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'The Vampire Diaries,' 'Justified,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'White Collar': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Welcome back, friends! Hope the holidays were as fattening for you as they were for me.

As winter hiatus comes to a close, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. (Although, I hope you still enjoyed the special Once Upon a Time edition of Spoiler Room that was served up last week!) And this week, there’s a little bit of something for everyone, I hope. If not, there’s a simple way to solve that: Hit me up! E-mail SpoilerRoom@ew.com or Tweet me @EWSandraG. And if you don’t see your question, keep trying! (I do read them all!)

Enjoy, and it’s truly lovely to be back in the swing of things! (Side note: Anyone else sort of love what’s going on in this week’s Spoiler Room blend? Now that’s a trio!)

‘THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’: STEFAN CHANNELS… JACK BAUER AND CHUCK NORRIS?
The year 2011 hasn’t been the easiest for Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Co., on The Vampire Diaries, and, as Julie Plec told Mandi Bierly, the first new episode of the season doesn’t do much to indicate changing winds in 2012. READ FULL STORY

'Pan Am' hits series low, 'The Good Wife' is flat

Was everyone watching football or at the movies catching another showing of Breaking Dawn? Dramas like Pan Am and The Good Wife hit some depressing lows on Sunday, which was dominated by football and the animated shows on Fox.

NBC won the night in the key demo (5.2 rating/13 share) and viewers (13.7 million), as the game between two probable NFC playoff times (Detroit and New Orleans) earned a 6.5/15, according to early results. Fox came in a close second (5.1/12), with The Simpsons earning a 4.0/10, followed by Allen Gregory (2.4/6), Family Guy (3.5/8), and The Cleveland Show (2.5/6).

ABC came in a distant third (2.2/5), with all of its shows hitting troubling lows. America’s Funniest Home Videos was down 22 percent to a 1.4/4, followed by Once Upon a Time (down 9 percent to a 3.1/7), Desperate Housewives (down 13 percent to a 2.6/6), and Pan Am (down 11 percent to a 1.6/4). We already know that the period drama is one step away from flat-out cancellation: The ABC drama’s co-star Karine Vanasse sent a tweet that heavily suggested the show was finished: “Well, we received THE call, #PanAm is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas. But up to the end, we’ll give it our all!”

CBS finished fourth with a 2.1/5, with 60 Minutes down 51 percent to a 1.8/5, followed by The Amazing Race (down 7 percent to a 2.7/6), The Good Wife (flat with a 1.9/4), and CSI: Miami (up 16 percent with a 2.2/5).

Read more:
NFL Week XIII: Monday Morning Talking Points
‘The Good Wife’ recap: The Missing
‘Once Upon a Time’ recap: Becoming David Nolan
‘The Amazing Race’ recap: Panamaniacs

Dana Delany will return to 'Desperate Housewives'

Dana Delany may have her own drama now on ABC, but it looks like the popular actress won’t take for granted the great gig she once had on Wisteria Lane. The Body of Proof star is set to return to Desperate Housewives this season to help the long-running sudser say goodbye to its fans.

It’s unclear when Delany, who played Katherine, will stage her comeback, but she won’t be alone: TVline says she’ll join Kyle MacLachlan (Orson) and Andrea Bowen (Julie) in a future episode or two. At the start of the season, Executive Producer Bob Daily reportedly said he’d like to recruit lots of alums to appear in the show’s last season. It sunsets in May.

desperate-housewivesImage Credit: Ron Tom/ABCMay we suggest a repeat of the awkward moment to the left?

Now that we’re here, we might as well post our wish list of stars for the drama’s final months (on-screen deaths be damned):

Jesse Metcalfe as John, because our flower garden can always use some tending’ Lily Tomlin as Roberta, because the drama’s always better when it involves a Betty McBusyBody like her; Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew, because he was so dang good; Dougray Scott as Ian, because he was so dang hot; and John Slattery as Victor, Jason Gedrick as Rick, John Barrowman as Patrick, and Nathan Fillion as Dr. Adam, because of the same reasons explained above.

And finally, Nicollette Sheridan as Edie, because we never got over her sudden departure. (And clearly, neither has she).

You?

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For more:

Desperate Housewives’ official, last season portrait
Housewives creator: ‘I wanted to go off in the classiest way’
Desperate Housewives to end its run in May

'Desperate Housewives' star James Denton: 'It's fun to be in the middle of the mystery again.'

Last week on Desperate Housewives, Mike found himself pulled into the so-far season-long story arc about the wives’ murder cover-up. And while this is going to bring a lot more trouble for Mike in the coming episodes, James Denton couldn’t be happier about Mike’s sudden involvement.

“Mike hasn’t had a lot to do in the last couple of years,” Denton says. “It’s fun to be in the middle of the mystery again. That’s what’s been most rewarding.” READ FULL STORY

'Pan Am' takes a dive, 'Housewives' ties series low

Jet lag, already? The ABC dramas took some serious hits in the adults 18-49 demographic, with new series Pan Am dropping 27% to a 1.9 rating/5 share and 6.4 million viewers, according to preliminary ratings. (Death watch alert! When a show hits the 1 rating range, its chances for renewal drop precipitously. Just saying).

Desperate Housewives also decreased 10% from last week, earning a 2.7/6 and 8.4 million. It tied its series low, even though it was ABC’s best performing show for the night. America’s Funniest Home Videos earned a 1.4/4 and 6.6 million and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition logged a 2.0/5 and 7.3 million. READ FULL STORY

'Glee,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' '90210,' 'Vampire Diaries': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

It’s about that time again.

And I’m particularly excited going into this weekend because I’m days away from making my maiden voyage to Canada. (No, not to track the history of Robin Sparkles.) That’s right, my little maple leaves, I’m headed north to visit the sets of Once Upon a Time, Alcatraz, Supernatural, and The Secret Circle. Exciting, right? So send me your questions for the stars of those shows ASAP!

And remember to be sending me your questions (via e-mail or Twitter!) on shows new and returning, reactions to buzzy episodes of your favorite shows, and your general ponderings! (Y’all had a great batch of questions this week!) Until next week!

‘HIMYM’: READER QUESTIONS ANSWERED

It’s no secret I’ve been mildly obsessed with How I Met Your Mother lately. And judging by the caliber and depth of your questions, I’m not alone! So while chatting with creator Carter Bays about last week’s episode, I threw in a few of your questions as well! The fruits of your labors are below! READ FULL STORY

'Desperate Housewives' way down; 'Pam Am' still manages to take flight

Even without Peyton Manning, the Colts game was a huge draw for NBC, which took the first Sunday of the 2011-12 TV season in adults 18-49 (5.9 rating/15 share) and viewers (14.8 million), according to preliminary results. The game itself (7.2/17) was still down 22% in the demo versus the last one on Sept. 18 — but this time, it had to face originals on the other networks. READ FULL STORY

'Desperate Housewives': Eva Longoria dances on a stripper pole in next episode -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

You’ve got to hand it to the folks over at ABC’s soon-to-end nighttime soap Desperate Housewives: They never stop trying to drum up watercooler moments, as evidenced by EW’s exclusive clip below. The clip — from the show’s second episode, airing this Sunday, Oct. 2 — features Eva Longoria’s character Gaby Solis taking lessons on how to use a stripper pole. “So my husband’s having a little problem in the bedroom,” Gaby admits to her stripper instructor, who then asks: “With his wiener?” A resigned Gaby retorts: “Yes, with his wiener.” Then her too-cute (and too-young!) trainer explains: “Well, you can relax because I’m like a doctor, and I see this problem all the time with older women.” Burn! But Gaby takes it in stride, of course. Then, she shimmies up the pole and gives it a whirl — with hilarious results, of course. The whole interaction is worth a laugh or two.

Check out the exclusive sneak peek video here:

READ FULL STORY

'Dexter,' 'Fringe,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'The Vampire Diaries': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

System failing. Too much TV. Abort! Abort!

Anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed by all the amazing television this week? Well, buck up, sissy pants! Fall TV is not for the weak. It’s for the bravest, strongest, most wonderfully reclusive individuals. Together we will conquer.

That said, I need your help. Be sure you’re sending in your scoop requests, sharing your TV ponderings, and telling me your general shows of interest so I can make sure I’m filling your need for scoops during this hectic TV time. (Send e-mails to spoilerroom@ew.com or follow me on Twitter: @EWSandraG) Until next week!

(Side note: In case you missed it, we also had a special Emmy scoops edition earlier this week that you can read here.)

DEXTER REVISITS THE PAST IN AWESOME PREMIERE

Last season of Dexter ended with the door open for anything to happen. Lumen lost her darkness and left, Dexter had taken down the season’s villain, and there was even a small note of optimism on his part that he could one day live without his own darkness following him.

On Oct. 2, we pick up with Harrison starting pre-school and Dexter very much at peace with his darkness. And, dare I say, enjoying it again.

Without ruining too much (because I honestly felt incredibly psyched by the premiere and want you to experience it for yourself), much of the episode centers around Dexter tracking down a potential victim at his 20th high school reunion. There, we not only get a great picture of who Dexter was as a high school student, but also get a good laugh out how his classmates perceive him now. (He’s… popular!)

We’re also introduced to Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos’ demented characters. I can happily report that the first murder they are responsible for is one of the most disgusting ones I’ve ever seen on the show. Congrats, newbies! READ FULL STORY

Top fall TV time-slot battles this week (and who will win)

Right after the fall schedule was announced last May, I posted a rundown of the most intriguing time-period battles and who I thought would win. There’s been a lot of buzz and new intel about these shows since then, but I’m keeping my predictions the same — plus adding a several new entries. So here they are, below. Be sure to check the Inside TV blog every morning for the ratings to see how your favorite shows perform (of course, in today’s DVR era, time periods are less important than they were five years ago, but don’t be fooled: The slots still matter — just ask any show that faced off against American Idol, or one that had the pleasure of airing after it):

Who: CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 vs. NBC’s Playboy Club vs. ABC’s Castle
When
: Mondays at 10 p.m.
Verdict: Castle pulled off a surprise victory in this slot by the end of last season against the first year of Five-0, gradually conquering a time period that it always lost to CBS when CSI: Miami was there. (Castle was especially aided by Charlie Sheen’s freak out and Two and a Half Men going into repeats — thus weakening CBS’ 9 p.m. hour’s lead into Hawaii.) So this is the rematch, with Hawaii bulking up with a ton of guest stars and adding Terry O’Quinn to the cast. Expectations are modest for Playboy Club. Hawaii will go big tonight when Men returns tonight, but in the coming weeks Castle will probably end up slightly on top. And now on Friday nights, it’s Chuck vs… READ FULL STORY

Official portrait from 'Desperate Housewives' -- EXCLUSIVE

It’s the beginning of the end for Desperate Housewives, but as usual, the ladies look no worse for the wear! Here’s an exclusive peek at one of the show’s last (sniff sniff) promotional photos.

Housewives returns for its final season on ABC Sept. 25 and will sunset in May. READ FULL STORY

'Desperate Housewives' scoop: Who's hitting the bottle this season?

Scott-Lawerence

Uh-oh, someone’s going to need some help getting off the sauce in the new season of Desperate Housewives.

EW has learned exclusively that one of the husbands will start attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings when the ABC drama returns for its final season Sept. 25. He’ll get some much-needed help from a sponsor named Allen, who will be played by Scott Lawrence (pictured). Allen attends meetings regularly and will give advice to this troubled new attendee.

Lawrence is a familiar face on TV, having appeared on such shows as Law & Order: LA, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and NCIS.

So which hubby do you think will hit the bottle this year?

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The most Tivo'ed show on TV is....

Thank God for DVRs, or fans wouldn’t get their regular fix of McDreamy. That’s right: Grey’s Anatomy is the most Tivo’ed show in the country for several years running – a pretty decent accomplishment for a drama that’s about to start its eighth season.

We asked Tivo, which began compiling data in October 2007, for the top 10 most DVR’ed shows and here’s what we got. The bad news: Three of these shows are no longer on the air. (Miss you, Greg Grunberg!) READ FULL STORY

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