No need to charm you with a fancy intro this week. There’s already enough frill as we head into Valentine’s Day, right? And if you happen to find yourself without a Valentine this weekend, here’s my box of Godivas to you: Raising Hope scoop from Greg Garcia, news on two big episodes of Fringe and Castle, a chat with a Grey’s Anatomy cast member about what could be the next heart-wrenching death, and a talk with Gossip Girl‘s new villainess (who may turn out to have a soft spot or two).
Read on! And also remember to email spoiler questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to me via Twitter (@EWSandraG).
‘RAISING HOPE’: VASECTOMIES, FLASHBACKS, AND THE PLAN FOR A NOT-SO-BABY HOPE IN SEASON 2
The reason I’m obsessed with Raising Hope these days? It’s probably the one show on air right now where the creator would say things like this about an upcoming episode: “It’s the sweetest episode of TV you’ll ever see where a son shaves his father’s balls.”
Ah, yes, that’s the Hope we know and love. (FYI, that was creator and executive producer Greg Garcia dishing about the show’s soon-to-air vasectomy episode that will guest star Eddie Steeples.) I got on the phone with Garcia this week to chat about the snips and snippets on the horizon for Hope and her adorably dysfunctional family as the show preps for its season finale – as well as his plans for season 2.
“In our season finale, there’s a lot of explanation about the relationship between Maw-Maw, Burt, and Virginia and their whole dynamic,” he says of the episode that flashes back to five years ago.
Looking back is easy. Looking forward, however, is a bit trickier given that Hope is helmed by babies who will age even when the cameras aren’t rolling between seasons. (Hope is played by two sets of twins.) Thankfully, Garcia has a simple plan for that, too (because this isn’t The Simpsons, people).
“Things can always change, but the plan now is to start season 2 jumping forward in time to the point where the baby is whatever the [babies' ages are] when we start season 2. We might even do a first episode that tells the story of what happened up until the last time we saw them,” he says. “I’d like to incorporate some home videos of the baby in that time and get some good stuff of the baby growing up so our viewers can also watch the baby grow up in those six months [we're off the air]. At that age, with babies that little, every month they change.”
The idea, he said, is to possibly bring baby Hope’s portrayers to the set when the show is off production and take some footage of first steps and other milestones. “If in the show, they’re watching it and going down memory lane, the audience can experience that as well,” he says. Cue collective “awwww”s.
‘FRINGE’: WHY YOU CAN’T MISS TONIGHT’S EPISODE
To say that tonight’s episode of Fringe contains game-changing developments would be an offending understatement. The Peter-less episode, which takes place entirely “over there,” will show the alt-team working to crack a rather disgusting case about bugs; Walternate taking a major step in his campaign to be the most evil person in the world; a spark of a possible new romance; a proposal; and (most importantly) tonight’s episode directly addresses a major rumored plot twist that’s been floating around the fandom. All I can say is that what transpires will rock your world here and “over there.” (P.S. Please don’t cancel this show, TV Gods.)
LORETTA DEVINE ON ADELE’S RETURN TO ‘GREY’S ANATOMY’: ‘I’M A LITTLE SCARED MYSELF’
Loretta Devine is checking back into Grey’s Anatomy in the Feb. 17 episode as sassy Adele Webber, and if news that she’ll be seeking medical help has you worried, join the club.
“I’m a little scared myself,” says Devine with a laugh when talking about her five-episode return to the show that will find her character in and out of the hospital. “I know she keeps falling and that she’s blaming it on her shoes. They don’t know what it is, I think. I have a couple of more episodes [to film], so I think we’ll be finding out in the next couples of episodes.”
The silver lining here is that we learn Chief Webber and his wife are “at the happiest point they’ve ever been in their lives,” she tells EW. Crap. Now I’m worried, too. “They’re very much in love, and he’s very supportive of her. They just can’t agree on what’s causing her to fall,” she said. “Her personality is still intact, though. I have a couple of great scenes with Bailey. Bailey and I are always butting heads because those are two powerful women. So they send Bailey in to examine me, and oh my God, we get into it. She still has her spunk, I would say.”
I don’t think I can take another heart wrenching Grey’s death, Roomies. Shall I commandeer a Save Adele hot air balloon now or later?
DISH ON THE BIG TWO-PART EPISODE OF ‘CASTLE’
Full disclosure: I’m a total sucker for two-part episodes. If it’s action-packed and full of moments worthy of the Inception button, it just can’t lose in my book. And if you’re like me, you better prepare yourself for the Castle two-parter that kicks off Feb. 21. The episode guest stars Heroes alum Adrian Pasdar as a douchey Homeland Security suit (Beckett’s assessment, not mine), and it follows Castle and Beckett as they find themselves intertwined in a matter of national security. And after learning more about the first part, I can see why Will Beall stressed to me a few weeks back that the episode was all about “high-stakes.” It’s definitely a more action-centered episode, and a particularly tense scene at the end of part one made me audibly yelp in fear. (Fact: I. Don’t. Yelp.) But there also are a couple of moments between the crime-fighting pair that will leave fans pretty happy — particularly the one when Castle and Beckett are trapped in close confines and she makes a heartfelt confession after a major revelation about Josh. This pair will be the death of me…
Got any Gossip Girl scoop? — Lauren
Despite what you might think about seeming villainess Raina Thorpe, you’ll soon learn details about her life that might change your opinion about her, says Tika Sumpter. “Of course when we first see a person, you meet their representative — the front they have to put up. But I think that’s the complexity of a human being. I think you’re going to start seeing her vulnerable side, and seeing what makes her tick and what excites her and what makes her fall for people,” says the actress. “I’m so excited for you all to see that aspect of her — not just her ambition and all that. The components of being down to earth. The human side.” But don’t misinterpret that as a sign that she will be switching loyalties any time soon. “With Raina, first is family. For her, blood is thicker than water. She has a tendency to trust her family first and ask questions later.”
What’s coming up on Brothers & Sisters? Bonus if it has to do with Scotty and/or Kevin. — Toni
I love bonuses! In the Feb. 20 episode, Kevin finds himself playing caretaker to someone other than Olivia — a sack of flour named Joaquin that Paige entrusts him with as part of a health class project. If you thought the Gaby/doll plot on Desperate Housewives was insane, just wait until you see Kevin put a tiny hoodie on Joaquin…
Would love some info on Hawaii 5-0! — Faye
The show is currently holding a casting call for someone to play Chin Ho’s very ill aunt, who might hold some big information about his release from the force.
More details about the epicness of House‘s big March 7 episode, specifically the big Huddy factor you teased about? — Heather
I pressed for more info, but perhaps together we can decode Greg Yaitanes’ response — which really wasn’t a response so much as it was a reluctance to confirm that the big House-Cuddy development would be as straightforward as we assume. Me to Yaintanes: “So the episode is about their relationship?” Yaintanes: “Umm…[pause] you’re going to have to see.” Gah! If the episode is, indeed, a big one for fans of the pair, what else could it mean? Theories now!!
I totally miss Covert Affairs. Any word on what we can expect from season 2? — Sue
Well, I’ll have more in March, which is when the cast heads back to Toronto to start production. But so far, I know that “series irregular” Peter Gallagher will be returning and that he has legs. [Confused puppy tilts its head.] He explains: “I think I actually leave the office this season. You may see my legs. There was some debate on the blogs about whether Arthur Campbell could actually walk, and in this next season, those conspiracy theorists will get their answer. I will get out from behind the desk and get outside and see some action.”
I read Billy Baldwin’s coming back to Gossip Girl. Personally, I’d rather have him back on Parenthood. Any good news for me? — Kay
I have good and bad news. First the bad: Executive producer Jason Katims says there are no plans for him to return to Parenthood this season. Now I get to cheer you up with the good: Katims is very open to it. “We love the idea of continuing to revisit characters that we’ve seen before. For example, we have Jason Ritter returning for an episode this season,” he says. “And, in a similar way, I would love to have Billy come back if it’s possible.”
I’m loving David Anders back on Vampire Diaries. Have any good scoop on what he is up to? — Stacie
I do, and it comes straight from executive producer Julie Plec: “John’s ultimate agenda becomes crystal clear in ‘The Dinner Party,’ but he’ll be blindsided by the fallout from his actions.”
Please tell me that Damien will be sticking around Gossip Girl? I kinda love him. — Alana
Maybe he can tell you when I talk to him next week. Send questions now.
OMG! IS STEVIE NICKS GOING TO BE ON GLEE?! — GINA
YOU MUST BE REFERRING TO… oops. Excuse me. My “caps lock” button was on. How embarrassing. Anyway, don’t be deceived by Tweets from some Glee cast members about Nicks being on set. A source confirms that Nicks was not filming a guest spot — just observing production. So you put away those billowy skirts and fringe accessories… for now, at least.
I’d love something on Desperate Housewives. — Cindy
Truth be told, Larry Hagman is as kind as they come. But just don’t look for a hint of that kindness when he guests on the show this week as Lynette’s mom’s bigoted fiancé, Frank. “He’s just an elder, rich old grump,” says Hagman. “He’s used to getting his way and won’t take anyone standing against him. He’s a despicable person — I love that part.”
Any scoop on How I Met Your Mother? — Adrian
You haven’t seen John Lithgow play Barney’s dad yet (that won’t happen until episode 19), but I’m hearing his stint is so epic that it will likely not be the last we see of him. Although, realistically, a return wouldn’t happen until next season.
Can you tell me more about this All My Children-Hot in Cleveland crossover? — Amy
The two-part episode is meta to the extreme! Not only will Susan Lucci be returning as herself on the show — where she has a feud with Wendie Malick’s character, Victoria Chase — but Malick’s character will appear on Lucci’s daytime soap. “When I am on that show, my billing will be Victoria Chase. Wendie Malick had nothing to do with it. She will play Susan’s cleaning lady, and she is totally going to sabotage me,” Malick says. Um, got all that, Amy?
I love No Ordinary Family. Have any good scoop for me? — Stacie
In next week’s episode, Stephanie finds herself closer than ever to Dr. King — in more ways than one. (Insert three “duns” here.) And it could very well be the last we see of a beloved character. Well, beloved by me, at least.
Anything on 90201? — Abby
While some of the cast is jumping ship (yeah, I’m looking at you, Lori Loughlin), Matt Lanter is already considering the possibility of another season and what that might mean for Liam — assuming he actually graduates. “I’m pretty sure there is a small chance that he doesn’t get out of school,” he says. “I’m sure some of us will end up at CU just like in the original show or other local schools. So college has been kicked around as a possible next year for Liam but the army has been kicked around, too.” Just don’t worry about him bowing out. He assures: “If the show comes back, I will be back.”
I am really enjoying Harry’s Law. I am the only one? Any news on whether it is sticking around? Thanks. — Matt
SPOILER ALERT: This isn’t a spoiler question. But I’ll make an exception because Harry’s Law is growing on me — mostly because I have a lingering American Dreams-caused attachment to Brittany Snow. (Fact: I might still have episodes of that show recorded on VHS at my parent’s house that I refuse to throw away.) Good news for us is that the show has “strong odds” of sticking around, according to EW’s TV Survival Scorecard, meaning it outranks fan faves like Fringe and Chuck. Their loss is your gain!
(Additional reporting from Lynette Rice and Carrie Bell)