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Question: I just started watching Parenthood. I cannot believe I’ve been missing out on this show! Any scoop on the new season? —Caitlin
Ausiello: Amber will trade politics for music when she takes a job at the Luncheonette, which will accomplish two things: It’ll give Mae Whitman a lot more screentime with TV uncle Dax Shepard, and it will allow Whitman to incorporate her real-life singing ability into the show. A win-win!
Question: Just wondering if you could tell me which episode of True Blood Chris Meloni first appears in? I say the third but others disagree. Who’s right? —Jessica
Ausiello: The Others are correct — Meloni’s Vampire Authority bigwig turns up this Sunday. As does Cougar Town‘s Carolyn Hennesy, who plays one of his half-dozen chancellors. “We are really trying to decide the fate of vampires all over the world: mainstreaming versus non-mainstreaming,” Hennesy explains. “The buck stops with us and there are those interested in following one path and those interested in another, so there’s some definite in-fighting between us.”
Question: Loved the True Blood premiere. What’s coming up necks, er, next? —Ed
Ausiello: I’ll say this: The Tanning Mom is not going to want to miss the June 24 episode.
Question: When is your Benedict Cumberbatch Q&A running? —George
Ausiello: Later this week. I promise it will be worth the wait.
Question: Yo! Breaking Bad, like now, bitch! —Matthew
Ausiello: You’re such a kiss-ass, Matthew. Bad is on the lookout for an actor in his 40s or 50s to play the “quietly powerful and imposing” Geoff during the show’s final eight episodes. Gus 2.0, perhaps?
Question: I love The Killing but I have yet to hear if the show is being renewed. Any word if we will get a Season 3? —Katie
Ausiello: No official word, but given the decline in ratings and buzz this season, I think a renewal is about as likely as Linden going an hour without a piece of gum or a cig.
Question: I just watched the first episode of Bunheads and I loved, loved, loved it! Do you have any spoilers? —Annie
Ausiello: If Scott Patterson’s ears are burning, here’s why: Amy Sherman-Palladino is giving Alan Ruck’s late Hubbell a brother (tentatively) named… Luke! Wait, there more! The audition scene the actors will be reading is actually from Gilmore Girls! I kid you not. It’s a scene between Luke and lawyer Russell Bynes from the Season 4 episode, “The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale.”
Question: Please track down Amy Sherman-Palladino for another interview about Bunheads. I need to know more! —Allison
Ausiello: That sounds like a lot of work for me. How ’bout I share with you some bonus material from the Q&A I did with her over the weekend instead. Did you know Kelly Bishop didn’t appear in the original Bunheads pilot? It’s true. At the time, Bishop was starring on Broadway in Anything Goes – the same show Sutton Foster was headlining when she landed Bunheads. And since there was no way Goes producers were going to let AS-P have both Foster and Bishop, “We shot the pilot without Kelly,” says Palladino. “But I knew it was [eventually] going to be Kelly, because I’m an only child and only children get what they want and don’t understand the concept of ‘You can’t have that.’ So, I shot the pilot and then protected a lot of footage. And then once it got picked up, I [re]-shot it with Kelly Bishop and it was exactly the way it was supposed to be.”
Question: Any scoop on Drop Dead Diva? —Alex
Ausiello: There will be multiple deaths by season’s end, one of which (I suspect) will make viewers very happy.
Question: Longtime reader, first time asking a question. Got anything on Damages — specifically if we’ll get to see a return by Tom Shayes in one of Patty’s dreams? —Ben
Ausiello: I’ve seen the first two episodes of the fifth and final season (bowing July 11) and there’s no sign of Tate Donovan’s dead attorney. Here’s what you will see in Hours 1 and 2: At least one gratuitous shot of guest star Ryan Phillippe’s abs, a ginormous twist via flash forward that I imagine will infuriate/upset/unsettle a large chunk of the audience, and Patty opening up an F-word-laced can of whoop ass on her kindergarten-aged granddaughter.
Question: Do you have any news on The League Season 4? It’s been far too long between Season 3 and 4! —Peter
Ausiello: Paul Scheer’s Andre will continue to look like he dressed himself in the dark. “He will be wearing uglier and uglier things,” confirms Scheer. “I had a hand in picking out something. It’s a red onesie tracksuit with no separation. It’s awesome.”
Question: Any Vampire Diaries scoop on Bonnie? —Macarena
Ausiello: Her decision in the finale to help Klaus take possession of Tyler’s body (all for the greater good and unbeknownst to everyone) sets up a very interesting Season 4 for Elena’s BFF. “This is Bonnie’s ‘I am witch woman, hear me roar’ moment,” declares Vampire Diaries EP Julie Plec. “She went and made a decision that she felt was best for the people that she loved, consequences be damned. Bonnie is the true hero in all of this, if you really look at it. She came in and found a way to save the day. Had she not done what she did, all of our heroes would be dead… We’re just seeing the beginning of growth for her, exploring who she is and what it means to be a witch and how she feels about it.”
Question: I need some Vampire Diaries scoop on Delena. —Karolina
Ausiello: Although not specifically about the star-crossed duo, Plec reveals that Year 4 will be the Season of Transition. “Every character is growing up and graduating, so to speak,” she says, “and setting up the future of their grown-up worlds outside of Mystic Falls… Or maybe not.”
Question: Okay, so I’m 27 years old, but I will admit that ABC Family’s The Lying Game is quickly moving up my list of favorite television obsessions. Don’t judge me! Can you give me any scoop? —Gina
Ausiello: I just turned 40 and still collect Smurfs, so I think you’re good. Here’s a Lying Game scooplet: There will be a time jump between Seasons 1 and 2, but it will be teensy. We’re talking a few seconds, which, technically, still qualifies as a time jump in my book. (Said book, How to Make a Lame Scoop Sound Much More Exciting Than It Actually Is During the Dog Days of Summer, is due out around Christmas.)
Question: Got anything on Pretty Little Liars? —Dawn
Ausiello: Additional members of Team A will be revealed, and “they are people you might know,” hints exec producer Oliver Goldstick. “Just when those girls thought the ‘A’ of it all went away, he or she seems to resurface and take a new form. And it might be even more difficult and more formidable than the previous version.”
Question: Probably a stupid question, but in the Once Upon a Time finale, did Rumple restore the magic — even if it meant empowering Regina — because he was so ticked about Belle being hidden away so long? —Joshua
Ausiello: You are correct — that was a stupid question. ”His plan was set in motion long before he knew that Belle was alive,” notes exec producer Adam Horowitz. “ So all his actions in the finale were part of something else going on. When he discovers that Belle is alive and that Regina had her locked away, that’s a wrinkle in his plan and something that he must deal with in Season 2 while he also deals with whatever agenda he already has (hey, we’re not gonna spill that just yet!).”
Question: Any tidbits on The Story of Chicken Little, er, I mean Falling Skies? —Scott
Ausiello: Leave the comedy to me, Scott. We’ll all be better off. Regarding Skies, in this Sunday’s Season 2 opener, on the very same night that The Killing wraps its second season, Brandon Jay McLaren (who recurred as Bennett Amed on the AMC drama) joins the cast as Jamil, a heretofore never-seen 2nd Mass member who’s extremely crafty with automechanics and is poised for romance with one of the TNT sci-fier’s pretty (if grungy) ladies.
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Additional reporting by Meg Masters)