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Scoop: Ashley Jensen exits 'Ugly Betty'

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Ashley Jensen is leaving Ugly Betty at the end of the season, and I know this because… she was just cast as a series regular in the CBS comedy pilot Accidentally on Purpose!

A rep for CBS/Paramount confirms that Jensen is joining the cast of Accidentally, which revolves around a San Francisco movie critic (Jenna Elfman) who finds herself “accidentally” pregnant after a fling with a much younger man.

Jensen’s Betty departure hardly comes as a surprise. The actress was less than thrilled when Betty moved its production from Los Angeles to New York. In fact, Jensen was the only cast-member not to relocate to the Big Apple full-time — making for one hellish cross-country commute. Add to that the fact that she was barely visible on Betty this season and you have the makings of what an ABC insider calls “a completely mutual” parting of the ways. (BTW, props to my Frenemy for making my story look extremely dated first reporting Jensen’s exit back in January.)

“While we’re sad that Ashley will not be returning next season as a series regular, she is still a member of the Ugly Betty family,” Ugly Betty exec producer Silvio Horta said in an exclusive statement. “So don’t be surprised if you see Christina pop back up in Betty’s life.”

Thoughts on a Jensen-less Betty? Sound off below!

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on 'Bones,' 'House,' 'Sarah Connor,' 'Grey's,' 'Lost,' 'Gossip Girl,' 'Damages,' 'Supernatural,' 'CSI,' '24,' and more!

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The end of the TV season is fast approaching, and that can only mean one thing: Your favorite characters are going to start dropping like flies! This week’s Ask Ausiello features exclusive intel about which shows the Grim Reaper will be targeting in the coming months. Also in AA: More spoilers than you can shake a stick at, an answer to last week’s tantalizing ER quiz (it’s buried, so be sure to read each and every Q/A!), scoop about my latest Lauren Graham sighting, and much, much more. Let’s get to it! 

Question: So, how exactly is House going to make his pain magically disappear next week? — Reina
Ausiello:
He switches to a new drug — and no, it’s not heroin. But that’s not the big news, this is: House and Wilson go on a date!

Question: What’s up with the McFight on tonight’s Grey’s Anatomy? Is Derek hitting Mark over Lexie? — Michelle
Ausiello:
Kind of, but not really. It’s a classic case of transference. Derek’s really mad at Addison, but he ends up taking his frustration out on Mark instead. And man, do those two beat the crap out of each other. There’s even blood!

Question: Can you give us some scoop on tonight’s Grey’s? — Greysfan
Ausiello:
Izzie finds out that her blood sample was mixed up
(shocker!), which means she’s suffering from something far worse than
anemia (double shocker!). But what? Sadly, we have to wait until March
12 for the official diagnosis.

Question: Will we be getting any Callie-Arizona scenes on Grey’s Anatomy this week? — Alyssa
Ausiello:
That’s affirmative. Callie asks Arizona out on a date!

Question: I want to congratulate you on your 26th birthday coming up on
Monday! Now, how about some juicy Lost scoop. — Anglique
Ausiello:
How about you get my age right first. Twenty-six?! Do I
really look that old? Ugh. So much for Oil of Olay Daily Regenerating
Serum
. Anywhoo, Lost scoop: Someone will be joining recent time travel
victim Charlotte six feet under before the season is over. My source
describes the character as "major-ish," which most likely rules out any
of our series regulars. Guesses? Post ‘em in the comments section!

Question: Dude, the foreshadowing in this week’s 24 has me worried for Chloe’s safety. Please tell me she’s not going to take
a header into the Dead Pool come season end. — Nicole
Ausiello:
Relax, Chloe isn’t dying. But someone else is this Monday. Also in next week’s ep: A 24 fave returns and a new threat will be revealed! (Is
it just me, or did that last sentence read like a Fox promo? I think
I’ve been doing this too long.)

Question: Since Scrubs moved to ABC, there is always a character missing from each episode. Why? — Shanon
Ausiello:
Money. In order to make the season 8 pick-up financially
feasible for ABC, Bill Lawrence had to trim some serious coin from the
show’s budget. The easiest way to do that was to give every cast member
two episodes off. Zach Braff included.

Question: Ask Ausiello is a day late! Oh, that’s right — you had to up
and change everything. For my troubles, can you at least tell me if
there’s any hope for a second season of Privileged? — Heather
Ausiello:
I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you, Heather: Rina
Mimoun’s critical darling is fighting for its life, and time is running
out. The season finale airs Tuesday and even the slightest ratings bump
could increase the show’s season 2 odds. To the uninitiated, I urge you
to read Jennifer Armstrong’s "5 Reasons to Save Privileged" in the new
issue of EW (on sale Friday). Girlfriend makes some very persuasive arguments.

Question: Seriously, Mike? You’ve gone weeks without giving us new Bones scoop! — Esther
Ausiello:
I was saving up for something good — something like… this:
According to executive producer Hart Hanson, a series of attacks within
the Lab will cause "dissension and suspicion" amongst all of the main
players by the end of the season, adding, "It will affect the way each
and every character regards the others." Oh, and the Booth-Brennan sex
thing in the May finale? Yep, still happening.

Question: Were you suggesting that Kristen Bell was in the running to play a young Lily in the Gossip Girl spin-off? — Tara
Ausiello:
I was not. I’m actually going to keep quiet about which
actress I was referring to until there’s something solid to report.
Don’t want to jinx things. Having said that, I’d
like to take this opportunity to nominate American Dreams ingénue
Brittany Snow for the role. Not only does she have "young Kelly
Rutherford" plastered across her forehead, but as she proved on her
much-missed NBC drama, she has a timeless quality. (If she can pull off
the ’60s, the ’80s oughta be breeze.) Plus, anything that keeps her
away from Prom Night 2 has to be a good thing, right? If you agree,
please, say so in the comments section. It’s no fun being out on this
limb all alone.

Question: Please, I need some Gossip Girl scoop on Blair and Chuck! — Carla
Ausiello:
Okay, but I have to warn you, it’s going to make you very
angry. Leighton Meester’s real-life beau, Sebastian Stan, will be
reprising his role as the shifty Carter Baizen. He’ll appear in the
next two original episodes and, per my source, his mission is twofold:
to mess with Chuck and hook up with Blair. Don’t shoot the messenger!

Question: I am leaving for France tomorrow for nine days. Could you please give me some Gossip Girl to hold me over? — Rachel
Ausiello:
You know Serena’s new grifter beau, Gabriel (Armie Hammer)?
She’s met him before — only she can’t remember where or when.

Question: Do we have to beg for some Big Bang Theory spoilers? Because I will beg. — Irrel
Ausiello:
Begging works. I’ve got additional deets about Summer Glau’s
hilarious sounding Amtrak run-in with Leonard & Co. in the March 9
episode courtesy of exec producer Bill Prady: "For the guys, there’s
probably no more awesome sci-fi female to encounter than Summer Glau,
with her nerd-cred times four. Normally, these guys might only have a
split-second autograph encounter with her at Comic-Con, but now they
have 11 hours to get up the courage to talk to her — and she’s
sitting alone! Of course, Sheldon does offer a word of caution:  If
Terminators actually did exist, a perfect way they could lull victims
into a false sense of security would be to pose as actors who have
played Terminators." ROFWLOLOMGILOVEIT!

Question: Any rumors, tidbits, scoops, or details regarding Terminator:
The Sarah Connor Chronicles
? Is what I fear most about to pass — is
Summer Glau leaving the show? — Kevin B.
Ausiello:
No, but one of her female co-stars is on March 6.

Question: Any scoop on Flight of the Conchords? — Harry
Ausiello:
In Sunday’s episode, Bret and Jemaine will literally duel to
win the love of Brahbrah, played by SNL‘s Kristen Wiig. The two meet
her in the park while she searches for her missing dog, Charlie. Bonus
Conchords goss: Bret takes up Jazzercise! Now in totally unrelated
news, the answer to last week’s multiple choice ER quiz is A: $125K.
Thanks for playing!

Question: After seeing Ugly Betty last Thursday, it’s about time Ms.
Meade (Judith Light) got a man. And I know just the man for the role:
Tony Danza. She could even answer the door in her robe. — Sina
Ausiello:
Funny you should mention that. It just so happens that Betty
is casting the recurring role of Richard Hartley, a fiftysomething Ted
Turner-type and the father of Betty’s new love, Matt (Daniel Eric
Gold). Sure, this probably means he’s married to Matt’s mom, Christine
Baranski, but, hey, that’s a minor obstacle for someone like Ms. Meade.
Either way, Danza should probably put a call into his agent.

Question: I recall Damages was renewed for seasons 2 and 3
simultaneously. Given this, are we going to get a resolution to the
Daniel Purcell case this season, or is that going to carry over to
Season 3? — Jake
Ausiello:
The Purcell case will end when Season 2 does — but that
doesn’t mean we will have seen the last of William Hurt. "Things are always open to
change, but Season 2 wraps up much like Season 1 did," reveals
exec producer Todd Kessler. "[But] William Hurt’s character has a very
strong personal relationship with Patty — he’s the father of her son.
So his character remains vital and important to the lives of Patty and
Michael Hughes. There’s always a chance he will come back. It’s
schedule dependent."

Question: To celebrate the premiere of Dollhouse, I think it
would be very fitting for you to give us some scoop — or at the very
least tell us what you thought. — Sydney
Ausiello:
I have mixed feelings about Dollhouse. My biggest complaint is the complete and utter lack of
humor. Where’s the Whedonesque ha-ha we’ve all come to depend on? And
when I am laughing, I don’t think I’m supposed to be. For
instance, Eliza Dushku as a ball-busting hostage negotiator? Highlarious. And I may be in the minority here, but I find the Topher "I’m the lovable, quirky one"
Brink character to be unbearable. The only thing I find relatable about him is his
taste in sweater vests. Despite all this, I’m four episodes in and I can’t wait for No. 5. Go figure.

Question: Okay, I’ll bite: Give me some spoilerage about the two deaths coming up on Big Love. — Jenna
Ausiello:
One’s male and one’s female. Additional clues can be found here, but click over at your own risk.

Question: Please, I need big spoilers for Big Love. What is coming up!
What is going to happen to poor Sarah? And what is going on with
Margene? — Katie
Ausiello:
Sarah’s baby daddy, Scott (Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul) returns
on March 15. And Margene starts her own business selling, what else,
bracelets. 

Question: What’s the latest on Numb3rs? — Samantha
Ausiello:
Don suffers a life-threatening injury later this season, and
Charlie feels he might be responsible because he wasn’t focused on the
case and might have overlooked something. And the show’s 100th episode
finds Don and Charlie tackling a case with eerie similarities to the
first crime they worked on together.

Question: I’m hearing Chloe makes a decision that will change her
friendship with Clark forever in episode 20 of Smallville. What is it? — Amber
Ausiello:
The answer lies in a recent Ask Ausiello.

Question: You have to stop teasing Supernatural fans about this big
Winchester brawl
that’s going to happen in the season finale. Just
answer us this question: What causes the big hoopla? Ash
Ausiello:
I honestly don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with
Sam’s demon blood addiction. Or maybe it’s fallout from a
certain death that’s coming up in April. Or maybe… nope, those are
the only two theories I’ve got.

Question: CSI… anything? — Kent
Ausiello:
Yuh-huh. In an upcoming eppy, wacky shenanigans ensue when a
sci-fi icon is bumped off at (more or less) Comic-Con. My money’s on a
rogue Tribble — so many places to conceal a weapon on a body that’s
nothing but fur.

Question: I saw your BFF Lauren Graham in Guys & Dolls this weekend
and she was amazing! Now can you give me some scoop on my second favorite
show (after Gilmore Girls, of course) Brothers & Sisters? –
Jacqueline
Ausiello:
I saw her, too. What do you want to bet my seats sucked worse
than yours? I’ll wager $10K. Note: Do not purchase orchestra seats in
the high 20s rows A thru L. You’ll miss half the show. Literally. The half I saw I
really enjoyed. And man, Lauren can sing. I met her backstage afterwards and she
couldn’t have been nicer. I’m hoping to see it again after its official opening in early March — if for no other reason than to catch the half of the show I missed. As for your question (you thought I
forgot, didn’t you?), in the finale of Brothers & Sisters, I hear Kitty goes house-hunting
with someone other than Robert. Could it be this
guy
?

Okay, that’s a wrap! Send questions/anonymous tips/birthday wishes to ausielloscoop@ew.com. Thanks for playing! Oh, I almost forgot: I’m officially a Twittering fool! You can follow me at
twitter.com/ewausiellofiles. Woo-hoo! (Additional
reporting by Lynette Rice, Andy Patrick and Aly Semigran
)

Exclusive: 'Ugly Betty' lives!

Uglybetty_lAn Ugly mess has been averted!

Despite the, ahem, perception problem that resulted from that whole open-ended hiatus thing, ABC is on the verge of renewing Ugly Betty for a fourth season, sources confirm to me exclusively.

The network is also said to be thisclose to giving early pickups to Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, America’s Funniest Home Videos, and The Bachelor.

An ABC spokesperson says the net “is not ready to announce any pick-ups at this point.”

As you know, Betty‘s future was called into question when ABC announced that it was temporarily replacing the show on Thursdays with an all-sitcom comedy block. At the time, Alphabet insiders insisted the show was safe, and, gosh dang-it, they weren’t lying!

What say you Betty fans? Relieved? Indifferent? Worried about Life on Mars and Samantha Who? now? Sound off below!

'Ugly Betty' exclusive: Christine Baranski hits the mother lode

Christinebaranski_lMaybe this will get ABC to reconsider that whole open-ended hiatus thing.

The acerbictacular Christine Baranski is joining the cast of Ugly Betty as a woman whom Betty may eventually call mom.

I kid you not.

Okay, I kid you a little.

The Emmy winner will play the high society mother of Betty’s new love
interest, Matt (Daniel Eric Gold), in a minimum of three episodes.

As I previously reported, Betty meets sports writer Matt at YETI in the
Feb. 19 episode and the couple-to-be are tasked with shadowing one
another at their respective jobs.

Baranski, who just wrapped a stint as the woman who spawned Johnny
Galecki’s Leonard on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (airing Feb. 9), is slated
to show up in mid-March, right around the time Betty starts warming the
bench for ABC.

But let’s focus on the positive: This casting rocks!

Breaking: ABC benches 'Ugly Betty'

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Things are looking pretty gloomy for Ugly Betty.

In a just-announced Thursday night scheduling tweak, ABC is benching Betty beginning March 26 and replacing it with episodes of Samantha Who? and the new Megan Mullally-Cheryl Hines comedy In the Motherhood. The network’s release concludes by saying, "Ugly Betty will return to Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. following the run of In the Motherhood and Samantha Who?"

After crunching the numbers, that puts Betty‘s return (provided Sam Who/Motherhood don’t tank) sometime around (gulp) June — a.k.a. outside the regular season. Now, granted, Betty hasn’t exactly been killing it in the ratings this season, but it’s still one of ABC’s signature shows. At least I thought it was.

"The Thursday night block is a good opportunity to launch these comedies," counters an ABC spokesperson. "That said, Betty is a solid performer and there is no question that it will definitely be back to complete its season, just without repeats."

But when will it be back? The net’s not saying, and that’s the part that has me worried. Do you share my concern? Or is there a silver lining here that I’m just not seeing? Comment away. 

Exclusive: 'Stargate' snags Marc's 'Ugly Betty" BF

Davidblue_lThis certainly puts the kibosh on a possible Marc-Cliff reunion on Ugly Betty: Cliff’s portrayer, David Blue, is relocating to another freakin’ universe.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that Blue has been tapped to join the cast of Sci Fi Channel’s Stargate Universe, the franchise’s third (and purportedly edgiest) live-action series.

Blue, who joins previously announced headliner Robert Carlyle, plays Eli Wallace, a total slacker who just happens to be an utter genius with anything he puts his mind to — mathematics, computers, video games. A lack confidence has left him with an acerbic sense of humor.

Universe follows a group of soldiers, scientists, and civilians who have been stranded on an ancient ship in the far reaches of space. It’s slated to debut on Sci Fi next fall.

I’m sad for Marc and Cliff, but I’m ecstatic for David, a genuinely decent guy who displayed real star potential on Betty.

Exclusive: 'Ugly Betty' hires Henry 2.0

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Ugly Betty has cast a new love interest for America Ferrera, and he’s cute in an unconventional way, smart and career conscious, and friendly yet socially awkward.

OMG, Henry’s coming back!

Kind of.

Actually, no he’s not.

Multiple sources confirm to me exclusively that Daniel Eric Gold (Charlie Wilson’s War) has been cast in the recurring role of Matt, a seemingly Henry-esque hottie with whom Betty meets at YETI (Young Editors’ Training Initiative).

I’m told Betty producers have big plans for Betty and Matt. The kind of big plans that led them to include a series regular option in Gold’s just-inked contract.

The burning question: What does this mean for Betty’s current crush, Jesse? I’m guessing it means he bought himself a one-way ticket to the doghouse when he decided to suck face with Amanda. Having said that, I have no confirmation that Val Emmich’s Betty stint has come to an end.

And not to OD on the Henry/Matt parallels, but the new guy shares something else in common with Christopher Gorham’s much-missed alter ego: he’s keeping a secret. A secret that could impact Betty’s life in a significant way.

What do you think he’s hiding? Are you happy a new long-term romance is on the horizon for Betty — regardless of the whole secret thing? Do you wish they’d just bring back Henry instead? Or Gio? Sound off below!

'Ugly Betty' Scoop: Henry and Gio Will Be Back!

Emmy winner America Ferrera made the above declaration at Ugly Betty‘s Season 3 premiere party Monday night — and, as luck would have it, our cameras caught the whole thing!

Exclusive: 'Lost' Freighter Cap'n Sets Sail for 'Ugly Betty'

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Ex-Lost thesp Grant Bowler — he played the swarthy freighter captain who was shot and killed in last May’s finale — is dropping anchor at Ugly Betty.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that the Aussie actor has been cast in the heavily recurring role of Meade Publications’ CFO. “He’s running the business part of the magazine,” explains Betty exec producer Silvio Horta. “He’s hot and cool and all the women are in love with him.”

Rumor has it one of those women (Wilhelmina, perhaps?) may have previously raised his mast.

Oh, how I enjoy a good nautical pun…. (Additional reporting by Jessica Shaw)

Exclusive: Cibrian Ditches Betty's Sis for 'Wife'

Betty_lThis certainly doesn’t bode well for Hilda’s romance with Coach Diaz on Ugly Betty.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that Eddie Cibrian is heading to USA Network’s The Starter Wife for a three-episode arc. He’ll play a detective who investigates some strange goings-on in Molly’s (Debra Messing) life.

Starter Wife kicks off its first official season on Oct. 10; look for Cibrian to first appear around the eighth episode.

Getting back to the matter at hand, what does this mean for Cibrian’s role as Ana Ortiz’s hot new squeeze on Betty? As I reported last month, Cibrian was only committed to appear in four episodes this season. And Betty recently wrapped its fourth episode. And Cibrian’s now on a new show. And… do I have to spell it out for you?! Sheesh.

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