Frankie Heck is not going to let the pinch steal Christmas.
The Middle's stretched-thin, harried mother (played by Patricia Heaton) has a scant $20 to spend on gifts for her three kids this year. Ever the problem solver, she cracks to her unflappable quarry-manager husband Mike (Neil Flynn): "I'll fake my own death!" This way, she says, when she appears very much alive on Christmas morning, her children will be so happy they won't care that there aren't any presents.
Turns out, not everybody loves Raymond. Or at least The Middle's Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) doesn't.
Fall Preview: Get scoop on your favorite returning shows
And viewers will learn why on the one-hour season premiere of the ABC comedy, which reunites Heaton with her Everybody Loves Raymond husband Ray Romano.
"We hadn't gone to him before," co-creator and executive producer DeAnn Heline tells TVGuide.com. "As a new show, you want to give it time to develop. Plus he was busy with his show — he's a busy guy. But, now, all the stars aligned."
Romano appears via flashbacks that are brought on by a Heck Family camping trip. As Frankie and Mike (Neil Flynn) take the kids into the woods, the couple reflects on the last time they went camping — on their honeymoon.
"Ray plays a friend of Mike's who happens to stumble upon them during their honeymoon and causes problems," Heline says...
Every week, editors Adam Bryant and Natalie Abrams satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to email@example.com.
Anything juicy on Ripper Stefan on The Vampire Diaries? Thanks! — Val, via Twitter
NATALIE: Juicy is a choice word, Val. Stefan will be sinking his teeth into many humans. "He gets deeper and deeper and the blood starts carrying him away," Paul Wesley tells us. "He commits to that lifestyle because the blood starts turning him into someone else." What we want to know is, who's going to bring him back?
How much flak will Hotch take for his cover-up of Prentiss' death on Criminal Minds? — Janice
ADAM: The team definitely won't be happy with him, but Hotch isn't...
Fans of Everybody Loves Raymond will be happy to hear that TV universes will once again collide on the Season 2 finale of The Middle. TV Guide Magazine has learned from the creators of the show, Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, that Doris Roberts will return to the ABC sitcom as Brick's confrontational teacher, who last September went head to head with Patricia Heaton's Frankie, and intends to do the same again.
Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline have been let go as the executive producers and show-runners of Lipstick Jungle, NBC's mid-season entry adapted from Candace Bushnell's best-seller. According to the Reporter, the dramedy — starring Brooke Shields, Lindsay Price and Kim Raver — is being taken in a new creative direction, and as the hunt for a new show-runner launches, the production start has been pushed back to November. Outside of Chris Wiehl (Love Monkey) being replaced as Shields' hubby, no other casting changes are expected as part of the retooling.