For months, many of you have been hounding me to increase Ask Ausiello to two times a week. And now, at last, your wish has been well, not granted, exactly, but at least considered. As a result, I present you with the next best thing: an Ausiello Report dedicated to answering six of the biggest questions in the TV world (that I have answers to). Think of it as a mini-Ask Ausiello without so much legwork or typing on my part.
Has UPN canceled Veronica Mars?
In a word, no. In another word, phew. But fans were understandably reaching for their Xanax stash when an official-looking press release began circulating around the Web Thursday claiming, "UPN has announced the cancellation of cult classic Veronica Mars." Turns out the whole thing was a big, nasty, cruel, heinous, unfunny hoax. But that's not to say there isn't cause for concern. Wednesday's episode averaged an anemic two million viewers a number that should go up when the show moves from ultracompetitive Wednesdays to Tuesdays beginning April 11. Please, god, make it go up.
Who was the actress who voiced the role of Tonys wife during his coma-induced hallucination on The Sopranos?
Let's start with who it wasn't. According to executive producer Terence Winter, it wasn't "Carmela, Gloria Trillo or any woman from Tony's life." OK, so who was it? "It was just a woman and not [anyone] you'd recognize," he says, declining to ID the mystery thesp. "We weren't trying to play any particular head game with anybody. It was not meant to be anybody specific." Winter says Sopranos fans have become increasingly curious about "the deeper meaning" behind things that "sometimes don't even have a deeper meaning. Somebody actually asked me recently what was the significance of Vito farting in the second episode. And I said, 'Well, he had gas.' Sometimes a fart is just a fart." Hey that's what I've been saying for years!
Is American Idol finalist Mandisa homophobic?
We'd love to be able to say it ain't so, but we can't say anything for sure until the plus-size powerhouse has been eliminated and the show's gag order lifted. But the evidence against her is mounting. In introducing the religious-themed "Wanna Praise You" on Tuesday's episode, she said, "This song goes out to everybody that wants to be free. Your addiction, lifestyle or situation may be big, but God is bigger!" What's more, in her personal profile on Idol's official website, she calls antigay author/lecturer Beth Moore her own "idol." An Idol rep reminds us that "we don't comment on the personal lives of our contestants." An industry insider, meanwhile, sniffs: "Does she really think she can have a career without us gay boys?" I believe Donna Summer has the answer to that question.
What is the plot of Disney's Channel's in-the-works High School Musical sequel?
Sources say it'll find the gang including Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, who are all confirmed to reprise their roles organizing a talent show during their summer break. The event will probably be held at the Albuquerque Country Club and Golf Course, where Ryan and Sharpay's family have been members for years and where Troy lands a job as a lifeguard. In related news, I should probably get around to watching this thing so I can understand what the hell I just wrote.
What's going on with the 24 movie?
Nothing. As executive producer Howard Gordon told me in January (The Ausiello Report 1/26), one scenario being discussed called for the film to land in theaters prior to the start of Season 6, which meant production would need to begin immediately after Season 5 wraps in May. But a source at Twentieth Century Fox says that plan is off the table. "It's definitely not shooting this summer," whispers the insider. "The earliest it could theoretically be shot would be after the 2007 season." Speaking of 24, heres a little prattle poop about this Monday's episode: Something major happens in the final minutes that will blow your mind. All I'll say is it's not a death and the aftershocks will be felt throughout this season's eight remaining episodes. It's huge, people. Huge!
Is Prison Break just a three-season show?
Depends who you believe. Entertainment Weekly's March 24 Prison Break cover story said that there's "widespread belief among Break's creative team that the series shouldn't reach Year 4." Furthermore, it quoted leading man Wentworth Miller as saying, "I think this show will burn bright and fast." But following the announcement of Prison's second-season pickup earlier this week, exec producer Matt Olmstead told Variety, "There's no cap on this show, as far as I'm concerned. As long as we find compelling stories for the characters, it can go on." Bottom line: Most shows need to go a full five seasons to really make any money for their studios, so don't count on Prison breaking up anytime soon.