would be episode 3.
Question: Has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like Brandon from The Killers? –Melissa
Ausiello: I’m not seeing it.
Question: I’m wondering if you have some Glee scoopage. –LH
Ausiello: Gilmore Girls crossover alert! Mitchum Huntzberger (a.k.a. actor Gregg Henry) has been cast as Quinn’s dad!
Question: Wow! Torchwood: Children of Earth pretty much ascended to a BSG level of fraktacularness. Is there even the slightest chance that the franchise will continue? Personally, I can’t see it coming back from the emotional shock at the end. –Amy
Ausiello: First off, we’re only up to Part Four here in the States, so watch the spoilers, missy. Second, yes, Torchwood will most likely live on, according to T-boss Russell T. Davies. “I’m fairly confident the series [will continue] in some shape or form,” he says. “I will just sit down and invent new stories and characters — that’s what I’ve spent my entire life doing.” Wait a sec, new characters? Jack will continue to be the show’s central hero, right? “Oh, I would think so,” he says. “I would hope so. He’s absolutely fundamental to Torchwood.” (For more on the emotional shock that Amy referred to above, come back here tonight after Part Four airs. Trust me.)
Question: Will the events of Torchwood: Children of Earth be referenced in any way during the upcoming Dr. Who specials? –Patrick
Ausiello: “Not as such, no,” says Davies, who is editing Dr. Who‘s “great big finale” as we speak. “My God, these [specials] are brilliant. I’m really happy with them.”
Question: One day I’ll remember it’s Thursday and I’ll ask you something. –Mia
Ausiello: I’ll be here! Okay, that’s a wrap! Send questions/comments/anonymous tips/Comic-Con sightings of me to email@example.com. Thanks for playing!