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.
What's in store for Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson during the new season of SVU? — Crystal
MICKEY: Executive producer Neal Baer tells me the unofficial theme of Season 11 is "Benson and Stabler against the world." First all up in their grill is Wentworth Miller, who guest-stars as a cop with whom Benson will both clash... and make sexy eye contact! Next, Emmy winner Christine Lahti's ADA Sonya Paxton will be kickin' a-- and takin' names, which won't sit well for Stabler initially, and Benson ultimately.
I'm going crazy because there hasn't been any news on Criminal Minds. Please, tell me something about Hotch's future! — Francesca
MATT: You and many other Mega Buzz readers seem rather concerned about the gun that went off during Hotch's unexpected season-finale face-off with the serial killer known as the Reaper. Well, you should know that is not the only gunshot that plays a pivotal role in the Sept. 23 opener.
I'm worried about CSI's future. Given the poor reception Laurence Fishburne's character has been getting, is there any chance CBS will replace him? — David
TIM: Nope. A network rep notes that CSI was still the highest-rated scripted show of the 2008-09 season, and Fishburne was the show runners' dream replacement for William Petersen. Also, he's only had half a season to win fans over. Hopefully his use of deadly force in the May finale will herald more of a bold, commanding Fishburne (think Boyz n the Hood) and less of the bookish Professor Langston. Plus, he's bound to get a helpful assist from the returning Sara Sidle.
Will Bill and Sookie's relationship survive this season on True Blood? — Angi
MICKEY: My sources say "probably," but don't be surprised if their endless bickering is actually foreshadowing a breakup-threatening season finale. Stephen Moyer told us that even he doesn't want Bill and Sookie to stay together forever. "You can't watch two characters be happy in love for 12 episodes," he said. "That would be extremely dull. [A separation is] going to happen."
After almost five years of dating and Charlie finally popping the question, will Numbers' Amita say yes? — Kathy
MATT: When CBS' Numbers kicks off its new season on Sept. 25, "It won't be too long before we find out Amita's answer to Charlie's marriage proposal," series cocreator Cheryl Heuton tells the Buzz. But before the lovely Ms. Ramanujan commits to a yay or nay, "Amita and Charlie have a few things to discuss." I bet she wants him to keep the rotating holograms out of the bedroom.
The trailers for the CW's Melrose Place introduce David as Michael's son, which means 1) he's adopted; 2) he's Michael's stepson; 3) Michael didn't know he had a son, or 4) it's a case of SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome). And who's his mommy? — SeriesJunkie
MICKEY: Here's how Melrose executive producer Darren Swimmer broke down David's parentage for us: "David was born before Melrose 1.0 began... the product of a one-night-stand that Michael Mancini had. No SORAS here. Michael knew he'd gotten a girl pregnant, but the woman didn't ask anything of him, so it was completely off his radar until she became terminally ill. She asked him to take his biological son after she dies, even though they had never met" — hence Michael and David's chilly relationship in the pilot.
I am a big fan of Saving Grace, but the one thing that has bothered me is that with all of the talk about God and angels, we never see the Devil and his demons. Is there any chance that we'll get some Heaven vs. Hell stuff? I'd imagine the Devil would be tempted to damn a soul that an angel is trying to save. — Michael
MATT: I like your thinking, Michael — and Ray Wise certainly could use the gig — so I ran your wish by Grace creator Nancy Miller. "Devils and demons have been a topic of the writers room since Season 1," she shared. "We probably will do something with this subject matter, but we just don't know when. One of the writers is researching a possible story idea right now, so you may even see it in Season 3." Until then, Michael, I have a word for you: Supernatural.
I know Season 2 of Breaking Bad just ended, but is there any scoop on Season 3 yet? — Marnie
TIM: You have excellent taste in addictive shows, Marnie. Bryan Cranston tells us Walter White will find out very early in Season 3 about his "not-even-six degrees of separation" from the plane crash. Castmate Aaron Paul has another plot idea, one that would bring Walt and Jesse closer together than ever. (The actors who play them must be bonding over their dual Emmy nominations.) Look for our full Q&A with Paul very soon.
I hated 90210's cliff-hanger about Annie maybe hitting something or someone. How will the producers back-track so their lead actress isn't branded a murderer? — Robert
MICKEY: What's the simplest way I can put this? They're not going to.
The fans of Smallville's Chloe and Chlark were really put through the wringer last season. Is there anything for us to look forward to in Season 9? — Cassie
MATT: I hear you, and if the gloomy, Doomy events of last spring continue to cloud your memory, I strongly urge you to consider this the silver lining: The super-talented Allison Mack is poised to have some of her best material yet, as Chloe continues to process her role in Jimmy's death and deal with the resulting pangs of guilt. How will she ever make things right? Watch for Ms. Sullivan to pour herself into her role as Watchtower like never before.
Do you know what the future has in store for Lie to Me's Lightman and Foster, now that Foster is separated and making googly eyes at our favorite lie detector? Will Jennifer Beals' character be Lightman's love interest... or a bitter lover? — Rebecca
TIM: I wouldn't bet on anything working out between Lightman and his ex-wife. Paul Ekman, the psychology professor whose work provides the basis for the show, says contempt is the one emotion on your spouse's face that means your relationship is doomed — and Beals' character told us she knows the look well. So I'd give Lightman and Foster better odds.
Any scoop on 30 Rock? Is there a chance Dean Winters will return as Dennis Duffy? — Maddie
MATT: First-time Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski tells me that one or two storylines from the spring will carry over into Season 4, premiering Oct. 15. Beyond that, might there be a legit romance for Jenna? Jane hopes so, yet must wonder, "What guy would follow in the footsteps of David Blaine, Dog the Bounty Hunter and a threesome with Roseanne and Tom Arnold?" As for the "Beeper King," the odds of him resurfacing would seem greater now that Dean Winters has been replaced (by Stephen Weber) on the midseason series Happy Town.
Tim's Mega Rave: I hereby nominate The Bachelorette's Jake-the-pilot to be ABC's next Bachelor. (Sorry to crush your Jon Gosselin dream, Matt.) I like Jake not only because he has the coolest job on the show, but also because his run-in with Wes proves his flair for drama. He also seems decisive, and the show could use less flip-flopping. Also, you can never have too many flying metaphors on a dating series.
Matt's Mini Rant: I was glad to have ABC's Dirty Sexy Darlings return this weekend, but the first of the four unseen episodes wasted 58 minutes of my time. Upon realizing that the chauffer had filled Rena Sofer's newshound with fibs, it hit me that the only thing worse than a clip show is a fabricated clip show that not even a Keyser Soze-style twist could redeem.
Mickey's Micro Riff: How much further will Celia sink?
Reader Quote of the Week: "I can remember him appearing on Letterman on one of the first, if not the first, post-9/11 shows, and to me it was like, 'Uncle Walter is here. We're gonna be OK.'" (ctheslayer, remembering CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite)