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Question: Any information on what’s going on with Tony and Ziva on NCIS? More than a few hints were dropped in Tuesday’s episode that suggest something went on between the two of them in Paris. —Jason
Ausiello: Funny story. Just hours before the episode aired, I asked exec producer Shane Brennan if there would be any significant movement on the ‘Tiva’ front in the coming months. Here’s what he said: “I’ll let the ‘Jetlag’ episode answer that, because I think it does. I don’t want to be more specific than that. People should watch that episode and read between the lines.” They so did it it’s not even funny.
Question: I’m hearing rumors Abby and McGee might be reuniting on NCIS. Please say it isn’t true! —Jo
Ausiello: Funny story: All Shane Brennan would divulge is, “Something begins to happen [with them] later in the season.” Okay, that one wasn’t so funny.
Question: Any romance for Gibbs this season on NCIS? —Amu
Ausiello: “There’s a scene coming up that will stir up a lot of conversation,” teases Shane Brennan when asked that very question. “Mark [Harmon] is at his finest in that episode. He does an amazing job. It’s a really great performance. The audience is going to love it, but they’re also going to go, ‘Oh my God — what’s happening?!’” Does it involve Rena Sofer’s new lawyer character? “Well, they seem to hate each other, so I don’t know how that’s going to happen,” he hedges. “I’ll say this: We already started laying the bread crumbs [for this storyline]. It’ll go down as one of the big moments on NCIS.”
Question: Got anything on Smallville? —Jay
Ausiello: Just this.
Question: Please give me Greek scoop! I love this show and so don’t want it to get canceled! —BK
Ausiello: In the Feb. 8 episode, Casey and Cappie have to play against each other in a softball tourney where Casey is partnered with Evan and Omega Chi and Cappie teams up with Katherine and the Gamma Psis. Previews series creator Sean Smith: “Look for a few nods to The Natural, Bull Durham and even a cross-dressing wink to A League of Their Own.”
Question: Ausiello, I must know. Are Leonard and Penny ever going to break up on The Big Bang Theory? —Beth
Ausiello: If they say romance is dead, Beth, you’re probably why. But this’ll make you happy: The university wants Leonard to spend his Valentine’s Day in Switzerland oohing and aahing over the CERN Supercollider. And, though the lil’ Hobbit is allowed to bring a guest, Sheldon will move heaven and earth to make sure that he’s Leonard’s plus-one rather than Penny. Something tells me we’ll be hearing again about “the roommate agreement” in this episode…
Question: Pretty please can I have some Big Bang Theory scoop? —Rachel
Ausiello: You had me at “pretty.” BBT just taped geek god Stan Lee’s guest appearance, so I have lotsa deets from the eppy: In it, Sheldon learns that he was photographed driving Penny to the hospital the night she dislocated her arm and, thus, has been ticketed. To make matters worse, his court date just happens to be the same day that his idol is having his comic-book signing. Presumably to get in and out of the courtroom faster, he calls Penny as a witness, then has her recite an account of what transpired in her own voice — as written by himself. More certainly than presumably, wacky chaos ensues.
Question: I love 30 Rock. I love Julianne Moore. But I do not love them together. Please tell me her stint is over. —Nick
Ausiello: I wish I could. I hear she’s going to inflict that atrocious Boston accent on us for at least two more episodes.
Question: Is there a chance Wilson will go on a date this season on House? —Martina
Ausiello: Not only is there a chance, it’s a good one. A really good one. In other House couples news, I hear House and Lucas will engage in some swordplay later this season. No, not that kind of swordplay.
Question: Tell us something about Hugh Laurie’s direction of episode 17. How’d he make out? —Denise
Ausiello: Let’s ask Lisa Edelstein: “I have been directed by Hugh Laurie and it was fantastic,” she declares. “It’s one thing to have a tall, strapping man around, but it’s quite another thing when he tells you what to do!” Lisa, don’t ever change.
Question: The boyfriend Glee is introducing for Kurt next season will be on the football team? Hooray, I finally solved one of your asterisk quizzes! —Carly
Ausiello: And you know what that means, right? You’ve made it to Level 2. Here’s your next quiz: Kurt isn’t the *n** seemingly celibate **ee *h*r***e* **tt*** * *o** i******t *e*t *e****.
Question: Any Glee scoop? —Jesse
Ausiello: Sounds like there’s some good Artie-Tina stuff in the upcoming Madonna-themed episode. “What I love about Artie is he’s just clueless,” exec producer Ryan Murphy told reporters last week at press tour. “We’re doing this thing [in the second episode back] where he’s a little bit sexist with her, and she kind of isn’t going to take it any more.”
Question: Any tidbits on where the Will/Emma relationship will be when Glee returns? —Rebecca
Ausiello: It’ll be in the Schuester living room! Allow me to explain: When I was on set last week, I observed Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mays shooting a scene that takes place in the Schuester living room. I’m not really sure what was going on, but I can confirm that they were alone. Not scoopy enough? Um… let’s see… Ryan Murphy says there’s an ongoing debate in the writers room about the pace of the Will/Emma romance. “We have a lot of conversations about, ‘When should they kiss again? When should they sleep together? Should they sleep together?’ We talk about that a lot.”
Question: Could you give us more details about Blair and Chuck’s break-up on Gossip Girl? —Larissa
Ausiello: Blame Jack Bass. It’s all his fault.
Question: No more Bryan Batt (Sal) on Mad Men? Say it isn’t so! —David
Ausiello: Don’t give up hope! While it’s true his contract option wasn’t picked up, Batt tells me he’s “hopeful that Sal is not gone for good. In the meantime, I’m auditioning for new projects, finalizing edits for my book, She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother, photographing homes for my next book, Mad For Design, and keeping busy with our shop in New Orleans.” New rule in Ask Ausiello: No more than two shameless plugs per customer.
Question: Back at Comic-Con, Bones exec producer Hart Hanson said that there would be a trial for the Gravedigger this season. Is that still happening? —Jill
Ausiello: That’s the plan. I suspect we’ll start to see some Gravedigger action in May.
Question: I’m absolutely dying for a Castle scoop. Is there any hope for some Beckett and Castle action in the near future? —Brittney
Ausiello: Depends how you define action. If you define it as two people who immerse themselves in the underground world of bondage when a high-end dominatrix is found murdered then yes, there will be some Beckett-Castle action in the near future.
Question: When are we going to get some background info about Peter on Fringe? We know he is from the alt universe, but other than that we know very little about him. —Emily
Ausiello: I have a hunch we’ll learn more in the April 1 episode, titled “Peter.” “It’s a window into the mysteries of Peter that have been promised since the first season,” explains consulting producer Akiva Goldsman. “It’s an episode that’s fundamentally about his relationship to Walter and the truth of where they are right now, which is pretty revelatory to the characters and hopefully the audience.” Will he finally find out that he’s from ‘over there’? “By the end of [the Feb. 4 episode] and into [the April 1 episode] questions about Peter’s identity and mortality go a long way towards being answered.”
Question: When are we going to see some development in the Peter/Olivia relationship on Fringe? —Serena
Ausiello: “The romantic elements of their relationship will come forward pretty soon,” teases Akiva Goldsman. “Like any courtship, it wanes, and then it comes back again. So that’s going to make another move forward [on Feb. 4], and then we’ll keep addressing it throughout the season.”
Question: I want to know if they’re ever going to use Special Agent Amy Jessup again on Fringe. I thought she was going to be Charlie’s replacement, then she just disappeared. —Emma
Ausiello: Responds Akiva Goldsman: “You have not seen the last of Agent Jessup.” And what about Charlie? “I plead the Fifth on that one.”
Question: Can you please share some Big Love spoilers? —Caroline
Ausiello: The Ben-Margene imbroglio will boil over next week when Bill finds out which one of them really initiated that kiss. When the dust settles, the population of the Henrickson compound will decrease by one.
Question: Are Dwight and Angela ever getting back together on The Office? —Mario
Ausiello: At Saturday’s SAG Awards, winner B.J. Novak hinted that Dwight and Angela would reunite “in a very interesting way,” adding, “They are not going to easily and quietly fall back into a relationship.”
Question: Hey, mister, got any Modern Family scoop? —Sarah P.
Ausiello: Yes, ma’am, I do. Coming soon to a TV near you…
* Luke and Ty go treasure hunting underneath the house.
* Haley takes her driving test.
* Cam challenges Jay to a game of racquetball.
* A vacation is in the works. “Our showrunners really wanna go to Hawaii,” says Eric Stonestreet (Cam). “I hear them hatching plots. And let’s face it, every great sitcom goes to Hawaii at some point.”
Question: Any chance you have a nice, juicy tidbit regarding Chuck? —SmurfLover
Ausiello: This one’s for all the gays and gals out there: “I have a shirtless scene coming up [in the March 1 episode],” reveals Brandon Routh (Shaw). “It’s a really big deal for me. I worked out like crazy for Superman Returns, but stayed behind the leotard most of the time so you never knew just how in shape I had gotten. Then I took some time off and let my body go a little. So when I heard this shirtless scene was coming up, I worked hard to have something good to show people.” I’m guessing producers liked what they saw. Routh tells us that his Chuck stint was recently extended from four to eight episodes.
Question: Any Grey’s Anatomy news? —Marion
Ausiello: Dexter‘s Courtney Ford — she played the Trinity Killer’s daughter, Christine, last season — is guest-starring in an upcoming episode as the sister of a lung transplant patient.
Question: When is The Closer returning? And do you have a spoiler or two? —Donald
Ausiello: It looks like you’ll have to wait until summer for the next batch of original episodes. On the scoop front, Jon Tenney says Brenda’s commitment to her job will continue to cause tension at home. “At the very end of the last episode, [Brenda and Fritz's] relationship was put to the test,” he says. “I think they are going to move that conflict to the forefront next season and test Brenda’s loyalties.”
Question: Any new spoilers for season 3 of True Blood? —Heather
Ausiello: Carrie Preston hints that “something very unexpected is going to happen with [her] character Arlene… [She] might just be nervous enough about the supernatural characters around her that she will try to do something about it. I think she is going to try to figure out a way to protect herself. She gets very upset. She doesn’t think vampires should be around children.”
Question: What’s Jason going to be up to on True Blood this season (aside from taking his shirt off, of course)? —Nick
Ausiello: “He finally discovers the long lost art of love,” reveals his portrayer, Ryan Kwanten. “Well, at least his version of. It gets him into more trouble than he expected. He’s also dealing with the fact that he committed a small crime in that he killed [Eggs].” What’s been his biggest acting challenge so far this season? “I start the season in bed with two girls,” he says. “Not that I couldn’t do it, but a challenge? Sure.”
Question: Anything on Leverage? —Bill
Ausiello: Luke Perry changes zip codes in the Feb. 3 episode to play a smarmy psychic who is more swindler than soothsayer. The team must pit con-job against con-job to expose him, especially after a cold reading leaves Parker in tears. And in the Feb. 17 season finale, Hutton and Co. try to take down a dangerous weapons dealer, all while the FBI inches closer and closer to catching them. Some unexpected friends (and enemies) will return, and others will make their exit.
Question: I’m having Melrose Place withdrawals! Please help me! —John
Ausiello: The season (or is it series?) will end with a shocking arrest. Feel better?
Question: I loved the ‘Tom is dead’ twist on Damages, but I’m worried this is a sign that the show will come to an end this season. Please tell me my fear is unfounded. —Margaret
Ausiello: Anxious minds think alike, Margaret. That thought crossed my mind as well, but exec producer Todd A. Kessler insists nothing could be further from the truth. “The prospect that it would be the last season and that’s why we’re telling this story is not really relevant [since] we came up with this story… back when we were writing the pilot,” he says. “We certainly hope there will be another season of the show. Glenn Close is signed on for six seasons, as is Rose Byrne.”
Question: Any idea how Brothers & Sisters plans to write out Rob Lowe? —Greg
Ausiellio: I have a really good idea, but I promised I’d keep my mouth shut. (Hint: Don’t put too much stock in what I deemed to be the two likeliest scenarios.)
That’s a wrap! Send questions/comments/anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks for playing! (Additional reporting by Sandra Gonzalez, Keith Staskiewicz, Carrie Bell, Andy Patrick, and Adam B. Vary)
Parsons: Spnja Flemming/CBS; Leonard: Michael Yarish/Fox; Harmon: Cliff Lipson/CBS; Glee: Fox