Every week, editors Adam Bryant and Natalie Abrams satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please tell me E.J. Barrett's NCIS return will be short-lived. I need Tiva! — Hanna
ADAM: Let's let Michael Weatherly offer his take. "There's a new wrinkle in [Tony and E.J.'s] relationship, and I would say it is somewhat troubling," he says. "I think Tony questions a lot of things about her, and I don't think there's any going back to their initial blinky-blinky, lovey-dovey plot." But before your little 'shipper heart explodes, that doesn't necessarily guarantee loads of Tony-Ziva goodness. "Tony ultimately has to lean on himself. He has to figure some of his own stuff out," Weatherly says. "That might make him more able down the road to approach a relationship with Ziva."
Will Fringe go back to the future this season? —Barry
NATALIE: Yes, but it won't be the same future we saw in the finale. "The future that we saw in 2026 will now not have happened, because by altering the past, inevitably you set in motion a new chain of events that lead to a different future," executive producer Jeff Pinkner tells us. But the time-jumping series won't just be looking forward. "There will definitely be [flashback] episodes, but the past would be different as well because Peter wasn't a part of it, but he would be in the future." As confused as we are?
So, how exactly will Law & Order: SVU deal with Chris Meloni's exit? Will we see Stabler at all? — Jason
ADAM: Nope. When Season 13 premieres, a couple months have passed and Stabler will still be on administrative leave as a result of his actions during the precinct shooting in the finale. But the other shoe will drop for Stabler over the course of several episodes that will find Olivia untethered without him. Meanwhile, look for the Stabler-less interrogations to be a little more sly and a lot less shout-y.
What's coming up on the final season of Desperate Housewives? — Julie
NATALIE: Tom isn't the only one getting a new lover. After a failed attempt to land a new man at a bar, Lynette actually meets a hottie right outside. She confuses him with a valet at first, but they do end up back at his place. When things start getting hot and heavy, she'll even take off her wedding ring — but that's when things will get complicated. Who still has shag carpeting?
Any more scoop on House's new season? — Kristin
ADAM: The show's one-year time jump between seasons won't just dramatically affect House. Taub will now have two kids! "They're not shying away from where we left off," Peter Jacobson tells us. "I've got two kids running around, [and] I'm going to be involved with two women to some extent. Apparently, I'm going to be a father in more than one way." Wait, was that also a hint that he might be the new dean of medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro? "Taub is obviously a candidate," Jacobson says. "He knows his stuff and he certainly has the ego to pull it off. I think he would like it."
Thanks for the scoop on Modern Family. What's coming up for the kids this season? — Antonio
NATALIE: Hayley will have a come-to-Jesus moment. "Hayley is discovering that she forgot to really do enough of the things that will make her interesting to colleges," Christopher Lloyd tells us. "So she's trying to cram four years worth of activities into one year. Meanwhile, she's dealing with the fact that Alex is now a freshman at the same school. They actually wind up in the same math class!"
Please tell me Aria and Ezra will still be together when Pretty Little Liars returns! — Chloe
ADAM: Would you clock us a field hockey stick if we told you that there will be a new guy in Aria's life? You would?! Well, what if we also told you that the character, played by Secret Life of the American Teenager's Shane Coffey, isn't a love interest? "[He's] a male pretty little liar," executive producer Marlene King teases. That should keep you buzzing — and your unfortunate violent streak in check -- until January.
I always thought Bailey would eventually be the Chief on Grey's Anatomy. How will she feel now that Owen is taking over? — Elizabeth
NATALIE: While Bailey is pretty upset with the change of leadership, Kevin McKidd thinks she's more disappointed in the Chief's decision to step down. "Her anger with the Chief for resigning is all dumped on Owen, because she has to respect his decision that he feels it's time to retire and to hand over that power to somebody else," he says. "Maybe she is upset that it isn't her that's Chief, but I think it's more to do with her anger at Webber because she's going to miss him."
Any good scoop on Annie from Community? — Bethany
ADAM: Remember "Asian Annie," the new rival to Alison Brie's character that executive producer Dan Harmon teased a few weeks back? Well, she will be played by Greek alum Irene Choi, and the two will do battle during a Model U.N. competition. The episode also guest-stars Party Down's Martin Starr as a political science professor who (fruitlessly) tries to maintain decorum.
Now that Penny and Raj have hooked up, does this mean they'll be a couple on Big Bang Theory? I love Penny with Leonard! — Sam
NATALIE: Don't worry about it. Penny and Raj is a detour that will soon end. In fact, Penny will play matchmaker for Raj in the near future. But Raj isn't so hot at talking to girls, right? No problem! Penny's friend is deaf. So why don't Raj's parents like her? Here's a hint.
I loved Leverage's midseason finale, especially Nate's final scene with Sterling. Will he back during the winter episodes? — Mel
ADAM: Although Sterling will give Nate the info he requested in that final scene, don't look for Mark Sheppard to return until at least Season 5. However, the show is going to bring back Jeri Ryan, Wil Wheaton, Richard Chamberlain and one other familiar face who will surprise you more than Sterling. Executive producer Dean Devlin offers only one hint: "Just remember that, as we designed the season, we had no idea there would be a fifth season," he says. "So, the way that our season finale culminates really brings full circle the entire series from the beginning."
I can't wait for Parks and Recreation to return. Give me something to tide me over! — Allison
NATALIE: We are all familiar with Ron Swanson's love of the outdoors, but who would have guessed that he'd be a Boy Scout troop leader? But when Leslie's girl group, the Goddesses, outshines the Scouts on a weekend camping trip, all hell breaks loose when his boys decide to defect.
Adam's Mega Rave: Thank you, Showtime, for giving me at least one new drama to be excited about this fall. Thanks to a slightly unhinged performance from Claire Danes and some exciting conspiracy storytelling, I am already hooked on Homeland.
(Additional reporting by Robyn Ross)