Question: When does Summerland return? Mary
Ausiello: I'm hearing the end of February.
Question: Hi, Mike! What great shows from the past, in your opinion, died too soon? I would like to nominate I'll Fly Away and Homicide. Bobbi
Ausiello: I'll match your I'll Fly Away and raise you My So-Called Life, the original E/R and Pasadena.
Question: Both to follow shortly when more information is available. Charlies H. McAuliffe
Ausiello: Huh? Is this some kind of clue, Chuck? Ismael, fire up your decoder ring. Ismael?
Question: I heard a rumor that you got the shock of your life when you returned to New York from Detroit. True? Angel Cohn
Ausiello: I don't usually respond to questions posed by my TV Guide colleagues, but I guess I can make an exception in this case since, well, I kinda begged Angel to submit it. Yes, it's true! I had quite a surprise waiting for me in the lobby of my Manhattan apartment building Thursday afternoon. There, before my very eyes, was Mariska Freakin' Hargitay! In an unbelievable coincidence, Law & Order: SVU was taping scenes for its Feb. 15 episode, "Hooked," on my turf! I. Kid. You. Not. Despite that pesky restraining order (which I'm pretty sure has expired), I marched right up to Mar and here's what came next.
Me: Mariska! It's Mike Ausiello from TV Guide. (Please let her remember me from the Emmys.)
Mariska: (Turns around, waving
Question: Oooooh! Can I have your Christmas with the Kranks Advent calendar? Julie
Ausiello: Sure can. Just e-mail me your address and I'll have Ismael, I mean, Mike, drop it in the mail ASAP.
Question: It's that time of year again when the entertainment mags go list-crazy. So, I'm curious: Who do you think are the hottest man and woman on TV? Doreen
Ausiello: Assuming Mariska is ineligible, Evangeline Lilly from Lost and Kristen Bell from Veronica Mars win in a two-way tie among actresses. As for the men, I'm gonna go with Lost bad-boy Josh Holloway (aka Sawyer) and Rory's new college crush Matt Czuchry (aka Logan).
Question: What exactly is "Ask Ausiello"? Is it all about Smurfs, your ego and Keri Russell? If so, I'll pass and keep reading your "Entertainment News" column. At least that's funny. Sandy
Ausiello: I wholeheartedly agree. "Entertainment News" is hysterical.
Question: You need to warn your devoted followers when you're going to be away from your "Entertainment News" column. What kind of business were you out of town on last week anyway? Joe
Ausiello: I was in Detroit with Matt Roush schmoozing with some of TV Guide's advertisers. (Just a quick shout-out to Carrie Sweeney and Steve Holman and the whole gang from BBDO. Thanks for talking me into that peanut butter sundae!) And regarding me giving readers a heads-up about my absences, I subscribe to the Today show school of thought on this issue: If you warn viewers ahead of time that Lester Holt will be filling in for Matt Lauer, no one will watch. That's not to knock our second-string columnist Ben Katner, who always does a smashing job when I'm away. But let's face it, you folks are here for me. You are, right?
Question: I keep looking at your "Ass Ausiello" column to pick up juicy bits of news/gossip, but all I get is crap about which Smurf you look like and blah, blah, blah. Give us valid news or get off the pot. T. Pfaff
Ausiello: Pfair enough, T. Pfair enough.
Question: That's unreal that you were once 250 lbs. having seen your picture on your website. How tall are you? John H.
Ausiello: I'm 5'10. And believe it. I was really that heavy. Of course, my weight would fluctuate depending how hard I was leaning on my bathroom counter.