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.
I only have one question about the NCIS finale: Is Cote de Pablo returning to the show next season? — B.C.
MATT: Why, did it look like Ziva was on death's doorstep in that secretly filmed torture scene? If so, think back to what NCIS boss Shane Brennan said about that grim cliff-hanger: Come September, "all will be revealed and you will be surprised. It will come at you from left field." (But, in a word: Yes. Sources whisper to me that Cote will be back.) Bonus buzzlet: Season 6 arrives on DVD Aug. 25!
Please tell us the rumors aren't true, and that Desperate Housewives isn't going with a melodramatic miscarriage storyline for Lynette. — Steph
MICKEY: Egads, this is morbid, Steph, but let's retrace our steps: Marc Cherry has said that he thinks a mother losing a child would be rich territory for the show to cover. From the season finale — and just about every other episode of the series — we can deduce that Lynette clearly does not like being pregnant. But what if she suddenly does... and then she isn't? These are good questions to ask. Methinks you might be on to something.
I'm sad to hear that A&E has canceled The Beast. As much as I love Patrick Swayze, I have to wonder: Did they consider hiring a new lead before axing the entire show? — Tracy
TIM: A&E says they never considered anyone to front Season 2 but Swayze. The network faced a dilemma: It didn't want to appear pessimistic about Swayze's health, but it also didn't want to look like it cared more about The Beast (and its potential revenue) than its star. Ultimately, the uncertainty about Swayze's battle with pancreatic cancer — coupled with low ratings — made it unfeasible for the show to go on.
What's the deal with the NCIS spin-off's name? It's a completely different show than the original and a title reflecting the special tech ops or undercover nature would have made more sense. Any chance they'll change the name before the season starts? — Fran
MATT: I just quadruple-checked, and the answer is: Not a chance. NCIS: Los Angeles it is (though I reserve the right to abbreviate it NCIS: LA).
I think the new FBI agent on Fringe should be played by Sarah Wayne Callies! — Dea
MICKEY: The Prison Break alumna is an interesting thought, but I had another, and I'm not the only one. Taking into account how many fans of The Wire there are in Hollywood (see: every guest star on The Office; Lance Reddick's career), wouldn't it be fun to see Sonja Sohn as Fringe's new Fed? It's true that Brothers & Sisters didn't give her a lot to do, but I think her level-headed vulnerability would work well among J.J. Abrams' freak-show ensemble.
Can we expect any bonding between Shawn and Henry in the new season of Psych? — Kelly
TIM: Yes. In fact, things get a bit too close as Henry tries to interject himself into Shawn's love life. Speaking of bonding, fans can also look forward to an episode featuring Heroes' Sendhil Ramamurthy and his real-life cousin, Jay Chandrasekhar, as, yup, cousins. Ramamurthy plays a man who believes he's cursed, while his cousin is directing a local theater's Bollywood project. Adding to the parallels, Chandrasekhar also directs the episode, airing in August.
Please, do you have anything — anything — about Smallville? Please? Please! — Gabriela
MATT: I shall reward your repeated use of the word "please" by sharing a provocative bit of intel I just stumbled across. A source tells me that although Sam Witwer was invited back for Season 9 — for possibly several episodes — at this time the portrayer of Davis/Doomy has no plans to return.
Who's going to hook up with the new stud on 90210? Please say Kelly. — Rosemary
MICKEY: Kelly?! She will be his guidance counselor, Rosemary, you perv! Don't make me go all "Palin" on you. As usual, I'm hearing that Annie and Naomi will scratch each other's eyes out volleying for the tennis stud's attention, but that his love will belong to Silver, who returns to feisty form this season. (Any suggestions for who should play Teddy's Clooney-esque movie-star dad? I'm thinking Peter Gallagher would totally rock it.)
Can you give me any scoops on the upcoming season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager? I heard some rumors about a death! — Christina
TIM: Those aren't just rumors, Christina. Someone dies, and the death affects pretty much everyone on the show. You can also expect conflict between Ben and Ricky as they try to share dad duties, and a baby for Molly Ringwald's Anne Jeurgen — which means her child and her grandson (the baby born to 15-year-old Amy last season) will grow up together. The new season premieres June 22.
It was nice to see some Stargate Universe scoop in last week's column. So... got any more? — Brad
MATT: How about this? Reiko Aylesworth, dropped from ABC's The Forgotten, has bounced back with a possibly recurring role on the Sci Fi series. As who? Stargate auteur Joseph Mallozzi tells the Buzz, "Let's just say that her character, Sharon, is someone very important in Camille Wray's (Ming-Na) life." (P.S. Camille is a lesbian.)
I can't wait for Entourage to return. Will we see more of Jamie-Lynn Sigler? — Tony
MICKEY: After rolling my eyes at last season's trumped-up Medellin storyline (did anyone think that movie looked good?), I was relieved to find out that Season 6 (debuting Sunday, July 12 on HBO) fast-forwards past the filming of Scorsese's Gatsby remake. In the first episode, in fact, Vince pays Jay Leno a visit to promote the flick. But guess what, Tony? As reported in this week's Mega Minute, Jamie-Lynn is still in the picture — and will be for much of the season, as a very different Turtle emerges from his shell. (See what I did there?)
What is the overall tone of the upcoming TNT series Dark Blue? Is it similar to such intensely character-driven cop/suspense dramas as The Shield and NYPD Blue, or is it more in the vein of dramedies like Burn Notice and Leverage? — Alex
MATT: I have to tell you, I begrudgingly popped Dark Blue (premiering July 15) into my Sony Watchman DVD player the other day, and I was pleasantly surprised. The series — about a team of undercover cops headed by Dylan McDermott — is grittier in tone than, say, Leverage, though I wouldn't say it hits Shield-like depths of stark realism. My only quibble is Supernatural alum Nicki Aycox's "accent," which sounds to me like "Oklahoma by way of Melbourne."
Mickey's Mega Rave: True Blood's second-season premiere laid out at least three strong story arcs: the unveiling of Maryann and her true mission in Bon Temps; Jason's blind devotion to the anti-vampire Fellowship of the Sun; and the formation of Bill, Sookie and Jessica's hilarious surrogate family unit. Not a weak thread in the tapestry.
Matt's Mini Rant: I'm one of The Closer's biggest fans and a cat person, but really now: Gimme less Kitty, more Fritz. Two weeks into the new season, Brenda's new hubby has yet to contribute in a significant way, while her ailing tabby tabulates more screen time. Hiss!
Tim's Micro Riff: Something's sketchy about this Ed situation.
Reader Quote of the Week: "In this [season premiere], you see one of the biggest problems with dating a vampire — you're always changing the sheets. And I gotta say, a vampire seems a lot less terrifying when he's getting his highlights done." (True Blood viewer Howstone, discussing Bill's bloody-good lovemaking and Eric's grooming)