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Emmy Watch: 'Parenthood' creator Jason Katims on adding a new Braverman, writing for an ensemble

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, EW.com is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

While working on Friday Night Lights, Jason Katims learned that critical love, fan buzz, and hopeful thinking don’t always equal a nomination. And sometimes it just takes a while.

After five years of flirting with Emmy, Friday Night Lights secured its first and only nomination for Best Drama Series last year. They didn’t win. (Though Kyle Chandler walked away with an award in the Lead Actor category, and Katims won Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.) But for Katims, the recognition was a win. And as Parenthood heads into its fourth season, the executive producer is hoping for the same — if not more.

“On Friday Night Lights, we weren’t recognized until later in the series run….,” Katims says. “I’m hoping a similar thing happens to Parenthood. Obviously, it would be a really great thing for everybody.”

And with episodes like “Nora” in their arsenal, their chances are strong. The episode, which marked the birth of the newest Braverman, was one of the episodes the show submitted for consideration. It was also the episode EW dissected with Katims when we spoke as part of Emmy Watch. Check out a clip and read more below. READ FULL STORY

'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Parenthood,' 'Fringe,' 'The Closer': Spoiler Room!

How I Met Your Mother: Find out how season 8 begins
Q: I am counting down the minutes until How I Met Your Mother returns in the fall — any scoop on big plot points for season 8? Thanks! — Whitney
With roughly 136,500 minutes to go, I’m excited, too, Whitney. After what I felt was one of their best seasons yet, my expectations are sky high. And executive producer Craig Thomas, who was nice enough to break down the season 7 finale for me as part of EW’s Emmy Watch, promises we won’t be disappointed.

Now, while I couldn’t squeeze too much info out of him on next season (the writers’ room is in the thick of it now!), here’s what he did share. “One little tidbit: The season premiere picks up right where we left off in May, with Ted and Victoria — a runaway bride — driving off into the sunset. Suddenly, Ted is struck by horrible guilt over the fact that he was left at the altar back in season 4 and now finds himself on the other end of that dubious equation,” he says. “So the entire premiere takes place on that day in May — a first for us, starting a season that way — and then episode two jumps us through the summer and into September.”

So will we get to see Marshall and Lily’s first day as parents? Will Ted drive Victoria BACK to her wedding? What about Barney? What about Robin? WHY ISN’T IT SEPTEMBER YET? Anyway, discuss… (Note: My countdown was based on a “start time” 1 p.m. ET on June 22 and a premiere date of Sept. 25, which is simply a guess. And if you figured that out before reading this sentence, you’re crazy.)

Fringe: Will Walter die?
So, we already know that much of next season will take place in 2036. We know that we have a mere 13 episodes to go. And we know it’s a journey we’ll be taking without the watchful eye of co-showrunner Jeff Pinkner. (J.H. Wyman will remain as the sole showrunner.) But other than that? Fringe can take us in any direction is pleases.

For John Noble, all that matters is that Walter gets a chance to right his wrongs. But is death the only way to do that? We discussed: “I think they’ve got to find a way to do it… I think they’re going to find a way to disappear him,” he says. “The storytelling mode, does it work to kill off a hero? I’m not sure that it does sometimes. You can see a person go through an enormous journey, but somewhere at the end of that journey, there’s a change — whatever the change is. It’s [usually] a change for the better, even though it may mean that person is not there.”

But he doubts the writers will, as he jokes, say, “Die, old man!” “I think that would be horrible. I think the fans would storm the citadel,” he says. “But I think it would also be really honorable and dignified if they find some way for Walter to willingly end this nonsense. But I don’t actually know how they’ll do that yet. But I believe they have to.”

Elsewhere, he also feels like the “extraordinary love affair” between Peter and Olivia needs to “become validated.” “That would be satisfying to me as an audience member. Again, not walking into the sunset, just really [reassuring us] they are in love and they need each other,” he says. Of course, he adds, “we’d know that anyway.”

Parenthood: Three teases for season 4
Jason Katims never intended for the season finale of Parenthood to feel like a series finale. (For the record, he thinks it was the wedding that gave that impression.) So we asked Katims to preview some of the great stuff coming up for the characters. And since you’ve already read about what Sarah and Mark will be facing (darn you, Ray Romano!), here’s a look at some of the others:

+ Julia and Joel: “We want to explore the addition of Victor, who’s the boy that Julia and Joel adopted. And we want to look at both the joy of what that is but also the challenges of what it’s like adopting [a child]. It’s not what they expected. They never pictured an 8-year-old. They pictured a baby. So what is that like for them? What are the challenges?”
+ Crosby and Jasmine: “We’re excited about exploring the first year of marriage between Crosby and Jasmine. We have a couple ideas for some really big storylines for them. It’s a little early to pitch those quite yet, but we’ll be really taking the show to another level.”
+ Drew: “It’s last year of high school. I have a bunch of friends who have children graduating high school, and it’s a really interesting period of time from both the parents’ point of view and the high school senior, who is ready to take off and branch out.”

NEXT: Weeds, The Closer, Suits, and more scooplets!

'Parenthood' scoop: Ray Romano to guest star

Veteran sitcom (and drama!) star Ray Romano will join Parenthood this fall for a multi-episode arc. He will play a photographer who befriends Sarah (Lauren Graham) and complicates things with Mark (a returning Jason Ritter. Yes!).

His character will be introduced in the drama’s premiere on Sept. 11. Romano last starred in the critical fave Men of a Certain Age for TNT.

Romano’s arc definitely means things will stay hot and heavy with Mark, who was last seen proposing to Sarah. The long-term prognosis on their relationship wasn’t looking good, however, because Ritter was developing a new hospital drama for NBC from Parenthood head scribe Jason Katims. How could he stay on Parenthood and marry Sarah when he was needed in a County hospital?

Fortunately for fans of the Katims drama, the medical drama didn’t get a pickup for this fall, so Ritter’s dance card is (relatively) open for next season. “We love Jason Ritter so much and love the dynamic so much between he and Lauren, it’s definitely something we want to write to,” Katims told EW. “I think it’s always a question of working around his availability, so we’re not sure how many episodes he’s going to be in. But we’re hoping he’ll be much of the season, if possible. We always have to stay somewhat flexible.” — With additional reporting from Sandra Gonzalez

'Revenge,' 'Magic Mike,' and Jessie J lead nominees for the 2012 'NewNowNext Awards' -- EXCLUSIVE

EW-NNNA-update

Logo’s NewNowNext Awards don’t air until April 9 on the cable network, but EW has exclusively learned the roster of nominees for the fifth annual event, which showcases who and what are on the verge of a pop culture explosion in 2012.

Nominees range from Revenge‘s Emily VanCamp and Parenthood‘s Michael B. Jordan in the Next Mega Star category to Jessie J and FUN. in the Brink-of-Fame: Music Artist category to Magic Mike and Snow White & The Huntsman in the Next Must-See Movie category.

The 90-minute show will be taped in front of a live studio audience at the Avalon in Hollywood on April 5. Performers, presenters, and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Starting today, the public can vote for the awards on Logo’s NewNowNext website. Check out all the nominees here:

READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood' creator (and co-star!) making doctor drama for NBC

The man responsible for NBC’s critically-beloved Parenthood is going back to the drawing board and creating a new drama for the Peacock that could star the guy dating Sarah Braverman.

Jason Ritter — who plays the hot young teacher on Parenthood and last headlined the short-lived NBC drama The Event – is slated to star in Jason Katims’ drama pilot called County. Its about a group of young doctors, nurses and administrators in a “frenetic underfunded and morally compromising LA County Hospital.” If picked up to series for fall of 2012, Ritter will be too dang busy to keep the love alive on Parenthood so that probably means his character will not be having a baby with Sarah.

Oh, Mr. Katims, the way you toy with our Braverman lovin’ hearts! Stay tuned…

NBC also ordered another drama pilot Monday from the auspices of Dick Wolf and the writing team behind 3:10 to Yuma. Its called Chicago Fire and focuses on — you guessed it! — the fire putter-outers of the Windy City.

The Peacock also ordered a bunch of comedies today.

Hmm…what does this mean for Whitney’s future?

'The Mentalist,' 'Terra Nova,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' 'NCIS': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Hello, friends!

As we all prepare to celebrate the annual celebration of Saturnalia, it is with great excitement that I present to you this week’s column! Why am I so excited? Because I get a week of vacation starting… Oh, crap! Ten hours ago!

We better get a move on. But while I’m away, remember to keep sending in your questions to spoilerroom@ew.com and sending em via Twitter. (@EWSandraG) See y’all soon!

‘THE MENTALIST’: RED JOHN MYSTERY WILL ‘RAMP UP’

The Red John story line has taken so many twists and turns since last season’s epic finale that that story line has largely taken a backseat to other fun capers. But that won’t be the case all season. In fact, Daniel Cerone, executive producer and writer of next week’s “Fugue in Red,” tells me this week’s episode, which will find Jane reverting to his con-man ways after an accident, will “reframe who Red John is in the life of our character” and ultimately set the stage for a second half of the season that will see more action from this fan-favorite story line. READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood' scoop: 'True Blood' actress to make music with Crosby

Jasmine who?

A potential love connection is about to walk into the Luncheonette on NBC’s Parenthood.

EW has learned that Courtney Ford, best known for playing Portia Bellefleur on True Blood, will appear in multiple episodes as Lily, a 30-something cellist who rents time in Crosby and Adam’s recording studio.

Here’s the official description of her character: “She’s bright, observant, wry-humored, and warmly appealing, with a down-to-earth approachability, as well as a real passion for music. Despite an inauspicious start, she and Crosby really begin to connect.”

Ford has booked a multi-episode arc that will air after the drama returns from holiday break in January. She’s also appeared on The Vampire Diaries and Dexter.

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Parenthood
: Alexandra Daddario says her character will cause ‘friction’ between Adam and Kristina

'Parenthood': Alexandra Daddario says her character will cause 'friction' between Adam and Kristina

Sure, Alexandra Daddario’s Kate may have gotten blown up by a bomb on White Collar (and yes, we’re still not over it) but on Parenthood, it’s her turn to cause some (emotional) explosions, specifically between Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina (Monica Potter).

Last week, we were introduced to Rachel (Daddario), Adam and Crosby’s scantily-clad new secretary and office assistant, who unknowingly caused ripples between Adam and Kristina. (Kristina, who has been dealing with post-pregnancy stresses and insecurities, was not too happy to meet her husband’s hot, young employee.) But tonight, as Daddario teases, things may get a little more intentional. “There was obviously a preview at the end of the [last] episode that implied that there’s going to be more problems between Kristina and Adam and more tension as a result of my character’s actions,” she tells EW. “I just think I cause a bit of friction and distraction.”  READ FULL STORY

'Glee,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Parenthood,' 'The Secret Circle': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Many, many scoops today. So let’s get to it.

But before we do, remember to be sending me your questions! Without you, there are no spoils to be had. So send all queries, theories, thoughts, and Get Well Soon messages (See the results of my clumsiness here) to: spoilerroom@ew.com or hit me up on Twitter: @EWSandraG.

‘GLEE': LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX
It’s hard to know where to begin talking about one of Glee‘s most anticipated episodes of the year. Thankfully, that’s not my problem, because I took your burning questions to resident Gleek lord Tim Stack, who offered up these monster teases! If you didn’t get a chance to submit any, you’re probably not following me on Twitter! Don’t miss out next time! READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood' scoop: A new man in Kristina (and Amber's?) life

An intern who worked for Kristina (Monica Potter) is about to pull the new mom of the nursery and back to work on Parenthood. EW has learned that Jonathan Tucker (The Black Donnellys) will join the NBC drama for six episodes as Bob Little, a young and approachable political candidate with an “infectious liberal passion” and someone who “inspires confidence on sight.”

Bob hires Kristina to run his campaign and Amber (Mae Whitman) is brought on as an assistant.

Earlier this year, Tucker appeared on USA’s Royal Pains. His previous credits include The Ruins, In the Valley of Elah and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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Parenthood scoop: EP Jason Katims previews Adam and Kristina trouble

'Parenthood' scoop: EP Jason Katims previews Adam and Kristina trouble, Sarah's ex drama, and hope for Crosby and Jasmine

This season of Parenthood has decidedly taken the Bravermans into uncharted — and slightly darker — territory. Sarah (Lauren Graham) is struggling to help her ex-husband Seth (John Corbitt) sober up, Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina (Monica Potter) have a new baby and no money, Julia (Erika Christensen) has hit more than a few snags on her quest for another child with Joel (Sam Jaeger), and Crosby (Dax Shepard) is looking for any way he can to stay afloat. And that’s just the adults.

Well, as the show moves into November sweeps (a critical month for television shows), things are only going to get tougher for the gang. In a chat with EW, executive producer Jason Katims previewed the trials and tribulations on the way. [Steer clear, SPOILER phobes!] READ FULL STORY

'Revenge,' 'Gossip Girl,' 'NCIS,' 'Bones,' 'Supernatural': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Wow, this week’s Spoiler Room photo has so much pretty…

Sorry. Back on track!

There’s a lot for you to eat up here, so I’ll make this brief. Thanks for all your questions! Keep it up! Tell me what you’re loving, what you’re hating, what you ate for breakfast (kidding!…or…) and what you’re dying to know! E-mail all your fabulous ponderings to spoilerroom@ew.com or find me on Twitter: @EWSandraG.

On to the scoop, featuring goods on the likes of Parenthood, Sons of Anarchy, Castle, Persons of Interest, Parks and Recreation, and a Titanic reference. (God, help us all.)

‘GOSSIP GIRL': EP TALKS MORE ON ‘SLEEP NO MORE,’
How much did you love this news? I was so excited I even circled Nov. 14 in my calendar and drew a creepy mask by the date to remind myself. But in case you need even more reasons to be excited about the impending romantic entanglements in this very special episode, executive producer Josh Safran told me that much “like masked balls in the past, there are multiple kisses — between multiple people” in the episode. “Like, quadratic couples, I’d say,” he teases. Could that have something to do with the “big kiss” everyone has been asking me about? Possibly… READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood': Cee-Lo stops by Adam and Crosby's studio -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Parenthood is getting an extra injection of awesome this week as Cee-Lo stops by for a guest appearance.

In this exclusive first look at his appearance, Cee-Lo is seen touring Adam and Crosby’s (not exactly complete) studio. But despite its rough appearance, Adam wins the mega-star over by explaining the studio was once used by Janis Joplin. The only problem? Crosby seems less than thrilled with Cee-Lo’s ambitious goals.

Watch the clip below!  READ FULL STORY

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