Starting with this week's column, Matt Webb Mitovich and Mickey O'Connor welcome fellow senior editor Tim Molloy to the Mega mix. Every Wednesday, our troika of scoop-hunters will answer your questions! (To that end, send all queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
I will be sad when William Petersen leaves CSI, because I don't think he will be able to be replaced. I will watch the first week he is gone, but I don't think I will watch it after that. — Fox
MATT: Normally I turn a blind eye to Mega Buzz questions not phrased as such, but this topic begs addressing. Having sneak-peeked this Thursday's (super-creepy!) episode, in which Gil first shares his decision to leave CSI, I concur that yes, it is going to be very hard to say goodbye come Jan. 15. But I must put this out there: Give change a chance. After getting a feel for Laurence Fishburne's criminology prof, I'm curious to see how he ultimately fits in as a Level-1 CSI. Plus, the guy oozes screen presence. We're heading toward a "different" CSI, but not necessarily a lesser one.
Please, give me something, anything, about Lost! — Kia
MATT: You mean in addition to this boss new video from Team Darlton? OK, but you're going to call me a big, fat tease. I am hearing that while Season 5, premiering Jan. 21, gets off to a generally strong start, it's Episode 6 — "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" — that could really blow the lid off the joint. Gotta love Locke. Er, I mean Jeremy.
I just started watching Big Bang Theory, and I love it. Any scoop? — Vic
MICKEY: Sheldon and Leonard soon will confront a staunch nemesis in a showdown that will test their mettle (and metal) as men and nerds. That's right: Get ready for robot wars, people!
Is the Dec. 10 CSI: NY the last episode of the year? Will Flack and Angell still continue their "thing"? Will TPTB still pursue Adam and Stella? — Clarissa
TIM: We start with good news: The series won't break for the holiday until Dec. 17. And then cut to more good news: Moving forward, exec producer Peter Lenkov promises "more intense character drama, as well as our trademark 'only in New York' stories. We'll continue Stella's pursuit of the man who tried to kill her and introduce a new nemesis for Mac, a media mogul played by Craig T. Nelson." Lenkov goes on to say there are plans to "revisit" the Flack/Angell "thing," but while Adam and Stella "play nice together, I am not sure there's a romance there."
Are Gossip Girl's Dan and Serena going to get back together? Also, Chuck and Blair are obviously perfect for each other; how long are they going to lead us on? — Elizabeth
MICKEY: While this week's episode may have led you to believe that Serena has chosen Aaron, don't count on that choice being permanent. Lonely Boy will be much less so after the holiday. B and Bass, on the other hand, definitely will not be kissing each other when the ball drops on New Year's Eve.
Got scoop on Prison Break? And are they doing all 22 episodes? — Chaya
MATT: At minimum, Prison Break will deliver six more episodes after its beyond-midseason break, for a total of 22. Should Fox decide this is the series' final season (and really, they should), the buzz is that two additional hours will be tacked on, to properly wrap things up. Scoop-wise, next week we learn what Scylla really is and say goodbye to a series regular. "No!" you cry? Well, during the Dec. 22 winter finale, plan to bid another major player adieu.
90210 has been so boring. Any decent storylines coming up? — Manda
MICKEY: The jury is out on the storyline, but Naomi will definitely be getting new digs when the high school student moves out of her mother's house and into a four-star hotel — the staff of which becomes a dysfunctional family of sorts for the bratty teen. (P.S. Did you hear the one about the bisexual West Bev cheerleader?)
In an effort to overturn ABC's decision to pull the plug on Eli Stone, a group of fans have united together with one purpose — to increase the ratings of the remaining episodes so that the show will be picked up (perhaps by another network). Our mantra is simply "Believe" — which, ironically, is the very premise of the show. — Deborah
TIM: Indeed it is. But should ABC be-leave you hanging, a show rep says the 13th episode will deliver closure and "bring us full circle to the Patchouli Peaks." Also watch for Katie Holmes' character, Grace, to get a mention in one of the remaining shows. Alas, no new eps are scheduled beyond Dec. 30.
Bryan Fuller announced a crossover between Pushing Daisies and his forgotten (but delightful) Wonderfalls. When will it air? — Nicolas
MICKEY: Bad news, Nicolas. It wasn't so much a crossover as an homage featured in the Dec. 3 episode. If you recall, a character named Marianne Marie Beetle competed with Olive in that baked-goods-delivery race. Well, that's the Muffin Buffalo lady from Wonderfalls!
Which Smallville episode will Tom Welling be directing this year? And what's Clark's storyline for that episode? — Scarlett
MATT: Welling will be stepping behind the camera for Episode 17, which has yet to be written, so no amount of superpowers on my behalf will get you scoop on that.
Any word on February's Comic-Con TV panels? I'm traveling from Georgia to New York City just to go! — Stephanie
TIM: Always happy to help another comics nerd, Stephanie. They keep these things as secret as a mild-mannered alter-ego, but we can tell you that one special guest will be Batman: The Animated Series creator Bruce Timm, who will debut his full-length Wonder Woman animated movie on Feb. 6. The Amazonian goddess is voiced by Felicity herself, Keri Russell, while other voice cast members include Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina and David McCallum. (Oh, and no one's allowed Beyoncé Knowles anywhere near the thing.) Also, if you're still watching the Babylon 5 DVD from last year, you'll be happy to know that series creator J. Michael Straczynski will be on hand to answer all your nagging questions.
We TV fans need something to tide us over while the SAG strike looms and as quality shows (Daisies, for instance) get cut. I know there is a lot of good stuff coming back in January. Can you give me a bit of scoopage? — Debbie
MATT: Thus far, I've had the thrill of sampling the second season of FX's Damages (kicking off Jan. 7), and as I shared in a recent Facebook update, it's shaping up to be another nail-biter. Those who fretted that the "original formula" would be watered down will be pleased to know that the "How did we get to this grisly moment?"/told-in-flashback structure is intact. Oh, and there's an upsetting (for me, at least) death at the end of the very first hour.
When does Flight of the Conchords return? I missed it this summer. — Michelle
MICKEY: So did I, Michelle. It's the most beautiful show in the ... room, in the whole wide room. The new season is just a week away — online at least — with FunnyOrDie.com streaming the premiere on Dec. 17 at noon ET, a full month in advance of its HBO debut. This season, look for Bret and Jemaine to attempt to jump-start their careers by filming an edgy, truth-challenged biopic about the band that borrows liberally from ... Star Wars.
Mickey's Mega Rave: My parents' pride knows no bounds as I devote this week's Rave to "Jizz in My Pants." Not only does the bawdy SNL digital short have shock value on its side, its clever lyrics also brilliantly satirize the pompous chill of '80s synth rock. I can't contain my excitement.
Tim's Mini Rant: Can Jay Leno get fresh material to go with his new 10 pm time slot? The bright side is that while Leno's move robs Conan O'Brien of some thunder as he ascends to the Tonight Show throne, hopefully Conan is now freed to continue his more subversive (and funny) brand of comedy.
Matt's Micro Riff: Big Bang's Penny has gotten hot.
Reader Quote of the Week: "Here's an idea: Why doesn't NBC produce decent shows rather than shoving Jay Leno down our throats five days a week?" (blondie4ag, on NBC's decision to give Leno a nightly prime-time talk show)
Crave TV scoop? E-mail the Mega Buzz team at email@example.com.