Question: In honor of Neil Patrick Harris being cast in the Smurfs movie, you should give us some big scoop. It’s what the Smurfs would want. —Riina
Ausiello: Actually, I just conducted a straw poll in Smurf Village and turns out what the Smurfs really wanted was me, not NPH. All kidding aside, I really did conduct a poll. And I won. By a landslide. Seriously. Moving on… here’s your big scoop: My magazine column is movin’ on up to the News & Notes section beginning with this week’s issue (on sale Friday). Someone please start a congratulatory thread in the comments section so I don’t have to.
Question: I heard Desperate Housewives is casting a new vixen to replace Nicolette Sheridan. Any idea whom they’re looking at to play her? —Scotty
Ausiello: You’re assuming the role is female. Speaking of Housewives, MAJOR SPOILER ALERT.
Question: Got some scoop for you: Neil Patrick Harris will play the live action lead in The Smurfs movie. Since I got you some scoop, how about some Lost scoop in return? —Antonio
Ausiello: Thanks for keeping me plugged-in, Antonio. Here’s your Lost scoop: If you’re expecting the Sawyer/Kate/Jack triangle to move front and center during these final 10 episodes, it may be time to start managing those expectations. “We’re moving into the endgame of the show [and] the stakes have moved beyond, ‘Who’s Kate going to pick?’ and into, ‘Is anyone going to be left alive?,’ says executive producer Damon Lindelof. “I hope [viewers are] going to be satisfied with what we’re doing, but we’re not writing a romance novel here. I understand in seasons past how that was much more relevant. We’re not neglecting it, but there’s a lot of fish to fry. The elements of the love triangle — Kate’s relationship with Jack, her relationship with Sawyer, Sawyer’s relationship with Juliet, who’s dead — are a huge part of the season. All that stuff is in play.”
Question: Will we find out why Richard doesn’t age on Lost? —Julie
Ausiello: Yes. The big reveal occurs in the March 23 Richard-centric episode. And if you think you know the answer, think again. “I definitely had a number of theories about why he doesn’t age and I was dead wrong,” confesses Nestor Carbonell, who adds that the episode is unconventional in that “the ‘A’ story focuses on the origins of this character. There’s a little bit of stuff on the island, but not much. It [mostly] deals with the past.” In other news, click here for a major scoop/spoiler!
Question: I kept reading about this Chuck guy from your spoilers, so I checked out Chuck and now I’m obsessed. Please give me some scoop. This really is your fault after all! —Heather
Ausiello: I’m more than happy to take the blame! On the scoop front, look for a major reveal — actually, make that three major reveals — about Casey in the March 15 episode. The following week, Chuck and Sarah go out on a stakate (that’s a mash-up of stakeout and date), and someone adjusts to a brand new way of life.
Question: Is something going to happen between Dan and Blair on Gossip Girl? Or were you just pulling our legs? —Janice
Ausiello: Maybe a little of both? I asked executive producer Stephanie Savage about the possibility of a Dan/Blair hook-up down the line, and here’s what she said: “There are only so many combinations [you can explore] on the show, so I think you have to be open to all of them at some point. So, certainly, we have an open mind when it comes to them… Those two are really gold when they’re together. They have great on-screen chemistry.”
Question: I need some scoop on Gossip Girl. More importantly, good news about Chuck/Blair. —Vanessa
Ausiello: I’m going to let executive producer Stephanie Savage take this one. “The good news about Chuck and Blair is that when we come back [on March 8] they’ve got a really incredible run with each other. They’re [involved] in a very emotional storyline regarding the mystery lady at Bart’s grave. They solve that mystery together and it’s a great example of Chuck and Blair working together and being very emotionally supportive of each other.”
Question: Is it true that Chuck and Blair break up again on Gossip Girl? —Mary
Ausiello: I will neither confirm nor deny that particular rumor on the grounds that it’s too spoilery. Besides, it’s also kind of a non-issue since any Chuck/Blair break-up will undoubtedly be followed by a reunion at some point. Isn’t that right, Stephanie Savage? “We really feel like those guys are made for each other,” she tells me. “But it’s not going to be an easy ride because of their personalities and their dynamic. It’s our job to throw some good obstacles in their path, but we always root for them to find their way back to each other.”
Question: Keep the Glee spoilers coming Michael! —Sarah
Ausiello: Yes ma’am! Click here and prepare to squeal.
Question: Modern Family? Anything? —Holly
Ausiello: One of this season’s final episodes will find Claire attempting to take the perfect family portrait.
Question: We need a sex scene on House with House this season. Could be any woman and I’ll be happy. —Bete
Ausiello: Ask and you shall receive: I can confirm that House will partake in a one-night stand towards the end of the season. And it’s quite possible his little lady friend is someone we’ve met before. Also, look for Andre Braugher to reprise his role as House’s shrink, Dr. Nolan, for at least one episode in May. Could that have something to do with this? (That’s not rhetorical, I really want to know.)
Question: How about something on the series finale of Numb3rs? —Joseph
Ausiello: That’s potential series finale. Remember, CBS has yet to officially cancel the show — although, let’s face it, the writing is on the wall. Anyway, Numb3rs‘ unofficial swan song airs March 12 and here are three tantalizing teases courtesy of exec producer Cheryl Heuton:
* Colby, Liz and Nikki discuss a threesome, “just like in the movies.”
* Don makes not one but two major life decisions, one involving his career, and the other involving his love life.
* You’ve heard of Deus ex machina? How about Deux ex Lou Diamond? As in, Ian Edgerton, played by Lou Diamond Phillips, who makes a special appearance at a crucial moment.
Question: Got anything juicy on 24? —Cole
Ausiello: In the next three or four hours, something truly horrible will happen at CTU. And I swear that’s not a subtle dig at the horrifyingly awful Dana Walsh subplot.
Question: I need some 24 scoop, STAT! —Emily
Ausiello: The aforementioned horrifyingly awful Dana Walsh subplot is about to become slightly more bearable thanks to the fantastic Stephen Root. The alum of True Blood, Pushing Daisies, etc, joins the cast next week as the parole officer of Dana’s dead ex who starts looking into his disappearance.
Question: Has My Name is Earl been canceled? —Ellen
Ausiello: Yes. Now a question for you: How was your coma?
Question: How awesome was Lauren Graham in the Parenthood premiere? Any scoop on upcoming episodes? —Barb
Ausiello: Actually, next week’s episode is an even better showcase for LG. Sarah goes on a job interview and her prospective boss is about half her age. The scene calls for LG to be alternately comical, vulnerable, intimidated, and hopeful, and she nails all four. The episode — which scores bonus points for including both Felicity‘s Amanda Foreman and Everwood‘s Tom Amandes in memorable guest roles — also features a very funny scene that’s reminiscent of this.
Question: Rabbit is my favorite character on Trauma! What’s coming up for him? —Dina
Ausiello: In the March 22 episode, we’ll learn via childhood flashback why he has such guilt issues.
Question: Any scoop on Saving Grace‘s final season? —Jenna
Ausiello: It kicks off March 29 with an episode featuring the return of Holly Hunter’s real-life partner, actor Gordon MacDonald. This time around MacDonald plays a writer investigating miracles. However, when Grace discovers his face in a photo from 1927, she quickly realizes that he might not be exactly who he says he is.
Question: I’m a huge fan of Burn Notice. Spoil me! —Paul
Ausiello: In the last five minutes of this week’s season finale, someone gets taken into custody, someone gets shackled, and someone hits an FBI agent. And these are three different people we’re talking about.
Question: I’d like White Collar with scoop, please. Hold the snark. —Lisa
Ausiello: But the snark’s the best part! In March 9 finale, Neal finally gets his hands on the music box, and another character’s fate is left up in the air. On another (possibly-related) note, Neal and Kate’s relationship, ahem, flames out.
Question: Psych scoop! —Peter
Ausiello: Don’t miss the last two minutes of the March 10 season finale. Let’s just say something happens that will leave you with some big questions about Shawn. Oh, and there’s a somewhat significant death.
Question: Do you know of any plans to resolve some of the issues/unanswered questions surrounding Tony and Ziva on NCIS this season? —Catherine
Ausiello: If you’re referring to what transpired between them in Paris earlier this season, Michael Weatherly (Tony) thinks he has the answer. “The truth of what happened is probably something that can be discovered inside the episode itself,” he says. “If you really listen to what they say, I think it is pretty clear what happened: Nothing.” Way to kill the mood, buddy. For her part, Cote de Pablo (Ziva) hopes that particular question never gets answered. “If you solve something completely, especially on a TV show like this, it is no longer that fun,” she says. “It is a really complex relationship, and there is so much more to explore.” Adds Weatherly: “I am very happy with where it is now, but you never know what will develop. The writers may think they’ve cracked the chemistry riddle. They may come to think they can make us a full-on couple without killing the chemistry and tension that make people watch. But making the audience get their cake and eat it too is not outside of [exec producer] Shane Brennan’s wheelhouse.”
Question: Every day I come home from school, drop my bags, and search “Ask Ausiello and NCIS” on my computer hoping you’ve answered my question about Tony and Ziva. —Olivia
Ausiello: You’re going to be mortified when you get home tonight and realize your question doesn’t actually include, you know, a question.
Question: Any news on what brings Holly (Dina Meyer) back to NCIS? —Mark
Ausiello: “Gibbs will use her in an investigation,” explains Mark Harmon. “She is an interesting ally, an odd ally, an uncomfortable ally in some ways. But I think the writers and producers like what Dina did before. A madam character is pretty fascinating.”
Question: How does Damon cope with the news that Katherine was never in the tomb on The Vampire Diaries? —Christine
Ausiello: “Damon spends most of episode 14 and a good portion of 15 drunk,” reveals exec producer Julie Plec. “Watching him sort of spiral into the abyss of self pity is kind of hilarious.”
Question: Besides the wedding, any scoop on Ugly Betty‘s final episodes? —Mitchell
Ausiello: A pivotal male character will profess his love for Betty, but I’m not saying which one.
Question: Caprica is fraktacular! Got any scoop? —Sarah
Ausiello: I’m hearing something about a bitter mental standoff coming up between Zoe and Daniel. And THIS JUST IN from exec producer Jane Espenson: “Lacy is pulled deeper into a dangerous orbit. When the center cannot hold, we’ll see more than one character take genuinely desperate actions that change the course of the story entirely.”
Question: Any scoop on Southland? Love that show. —Yasmin
Ausiello: The March 16 episode is a big one for Ben McKenzie and his alter ego, Ben Sherman. The former gets to sink his teeth into some meaty material when the latter goes out on patrol alone for the first time and gets a little too invested in a domestic violence case.
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can follow me on Twitter via @ewausiellofiles. Thanks for playing! (Additional reporting by Sandra Gonzalez, Carrie Bell, Keith Staskiewicz, and Vlada Gelman)