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Ask Ausiello: Dying for ‘Dexter’ dish?

Michael Ausiello dishes dirt and spoilers for shows including "Desperate Housewives," "CSI," and "House."
/ Source: Entertainment Weekly

Question: Any more "True Blood" season 3 casting news? —Richard

Ausiello: Yes! Alan Ball confirms that he’s currently casting the role of Talbot, “trophy husband” to Denis O’Hare’s same-gender-lovin’ King of Mississippi.

Question: I know I’ve been bombarding you with Heather Locklear questions lately, and I promise to stop after this one: How long will she be staying on "Melrose Place"? —Sam

Ausiello: There’s no such thing as too many Heather Locklear questions when it concerns her imminent return to the Place called M. I hear she’s on board for at least seven episodes.

Question: I just finished watching the first three seasons of "Dexter" and I can’t wait until the season 4 premiere. If you have a scoop, that would be awesome. And if you have more than one scoop — or a scoop-fest, if you will — that would be even more awesome. —Jared

Ausiello: To quote my onetime Ausiello TV co-star Ana Ortiz, “Oh, I will, honey. You bet your ass I will.” John Lithgow’s Trinity Killer will claim a high-profile victim (a.k.a. significant character) during the first half of the season.

Question: I am dying (ha! get it?) for some "Dexter" spoilers! —Alex

Ausiello: LOLOMGLAME! Look for Dexter and Rita to get a very surprising houseguest in November.

Question: Um, so I used your predictions as a guide in my Emmy pool. What exactly is 20 percent of nothing? Any clue what the freak happened on Sunday? —Erin B.

Ausiello: If I’m hearing you correctly, you’re angry that Jon Cryer beat Neil Patrick Harris and you’re looking for someone to take your frustration out on. Is that an accurate reflection of how you’re feeling? Did I miss anything?

Question: What’s this I hear about some unexpected surprise coming out in the "CSI" premiere about Sara? —Encarni

Ausiello: She got hitched to Grissom when no one was looking. But that’s old news. Here’s some (relatively) new news from exec producer Naren Shankar: “Do not miss the first two-and-a-half minutes of CSI season premiere. It will blow your mind. It may be one of the most incredible things we’ve ever put on film. It’s so beautiful and it’s so cool.”

Question: Any chance Jorja Fox may stick around full-time on "CSI"? Five episodes isn’t enough. —Brian

Ausiello: I posed that question to Shankar, and, based on his evasiveness, I would say it’s probably being discussed. “I honestly can’t say [for sure] at this point,” he told me. “All I will say is we’re having a great time and I think Jorja is having a great time. I think she’s having more fun now than she did before. Having a little space from something, you get to clean your palate and be refreshed as an artist.”

Question: Can you please confirm or deny that the lovers’ biggest obstacle blind item refers to Benson and Stabler from "Law & Order: SVU."  —Vick

Ausiello: Deny.

Question: I’m dying for some "Chuck" scoop! Give us a little tidbit, anything to tide me over until March! —Jordan

Ausiello: Casting scoop! Emmy winner Armand Assante has been tapped to play a Castro-esque dictator who Casey has unsuccessfully tried to assassinate multiple times.

Question: Rumor has it House tells Cuddy he loves her in this season’s ninth episode. Is this for real? Or is someone pulling a fast one? —Reina

Ausiello: I can confirm that, as it stands now, House tells someone he loves Cuddy.

Question: Is it true we’ll meet Cuddy’s sister in the Thanksgiving episode? —Danica

Ausiello: She factors into the story somehow, but we don’t actually meet her. Does that make sense?

Question: I loved your interview with Lisa Edelstein on the Emmy red carpet. Do you know how many episodes Michael Weston’s character, Lucas, will be around on House? —Reana

Ausiello: More than one but less than 80.

Question: With House getting out of the asylum, does that mean we have seen the end of Anne Dudek as Amber? I hope not! —Patrick

Ausiello: Sorry, but I think this pretty much confirms that both House and House have gotten over their Amber fixation.

Question: Can you get us some amazing new "Smallville" scoop? —Tyson

Ausiello: In the Nov. 20 episode, “Pandora,” we’ll see exactly what happened when Lois disappeared for three weeks — and it’ll look remarkably similar to this.

Question: Is this “Redemption” arc of "Heroes" going to last the whole season? Or will it be another half-season affair? —Danny

Ausiello: It’ll span the entire 19-episode season.

Question: Just curious: What "American Idol" camp do you fall into — pro-Kara or anti-Kara? —Lesley

Ausiello: I’m staunchly pro-Kara, a controversial position that has greatly strained my working relationship with Michael Slezak. Which is why I’m making it my personal mission to broker peace between the two of them. The moving, heartfelt olive branch he half-extended to her in last week’s PopWatch was a solid first step. In fact, I took it upon myself to hand deliver said olive branch to Ms. DioGuardi when I saw her at the Emmys on Sunday. Her response? “Here’s what I have to say to Michael Slezak. Even though he was slagging me a lot, the way he would do it [had me] laughing. He is an incredible writer. At times, I thought he was really hard on me, but, at the same time, I can appreciate his gift of writing. He’s funny and he’s smart. But I don’t think he knows the other sides of me. I don’t think he’s ever seen what I can do in the studio. And I, unfortunately, don’t have 10,000 hours of TV experience. I came [to Idol] as a beginner, and at times I got scared and nervous. Hopefully, this year I will be better. If he’s willing to give me a clean slate I would appreciate that. But I never had any ill-will towards him because he’s just doing his job and he has a right to his opinion.” Okay, I think we’re getting somewhere here. The ball’s in your court, Slezak. I’ve set up some time for you to hang with Kara in the studio the week of Oct. 12. Check your schedule and get back to me.

Question: Have they cast Booth’s grandpa on "Bones"? —CL

Ausiello: Let’s check in with Bones boss Hart Hanson: “We are either very, very close or about to rethink the part. Please don’t hypnotize me into saying more.” I promise I won’t. Just one quick follow-up: Look into my eyes… you are getting very sleepy… I’ll ask you again… Who’s playing Booth’s grandpa…

Question: Is it true that Katherine will be getting her edge back on "Desperate Housewives" this season? —Andres

Ausiello: I’ll say this: Marc Cherry is giving Dana Delany one helluva meaty storyline this season. I’ll have more to say on that immediately following Sunday’s premiere.

Question: Got any "Office" relationship scoops — preferably relating to a couple that is not Jim and Pam? —Jen

Ausiello: Dwangela will eventually be reunited, according to both Angela Kinsey and Rainn Wilson. “They’re soul mates,” Kinsey told me on the Emmy red carpet. “They’re going to find each other.” Added Wilson: “I think they are destined to be together. I think it’s just a matter of when the writers need to dig that storyline back up and lay it back in.”

Question: Anything on "The Office"? 3… 2… 1… go! —Jason

Ausiello: Um… er… There’s footage of Jim and Pam’s wedding floating around, and Jenna Fischer’s seen it! “I have seen a rough cut of the wedding episode and [fans] will be satisfied,” she told me on the Emmy red carpet. And how ’bout the honeymoon footage? Will that satisfy us as well? “We’re not taking the cameras on the honeymoon. Sorry. That’s for us.” (First look at EW’s Jim/Pam wedding-themed cover!)

Question: Anything on "Southland"? —Carol

Ausiello: Ben McKenzie is applauding NBC’s decision to delay the start of season 2 by a month. “I think it’s good,” he told me at EW’s pre-Emmy bash last week. “All of the shows are premiering [this] week on NBC. Now we’ll be premiering on our own. [Plus], this gives us time to tinker with every single episode. I like it.” McKenzie went on to talk about the changes the drama is undergoing in its second season, but I was too busy staring at his pretty face to listen. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

Question: What can you tell me about the episode of "How I Met Your Mother" that Neil Patrick Harris is directing? —Cole

Ausiello: I can tell you two things: It’s the Thanksgiving episode and it’ll feature an appearance by Lily’s dad.

Question: Where’s all the "How I Met Your Mother" scoop?! —Daniel

Ausiello: I believe it’s on page 50 of the new Entertainment Weekly (on sale Friday).

Question: Will Olivia and Peter ever get together on "Fringe"? —Sara

Ausiello: Anna Torv doesn’t think the show should pull the trigger on Polivia for at least another year. “I think definitely we should wait until next season,” she told me at the Emmys. “That’s the way it goes on TV, right? You stretch it for as long as you can.” Yeah, that’s the drill. Torv also revealed that Olivia will get back “over there” in an upcoming episode. “We do go back and get to see the rest of that scene [from the finale].”

Question: Christina Hendricks better be on your Dream Emmy Ballot again next year. Her performance in Sunday’s episode of "Mad Men" was heartbreaking. —Cole

Ausiello: She’s definitely on the early short list. At the Emmys, Hendricks told me shooting the episode — in which Joan may or may not have left Sterling Cooper — was “very, very emotional,” adding, “It was not hard to conjure up those feelings and imagine having to leave that place. As an actress, those scenes were amazing.” Speaking of Sunday’s jaw-dropping outing, series creator Matthew Weiner — or Mr. Modesty, as I like to call him — agreed that the episode “was very good.” And the fact that it came after a string of relatively uneventful episodes was intentional. “This is the way the show works,” he said. “I’ve been trying to, I wouldn’t say train the audience, but let people know that things take a while to happen [on Mad Men], but there’s always a payoff. On [Sunday], things started paying off.”

Question: I’m concerned about your cryptic remark in the "Law & Order: CI "shake-up story that Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe may return “in some capacity.” What does that mean exactly? —River

Ausiello: It means if they do come back it won’t be for very long.

Question: Some scoopage on "Private Practice," please? Any chance Addison will have a man by her side for more than just a few episodes this season? —Jen

Ausiello: I’d say there’s a very good chance, but probably not until the second half of the season. “There’s going to be some romantic activity for Addison,” reveals exec producer Betsy Beers. “But first she needs some time to process the [failed] Noah relationship.” Meanwhile, Addison’s friendship with Naomi will be tested in a major way. “A big thing for them this season is the fact that Naomi is moving downstairs,” says Beers. “That will have an impact on their friendship and the way they work.”

That’s a wrap! Please send questions/comments/anonymous tips to Thanks for playing!