Question: I miss Claire on “Lost.” Emilie de Ravin is such a great actress. Will she be back for all of next season? --Kelly
Ausiello: Yes! After sitting out last season, de Ravin will return as a full-time series regular for “Lost’s” sixth and final season, Team Darlton confirms. “Damon and I are very excited to bring Claire back to the show,” says Carlton Cuse, “and even more excited for people to experience just how she will return.” And even more exciting than that? Experiencing Doc Jensen’s theory on how she’ll return. Take it away, DJ:
“Any scenario that brings Claire back to ‘Lost’ must address the mysterious circumstances of her disappearance at the end of season 4, in which many of us were led to believe that she was as dead — or rather, undead — as the Ghost Christian that’s been haunting The Island since season 1.
“So here’s one thought: Juliet changed time in the season finale by detonating Jughead, and season 6 will tell the story of the new timeline, one in which Claire is alive.
“Another thought: In light of the revelation that John Locke was actually a supernatural impostor for half of season 5, perhaps in season 6, we’ll get a storyline in which Claire just emerges out of the jungle, with no memory of what happened to her — just like season 1 — and we and the castaways will be left to wonder: Is this the real Claire or another impostor infiltrating them a la Locke? Heck, maybe that’s going to be the major idea of next season: Who’s really alive and who’s really (un)dead? It really will be the fabled zombie season of ‘Lost’!”
Thanks a million, Doc!
Question: What’s the deal with Louise Lombard’s exit from ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’? I thought she was great. Are they recasting the character, or making a new one entirely? --Amy
Ausiello: That’s TBD. My guess? They’ll introduce a new character. And as far as why Lombard got the boot, I hear Macy didn’t test well with viewers.
Question: What’s this I’m hearing about an Aushole meet-and-greet at Comic-Con next month? --Diego
Ausiello: I can confirm that something is in the works. More details to come on Twitter!
Question: I must confess, I’m kind of loving the idea of Brian Austin Green on “One Tree Hill.” —Jules
Ausiello: Well, I hope you don’t love it too much, because I’m hearing the deal may be unraveling. Word is Green’s reps got spooked by the negative spin some bloggers were putting on their client doing “OTH.” As a result, they may be getting cold feet. Personally, I can’t see Green walking away from a gig that could potentially fetch him north of $1.5 million. Of course, that’s the same figure Chad Michael Murray said no to, so who knows? In their defense, $75K a week — after taxes and agency fees — does not go very far these days. I know that more than anyone.
Question: The forums over at TheEnvelope.com are reporting that ABC may not have submitted “Pushing Daisies leads Lee Pace and Anna Friel for Emmy consideration. Is this true? --Mindy
Ausiello: It’s true that Pace and Friel are not in the running for an Emmy this year, but don’t blame ABC. The actors — or their reps — are responsible for submitting themselves, not the networks or studios. Not sure why they chose to sit this one out. It’s certainly perplexing.
Question: Can you please give us some “Burn Notice” spoilers — preferably about Michael and Fiona’s relationship? --Jessica
Ausiello: I have a hunch Fi is going to need Michael more than ever in light of this exclusive casting scoop: “Lipstick Jungle” hottie Paul Blackthorne has been tapped to play Thomas O’Neill, an Irishman who arrives in Miami with a longtime grudge against Fiona. He shows up towards the end of the season 3, which debuts tomorrow! BTW, Jeffrey Donovan is dropping by tomorrow for an ATV Q&A, so send those Qs to email@example.com ASAP.
Question: I see Michael Rady from “Greek” is on the new “Melrose Place.” Does this mean Max is leaving? Hope so. He’s too geeky for Casey.—Jessica
Ausiello: That question will be answered in “Greek’s” June 15 season finale.
Question: Is it true that “Fringe” will be adding a new cast member next season? --Izebel
Ausiello: Yes, 'tis true. Producers are currently casting a new female agent to replace Kirk Acevedo’s Charlie. The character is described as brash, outspoken, quick-witted, and capable, and possesses a “deep core belief” in the wonders of the universe. Translation: She’s a Mulder.
Question: Please give us fang bangers some “True Blood” scoop. I cannot wait for season 2. Will some of it take place in Dallas like the second book did? --Jessie
Ausiello: Yep. In the new season’s fourth episode, Sookie, Bill and their adoptive vamp Jessica (played by the awesome Deborah Ann Woll) wing it to Dallas, but there’s a surprise waiting for them at the airport. Later in the episode, an even bigger shock awaits Sookie when a, ahem, special visitor drops by her hotel room.
Question: Not that I don’t appreciate the awesome “True Blood” scoop we got last week, it’s just that I need, really need, scoop on Sookie/Eric. Is anything gonna happen between them? --Sofia
Ausiello: Something happens in the first four episodes that may lead one to believe Eric has eyes for someone else (hint: it’s a dude!). But maybe I’m reading too much into it.
Question: Any news on “The Closer”? --Debra
Ausiello: Big news: Someone’s leaving the show! Kyra Sedgwick reveals that “a change in the squad” will come early into the new season (debuting June 8).
“We lose a squad member,” she says. “It’ll be quick and painless, and it’ll be soon.” The departure is fitting given the overarching theme of the season: change. “The first and most obvious change is (Brenda’s) married,” Sedgwick says. “Which is a big thing. How do you live as an individual you defined yourself as and thought of yourself as and now you’re attached to this other person? That’s a big change for her.”
Also, Brenda’s beloved cat falls ill, Provenza gets a girlfriend, and, as I previously reported, Mary McDonnell joins the cast for an arc as an internal affairs officer. “She’s the complete opposite of me; we’re at odds,” Sedgwick says. “Brenda’s always had antagonists who are men, so it’ll be great to have an antagonist who’s a woman.”
Question: “Weeds” hasn’t been good since Nancy torched Agrestic. Any chance that this season will be worth watching? –Meaghan
Ausiello: I handed your question off EW to intern/“Weeds” addict Jeremy Medina, who just watched the first three episodes of the new season (premiering June 8). Here’s what he said:
“Hi Meaghan! I agree, last season was easily the series’ worst — up until the finale shocker that revealed Nancy’s pregnancy. The new season starts off with the fallout from that announcement. Her family is pissed. Even Andy, who loves her. Nancy basically acknowledges she’s a terrible human being, but then proceeds to act like even more of one. She dumps Shane off to live with her volatile sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) because he isn’t safe at home. She even purposely gets drunk to antagonize her Mexican drug lord boyfriend, simply because it’s the last card she can play in her epic power struggle. What will continue to make the season worth watching is to see if Nancy can win back a shred of dignity. She needs to have some sort of redemptive arc to make the show compelling again. Whether that will actually happen remains to be seen.”
Question: Any scoop on how Jim and Pam will adjust to parenthood on “The Office”? --Dave
Ausiello: First we need confirmation that she is, in fact, pregnant. I mean, that’s how I interpreted that scene in the season finale, but Ed Helms has me wondering if there’s a bait and switch at play. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on there,” he told us over the weekend at the MTV Movie Awards. “There was an ambiguous hospital scene; that’s about all I know.” Translation: She’s pregnant.
Question: Is “The Unit” really gone? Say it ain’t so! --Elise
Ausiello: It’s so. Sorry.
Question: Any scoop on Mariska and Chris’ contract negotiations? Are they still going to be on “SVU” next season? --Kae
Ausiello: Still no official deal, but things are looking good.
Question: The season finale of “Law & Order: SVU” was extremely disappointing! We were all led to believe that a “major” character was going to die. I’d even read/heard it was going to be someone in the opening credits. Then it turns out to be the guy in the lab? It was so misleading! --Jill
Ausiello: Don’t go pointing fingers at me. I strongly hinted back in April that reports of a major “SVU” death were greatly exaggerated. (Beat) You’re still pointing at me. (Beat) Stop.
Question: Did your recent blind item have anything to do with Lauren Graham or Kristen Bell? --Elle
Ausiello: No, but the actress in question shares a first initial with one of them.
That’s a wrap! Send questions/comments/anonymous tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for playing! (Additional reporting by Jennifer Armstrong and Jenny Sundel)