Here are several updates on stuff I reported in this week's Ask Ausiello as well as some new scoops mixed in. Enjoy! I can now confirm that Marlee Matlin has signed on to appear in 11 episodes of Showtime's The L Word. The deal just closed and, even though this drama is so far off my radar it's virtually undetectable, I wanted to bring you the official word ASAP. The Oscar winner will play a deaf artist who takes a shine to Jennifer Beals' Bette. She'll first show up in the fourth-season premiere in January.
Speaking of shows I probably should be watching, Disney's teen phenom Hannah Montana has reeled in a pretty big fish. I'm told Dolly Parton will make a guest appearance this summer. I'm not sure who she's playing, but very reliable sources say her character will have huge knockers.
Regarding the fate of The King of Queens, another source told me yesterday that "the show is definitely dead." Still no confirmation from CBS.
My Eric Balfour mole (yes, I now have a mole assigned specifically to Mr. Balfour) insists the actor has not been approached about appearing in the finale of The O.C., even though his Eddie character is in the script. Maybe they're going to recast. Or maybe they changed the script. Or maybe I'm being fed false information.
Not sure if this is out there or not, but Sarah Lancaster will reprise her role as Lisa the Gift Shop Girl in Scrubs' May 16 season finale. No, J.D.'s longtime crush is not the one who's preggers. I hear she turns up in a flashback sequence.
Remember reading how Calista Flockhart was paid a hefty $200,000 to appear in ABC's highly touted fall pilot Brothers & Sisters? Well, the network may want to request a refund. According to those in the know, the erstwhile Ally McBeal tested "horribly." However, a source at ABC insists "Calista is not testing badly."
Two pilots that are faring better are Fox's Till Death and Vanished. The network has issued series orders to both shows. Till Death is a comedy that stars Eddie Kaye Thomas and Kat Foster as young newlyweds who move in next door to a long-married couple, played by Brad Garrett and Joely Fisher. Vanished, meanwhile, stars Queer as Folk's Gale Harold and Rebecca Gayheart and chronicles the disappearance of a senator's wife over the course of the season.
Here's the answer to this week's so-easy-it's-embarrassing Ask Ausiello asterisk quiz. I'm hearing that a SUBMARINE will be featured rather prominently in the final hours of this season's 24. I promise to make the next one a smidge more challenging.