Every week, senior editors Matt Webb Mitovich, Mickey O'Connor and Tim Molloy satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chuck deserves a whole season, not just 13 episodes. Any chance of more? — Darryl
MATT: Actually, yes. NBC entertainment president Ben Silverman says that while the current plan is to deliver 13 midseason episodes, depending on the ratings, "we may extend it out and continue it through the summer," where he thinks it could pair nicely with Friday Night Lights. "We're looking to ... keep [Chuck] incredibly viral and buzz-worthy until it returns, and then hopefully have it on our air for many years to come." That'd be Awesome. And even more so? I chatted up Scott Bakula at TNT's upfronts luncheon, and he's game for more Chuck, if need be.
Any scoop on Gossip Girl's Season 3? — F.R.
MICKEY: Speaking with TVGuide.com at the CW upfronts, Leighton Meester seemed to confirm that Georgina's plan to weasel her way into Blair's life will be successful, as Blair will be living — gasp! — in an NYU dorm, with the little people! Including possibly both G. and V.! (Don't worry, Dorota fans; she'll still be on hand to tend to her "Miss Blair.")
Why did CBS cancel Without a Trace? Most networks would be thrilled for a show to bring in over 12 million viewers! I'm so disgusted. Are they that concerned with money? — KT
TIM: Well, yes. Some cynics will tell you that network television, for all its clever $torie$ and $exy character$, exists to $ell us popcorn and everything else, and most $ucceeds when we get so attached to our shows that we forget that fact. CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler told us at the upfronts that axing Without a Trace and The Unit was a "very hard" decision because "those were two great shows," yet the Eye saw a chance for Cold Case to grow in the latter's Sunday-at-10 pm time slot. That said, Tassler readily acknowledges money is always a factor.
Is Dawn Ostroff trying to kill her flagship show, Smallville? Because if Fox/Dollhouse got barely 3 million viewers on Fridays, I doubt the CW will get anything better. — Rebecca
MATT: I asked Ostroff about her expectations for Smallville's ratings in its new Friday home, and basically if Clark & Co. deliver more than Everybody Hates Chris and The Game were getting, that'd be super. "I think Smallville will do better [than 2 mil]," she told me, avowing her faith in the show's "very strong fan base." The CW will also be relying on promos to air during the new Thursday tandem of Vampire Diairies and Supernatural to help drive tune-in.
When will we find out who's dead in the car on True Blood? — Neil
MICKEY: Since the season premiere (airing Sunday, June 14, 9 pm/ET) picks up right where we left off, the victim's identity is revealed in short order. As you might have already guessed, Season 2's first casualty is related to Tara, but not in a way that you will guess. At first blush, the significance of said death will not be apparent, but just wait! Also, a minor character's drinking problem will resurface — hilariously.
Any scoop on Leverage's second season? How will things be between Nate and Sophie when the show returns? — Maya
TIM: Timothy Hutton tells us that Nate will go into ultra-revenge mode this season, and against people who very much deserve his wrath: "Sometimes the Leverage team says, 'You know, we don't really need to go that far, Nate. It's OK.' And he says, 'No, we're going to bury this guy,'" Hutton says. Of course, the team isn't even together at the start of the season — until one member lures the others to the same city. Would that be Sophie? Hutton says that's not a bad guess.
As a Ghost Whisperer fan, I want to know: When Melinda looks at Jim, does she sees Jim or Sam? And what about Delia, Ned and Eli, who do they see? — Yasser
MATT: This is a sticky wicket and yet a relevant query in light of the season finale, so I beseeched exec producer P.K. Simonds to explain it all. "The face that everyone sees, including Melinda, when they look at 'Jim' is Sam's," he tells the Buzz. "But over time, people who know that Jim's soul is in Sam's body — including Jim himself — will see him more and more like Jim. Even in mirrors, we'll soon stop seeing Sam's face looking back." And that's bad news for that Jericho chap (Kenneth Mitchell) who was playing ol' Sam.
Any news as to why Eleventh Hour was canceled? I really enjoyed that show and it got strong ratings all season. — Beth
MICKEY: It's true that Eleventh Hour garnered decent ratings in its rookie season, but within the larger context of CBS' powerhouse lineup, it was lagging. Kelly Kahl, the net's senior veep of primetime, explains that some tough decisions were made (see Without a Trace and The Unit, above) in order to free up real estate for new shows: "Our schedule is pretty strong to begin with, but we need to find opportunity for growth along the way, and those were time slots where we thought we could grow a bit."
Please give me some good news about Flashpoint and Southland: Are they still on or did they get cancelled? — Elena
TIM: Wow, you've got a lot of love for the Fridays-at-9 pm time slot. Southland returns to NBC this fall, airing in the slot, while Flashpoint is due back in summer 2010. If Flashpoint returns to its Fridays-at-9 slot on CBS, your Fridays at 9 will be satisfying for some time.
Could you please let me in on the status of Eureka? Is the show dead ever going to return? — Randy
MATT: Eureka returns Friday, July 10, at 9 pm/ET, for 10 episodes. What's more, Season 3.5's guest stars will include Ever Carradine (returning as Jack's sister, Lexie) and The 4400's own Billy Campbell, playing a specialist brought in to assist on a Global Dynamics project.
What did you think of Eastwick? — Fernando
MICKEY: I'm a huge fan of both John Updike's novel and the film starring Cher, Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon, but after seeing a clip of the show (which features Rebecca Romijn) at the Alphabet's upfront, my first thought was: Is this really necessary?
What's up with According to Jim, one of my favorite shows? Is it returning next season? — Sherry
TIM: Jim's season finale is June 2, and nothing in the world will bring it back. ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson said as much at ABC's upfronts, to the cheers of many mean, cynical TV critics and reporters who made these enthusiastic sounds solely to hurt your feelings. Shame on them.
Mickey's Mega Rave: Of all the fall previews I saw during the upfronts, none tickled me more than the pilot episode of ABC's Modern Family. Ed O'Neill plays patriarch to an extended family that includes my future ex-wife Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell as harried marrieds, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet as a gay couple who has adopted a baby, and Sofia Vergara as O'Neill's hot-blooded wife. If subsequent episodes maintain the laughs, we're in for quite a treat.
Matt's Mini Rant: I know CBS is touting the move as a vote of confidence, but The Big Bang Theory's new Mondays-at-9:30 slot seems a wee late for Sheldon and the boys to be hanging out (unless they're caught up in, like, a marathon Halo session). Then again, maybe I'm just worried about Charlie Harper getting too "close" to sweet Penny.
Tim's Micro Riff: May Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show stint sell a lot of popcorn.
Reader Quote of the Week: "Both of them kept saying, 'I'm here for the kids. I'm doing this for the kids,' but neither one of them said, 'I'm here for Kate' or 'I'm here for Jon.' Whether you have one child or 20 children, you still have a duty to your spouse. Jon and Kate, please turn off the cameras and rediscover your love for each other. That is the best thing to do for your children." (LEB, assessing the "awkward" premiere of Jon and Kate Plus 8)