I’m not one to exaggerate, so you can believe me when I say I have some killer scoop that’s deathly good this week.
Not only did I speak with executive producer Greg Yaitanes about one of the biggest episodes of House you’ve ever seen, Shay Mitchell about Pretty Little Liars, and Craig Thomas about the next few (happy!) episodes of How I Met Your Mother, but I also have a HUGE Justin Bieber-related CSI spoiler. Plus there’s Cougar Town casting scoop, Michael and Nikita spoilers, dish from Spartacus: Gods of the Arena ‘s Aussie star Dustin Clare, and a ton more! Dig in with the fury of a million Bieber fans competing for a lock of his baby hair. GO!
‘HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER': ‘LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL’ FOR MARSHALL AND LILY, SAYS EP
Tired of weeping during How I Met Your Mother? Join the club. Co-creator and EP Craig Thomas owes us all a box of tissues and a big hug for the emotional turmoil we’ve experienced watching Marshall deal with his father’s death. The good news? Thomas tells me there’s major funny on the way. For one, Marshall is in Minnesota for the next two episodes, and in the Feb. 7 episode, he (like many fans) is looking for a distraction from all the sadness.
Thomas sums it up for us: “This episode starts up with Marshall calling back home and saying, ‘Guys, I’m in Minnesota. I’m dealing with the loss of my father; it’s a lot. Now, talk to me, and tell me a story. Tell me something that has nothing to do with my father or death or anything bad. I want some gossip, and I want to be distracted. Go.’ Sometimes [friends] are there to talk about real stuff; sometimes they’re there to completely distract you and let you go a little deeper into denial by telling you something stupid or making you laugh or telling you some petty gossip about a romantic intrigue. That’s the mode we’ll be in.”
Don’t be fooled, though. It is very much a Ted-centric episode (with guest star Katy Perry) that feels like “old-school How I Met Your Mother.” “It’s a true romantic comedy — a very sweet-hearted, hopeful episode,” Thomas says.
“I’m not laughing out loud yet, Sandra,” you might be saying. Fine. How about this: Looking ahead one more week (to an episode I scooped about here), Lily will be missing Marshall so much as Valentine’s Day approaches, she takes matters into her own tiny, slightly creepy hands.
“Lily’s missing Marshall so badly that she has a body pillow that she’s started sleeping with that she’s started to anthropomorphize it in a weird way. She’s starting to throw Marshall’s shirt on it and talk to it. There’s some really funny stuff,” Thomas describes.
And what about the baby Marshmallow we were hoping the happy couple would be making this season? Surely, no pillow can help her with that. (At least we hope they can’t…eeew) Sad fact: Real Marshall might not be up for that either — at least for a bit.
“It doesn’t feel real that we jump right back, ‘All right let’s go have sex. My dad just died. Let’s get back on the baby train immediately,'” Thomas says. “Ultimately, we’re going to see Lily and Marshall get through this tragic time and see what it means for them as they move forward in their lives. Is there going to be a light at the end of the tunnel for Marshall and Lily? For sure.”
SHAY MITCHELL TEASES ‘DIFFERENT’ SIDE OF EMILY ON ‘PRETTY LITTLE LIARS’
With Maya looking to stay in juvie (at least for a while), homophobic Paige (played by 10 Things I Hate About You‘s Lindsay Shaw) on a hate rampage, and “A” being more aggressive than ever, things aren’t looking sunny for Emily on Pretty Little Liars. But a side of fun is about to be served up with that big helping of bleak. For one, in the next episodes of the second half of the season, Emily will experience an evolution of sorts, according to actress Shay Mitchell
“You definitely get to see different sides of Emily that you maybe didn’t see in the first 10. You thought you knew kinda what she was about, but she definitely surprises everybody. And seeing her a little bit tipsy with a little bit of liquid courage in [a recent] episode was one way. And she does get a little loosened up in 1.19, and she does have some fun that night,” Mitchell teases. “I really want to talk to everyone after the episodes have aired so I can tell you what it was really like shooting it. [Laughs] But it was fun.”
Sounds scandalous — at least, we hope it is. Nevermind, this is PLL — of course it is.
Meanwhile, Emily’s not the only one turning over an interesting new leaf. Soon, another Liar will be reaching out to help Toby — much to Emily’s surprise — after he finds himself in need of help.
“I think with them showing different sides of Toby, and that he might not be as bad of a guy as everyone makes him out to be, that other people start to notice that as well,” Mitchell says. “And yes, that one of the people starts to feel for Toby is kind of an initial shock to Emily. But Emily has had a great relationship with Maya and I don’t think she’ll be too bothered by it.”
Speaking of Maya, Mitchell says she’d love to see her return, but there “will be new and past relationships” that will keep Emily occupied in the meantime. Unfortunately, more scrutiny is also on the horizon. “The writers aren’t sugar coating any of the issues the girls are going through,” she explains. “In a perfect world — and in a world I would love to live in — I would hope that Emily would have no other issues and be able to live her life. But there are still those people who aren’t accepting of other people’s differences, and that’s fine. She’s confident enough to deal with it and put it aside. I think there will be some lingering issues that pop up here and there, but she has such a great support team behind her, it doesn’t even matter.”
That’s the way to do it, kiddies.
‘HOUSE': MUSICAL NUMBERS? WESTERNS? YUP.
Picture this: House and Cuddy in western gear a la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Robert Sean Leonard’s Wilson hanging out in a sitcom-style version of House’s apartment as a laugh track pipes in. A musical number choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance‘s Mia Michaels. A horror movie (with zombies!). And a classic black-and-white movie. Sound like the craziest episode of House ever? Executive producer Greg Yaitanes explains.
“Within those dreams, the story of what [the team is] going through is being told in [the dreams] throughout the episode,” he says. “It just allowed us to [tell the] message of this great story between them and let the fans participate in a new way.” Very new, indeed. But definitely worth watching if you’re a Cuddy fan. In fact, it’s required watching if you’re a Cuddy fan. “If you’re enjoying their storyline, this is going to be a very important episode,” Yaitanes teases of the likely “polarizing” episode. “I think people will love or hate us for it, but I just think there’s some incredible work there that was done. Liz [Friedman] wrote an amazing script, and I think everybody really shines in a big way,” he says.
I begged him for more, but all I got was: “The musical is… I don’t think anyone will have seen something like that on television before.”
*For a First Look at the episode, pick up the new issue of EW, on stands Feb. 11. You won’t regret it.
PARENTHOOD: A NEW BOY IN AMBER’S LIFE? YES. (BUT THERE’S A TWIST…)
Haddie’s still lusting after Alex (who isn’t going anywhere for a while) against her parents’ wishes; Crosby’s going to get involved with Max’ therapist Gaby (yes, that’s still happening) with huge consequences; Sarah’s ex, played by John Corbett, is coming in for a three-episode arc; and Jason Ritter is coming back for one episode (no doubt to stir things up with Sarah, as well). Yes, there’s a lot of complicated love going on in Parenthood. That is, unless your character’s name is Amber.
To figure out why Amber (played by the awesome Mae Whitman) was stuck playing pseudo-mom to Haddie for the last few episodes, EW’s Lynette Rice went to executive producer Jason Katims for answers. As luck would have it, we learned about a “big, big storyline” on the horizon for fan favorite Amber.
“Yes, there is a guy involved, as there always is a guy involved [laughs], but it’s not really about the love interest,”Katims says. “It’s more about her meeting a very… let’s just say this is the most difficult time she’s had since her family’s moved back from Fresno to be in Berkeley.”
In related Braverman family scoop (well, Braverman-Graham, if you’re picky), the possibility of adding a new body to the brood will continue to grow as the show approaches the end of its season. That info may or may not relate to the “couple of really big things” that Katims says will happen toward the end of year. I leave the speculation to you, Roomies…
Cougar Town is going to be gone for TOO LONG. TOO, TOO LONG. I don’t like this. I need some wine. And scoop, too, if you have it. — Lisa
I’ll bring the scoop if you bring the wine. Here’s my end of the deal: I’ve learned EXCLUSIVELY that Lou Diamond Phillips will be making a cameo appearance as himself in an episode sometime after Cougar Town returns (no airdate yet). He’ll guest as a customer of Grayson’s. The twist? He’s NOT as patron of the bar. Wine, now, please.
Is there any hope for a Rusty & Ashleigh romance on Greek? I sense a spark going on! Love, Karen (Denmark)
Funny you mention love. Because the Valentine’s Day episode (titled “Midnight Clear” and airing Feb. 14 at 9 ET) is a very big one for this budding couple. The two are unexpectedly brought together in an episode about Calvin celebrating his birthday and a snow storm keeping the Greek gang locked in at Dobler’s overnight…and what’s a sleepover without a game of Kiss and Tell?
Can you pretty please tell me what is going on with Greek? Why is it all of a sudden “the final semester”? Is it getting canceled? I’m freaking out here especially that Cappie/Casey will not end up together…Please help!! — FREAKING OUT!!
Well, I was busy freaking out in October of last year, when the show’s final season was announced. And you know what? I’m still not over the news yet. In better news, your doubts about Cappie and Casey will certainly be put to rest in the next few episodes — if they haven’t been eased already.
Any scoops on NCIS and NCIS: LA? Will there ever be another cross-over episode? A Hetty and Gibbs scene is what I live for! — Melissa
Nothing planned as of yet, unfortunately. Consolation scoop: We’ll be meeting Ziva’s oh-so-amazing boyfriend Ray soonish — and see the ripples he causes…
Got anything fun on Modern Family? — J.
If you consider school vandalism fun, yes. (Don’t respond to that; there could be cops reading.) Ariel Winter told EW at the SAG Awards that Alex and Haley will soon be bonding over a delinquent act in an upcoming episode. “It is a big sister moment,” she says.
Nikita‘s been on fire! Scoop, please? — Kate
Well, I do have news. But Mikita fans (Michael + Nikita) might not like it. Shane West (Michael) tells me: “You’re going to see Michael and Nikita grow apart, but you’re also going to see them grow back together in ways I can’t explain.” Oh, you’ll explain, Shane. You will explain, or I won’t plug the Twitter account you just created (@shanewest_1). “Nikita and Michael are always connected,” he says. “Regardless if they’re on speaking terms or not, they will continue to run into each other. You’re going to see them work again together. You’re going to see Michael be a lot more harsh and insensitive to Nikita, but you’re also going to see reality come back in that they still do care for each other. And they’re going to have to do one last crazy missions with some people who I don’t want to tease. And you’re going to see a lot of flashbacks potentially from when Michael and Nikita were together.”
Got any Nikita scoop on Michael and Alex? — Emily
Erm. Again, nothing you want to hear. West essentially thinks that the pairing is très creepy. And you can’t blame him. “If you think about it, beyond the fact that Michael and Alex might look cute together, it really cheapens Michael as a human being. Does it mean he did that with a bunch of other girls? Does he hit on all the young girl recruits who remind him of Nikita?” he says, laughing. “Inherently, Michael is looking at Alex like a father figure.” Especially, he says, when it comes to Alex’s new neighbor Nathan (who I spoke with last week). “He’s not going to be jealous of the neighbor Nathan. It’s more that he’s going to be wary, and worried that Alex might go off the reservation so to speak as Nikita tried to do,” he says.
Hearing any buzz about the new season of Breaking Bad? — Matt
Yes, and my little bee is all aflutter over a recurring character who might not be with us much longer. For insight, let’s turn to BB star Bryan Cranston. “It is hard to say something without tipping the hat on another and causing a domino effect,” he says, “but in the first episode of the season, there is a very unexpected turn of events, and one of our characters who has been on the show several times finds a possible demise. Mysterious.” Guesses?
Gossip Girl scoop? — Marti
While Juliet was given an easy out after doing her bad deeds (boohiss!), Stephanie Savage told me last week that the show has “definitely left the door open for her to come back at some point.” And I’m hearing Juliet isn’t the only familiar face who could be popping up soon.
Scoop on Raising Hope? I miss it. — Bryan
When Hope returns for new episodes Feb. 8, Jimmy makes a friend at the grocery store (did you hear crab meat is better than flowers these days?), but things go south when the new friend tries to take something of Jimmy’s. Also, we learn some surprising new information about Maw-Maw’s lucid moments.
So, I don’t know who’s watching the Spartacus prequel, but it’s awesome/super sexy. You don’t by any chance have some info? — K.C.
Dustin Clare, who plays the hunky Gannicus on the six-episode series, has info that might be of interest. “We’re going to lose a gladiator on tonight’s episode,” he says, bluntly in his Aussie accent. (Spoiler-ific AND Australian? Yup. I’m in love.) As you’ll recall, last week we also left off with Gannicus being forced into sex with Oenomaus’ wife Melitta, and in tonight’s all new episode, Gannicus is “still reeling” from the encounter, says Clare. “In episode 3, he’s still trying to process that,” he tells us.
Looking ahead, Clare says we can look forward to “the most amazing fight we’ve ever attempted. The fight choreographers deserve all the credit for that. We did a lot of Saturdays learning that fight. Also, in terms of filming it, it took something like eight days. It’s a big fight.”
90210. You haven’t had anything about this in a while. A little scoop is overdue. — Jill
Is there a penalty fee? This should pay the piper: Adrianna is going to find out about Navid and Silver…but isn’t going to tell anyone what she knows. “She’s going to process it and acts upon that. She might take it well, she might not,” dishes Michael Steger (Navid). My guess? Not well at all. Bitch is gonna bite back — probably not literally. But you never know.
Steger also says Navid’s upcoming music video shoot with Mr. “Hot in Herrre” doesn’t go as smoothly as he hopes. “Nelly’s producers are really not happy with me because Dixon and I are fumbling all over the place trying to get the video together,” he explains. “Somehow Navid pulls it off. The producers really not happy with Navid because he had people come on set and was very unprofessional, but at the end of the day, Nelly comes up and says, ‘Navid, you did a really great job.’ So it’s kind of like that whole experience reaffirmed that Navid is doing a really great job, and it reaffirms that it’s what he needs to be doing. He has to produce and fulfill his dreams of becoming a business owner.”
The honorable residents of Pawnee, Ind. (and their groupies) demand some scoop. — Gary
Tom and Ben form an unlikely friendship in the next few episodes that culminates with Ben sticking up for Tom after a bad encounter at a club leaves him blue. It’s really touching — and kind of gross when Ben starts heaving. Also, Ron will nearly have a panic attack when his quest for an amazing meal takes a sad turn.
CSI scoop, please? — Shana
As promised, this is a doozy: Sources confirm that Justin Bieber will not be making another return to CSI after he makes his second appearance on the Feb. 17 episode. Why? Because his character will be dead. The pop star’s character Jason McCann will meet a violent end at the hand of a CSI, who is acting in self-defense. How “violent”? I’m hearing he gets shot. Hey, it’s better than the writer’s original plan to have the Biebs blow himself up. You think I’m joking, don’t you?
REMEMBER: Send in your spoiler questions to email@example.com or Tweet them to @EWSandraG or forever hold your peace. (And who the heck wants to do that?)
(Additional reporting by Lynette Rice, Mandi Bierly, Nicholas White, and Carrie Bell.)