Did you hear the news? UPN and WB are JOINING FORCES!!! Yep, you heard me right. Channel CW (I guess I have to do some research to what that means) will be combining these channels to give us some quality programming. I say it's about time. I just have so much more VCR tapes to keep track of when I have even less time to watch them. Can you just see it? Tuesdays can still be GG/SN night but OTH will be given the boot for Bedford Diaries followed by Veronica Mars. What do you think? I know I am more than psyched.
Of course, it's past midnight so the picked through Ausiello chats are up.
DeAnn, take note, Firefly may be resurrected!
Question: Just heard that WB, UPN are shutting down and merging into the CW network! What's gonna happen to Veronica Mars? (Panic setting in... can't breathe… ) — Ashton
Ausiello: Um, apparently this is not a joke. (Anxiety attack setting in… swallowing two Xanax… anxiety attack passing…) All right, I've done a little digging and there's no reason to freak out… yet. This is all in the very early stages and nothing — I repeat nothing — has been canceled… yet. Still piddling? Well take a deep breath and repeat after me: "Introducing CW's new Tuesday featuring fresh episodes of Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars!" (Getting excited… jumping for joy…)
Question: Kevin Smith. Joss Whedon. Lucy Lawless. Michael Ausiello. Just look at the company of guest stars you are in at Veronica Mars — I'm proud of you! How'd it go on Friday? And which was the better "guesting" experience: Veronica or Gilmore? — Tracy
Ausiello: Please don’t make me choose. OK, Veronica Mars wins — but only because they gave me (pause for dramatic effect) my very own trailer! I. Kid. You. Not. In case you live under a really big, soundproof rock, I landed on Mars' San Diego set Friday morning to tape my role as "Blushing Guy" in Episode 15, airing Feb. 15. (It's all part of my bid to take over the world a big behind-the-scenes feature coming up in TV Guide magazine and on TVGuide.com.) Who the heck is Blushing Guy, you ask? He's a pivotal character who finds himself pulled into a bachelorette party being thrown for (spoiler alert) the sister of Wallace's new girlfriend, Jane (Valorie Curry), at Java the Hut. I initially thought Veronica was the one throwing the party, but she just happens to be working at Java that day. Still, Kristen Bell (aka MNBF) was in the scene and we did get a chance to bond between takes. Alas, I don't have any speaking lines — damn you, SAG rules — but I do serve a very specific purpose (hint: something happens at the party that makes me blush). And not to toot my own horn or anything, but when I finished my scene, the cast and crew gave me a standing ovation and I was immediately nicknamed "Two-take Mike." The whole experience nearly brought MNBF to tears, but more on that in the forthcoming mag story. (But if you press me really hard, I may spill in next week's AA.)
Question: Please tell me that the CW (the new combined network of WB and UPN) will keep Veronica Mars alive one more season. — Jim
Ausiello: You know that whole Gilmore Girls-Veronica Mars Tuesday block I hinted at earlier? Well, I just e-mailed the idea to Rob Thomas and he wrote back, "That's the exact pitch my agent gave." (And Matt Roush, too!) Great minds… anyway, I truly believe in my heart that Mars' will be back next year. In fact, UPN prez Dawn Ostroff — who will serve as president of CW when it launches next fall — was very optimistic about the show's future when I spoke to her last week at press tour. "We really love the show. And the show's doing better this year than it was last year, so that's a big plus. I feel very hopeful. I can't say it'll definitely [be back], but we love the show and we're doing everything we can to bring more viewers in."
Question: What else can you tell us about Veronica Mars? — Chrissy Davis
Ausiello: I actually have some major Mars' prattle — and it concerns the show's third season. At press tour, Rob Thomas told me exclusively (at least I think it was exclusive) that not only does he already have next season's overriding mystery figured out, but he's introducing it (wait for it… wait for it) this season! "We know what we want to do next year as our big 'Who Killed Lily Kane/Who sent the bus off the cliff?' mystery," he says. "In fact, we're going to hint at it in an episode this year." Rob adds that the story will have a "completely different" flavor than the two previous mysteries. "There will be a criminal at play rather than a crime that happened that we're trying to solve. It'll be a crime that is ongoing, so it'll have a sense of urgency." (POSSIBLE SPOILER: Episode 16 is titled "The Rapes of Graff" and finds Veronica tracking down a serial rapist at Hearst College — the very school she'll likely be attending next fall. I'm told Veronica does not catch the perp by the episode's conclusion. You do the math.)
Question: More Veronica Mars scoop please. — Gary
Ausiello: Episode 16 also includes a funny little riff on Kristen Bell's Emmy snub last year and the departure of a recurring character.
Question: I may be the only person in America who hasn't seen Brokeback Mountain, so what did you mean last week when you said, "One of our favorite Gilmore girls is about to discover that she has a lot in common with Michelle Williams' character in Brokeback Mountain?" — Casey
Ausiello: Actually, forget I said that. I goofed, big-time. I read an early version of a script for Episode 15 and in it, we find out that one of the show's leading men had an affair with a character named Walker. Naturally, I assumed Walker was a guy. (Who wouldn't, right?) Well, you know what they say about people who assume — they make an ass out of some dude named Ume. Turns out Walker is a girl and no one on the show has anything in common with Michelle Williams' character in Brokeback Mountain, with the possible exception of Paris. I dunno, there's something about Doyle that strikes me as, oh, gay.
Question: Is there any chance whatsoever that Firefly could be picked up and brought back to life? — Joey Yonce
Ausiello: An independent production company is apparently trying to obtain rights from Fox to continue the series either on another network or on an in-demand basis, so I guess the answer is yes.
Question: Did you see last week's episode of Gilmore Girls with the winter carnival? Babette gave away a Smurfette doll as a prize. As soon as I saw it, all I could think about was you! — Caroline L.
Ausiello: What an unbelievable coincidence — I immediately thought of me, too! Here's another little tidbit about that episode: The whole thing about dictator-in-chief Paris referring to her underlings at the Yale Daily News as numbers and not their names? I'm fairly certain that was taken from Amy Sherman-Palladino's tour of duty as a producer on Roseanne. I seem to recall hearing that Roseanne, at the height of her reign of terror, pulled a similar stunt with her writing staff, only instead of numbered caps she handed out sweatshirts. Ah, memories…
Question: For real, there's going to be a Girlfriends spin-off (Ask Ausiello 1/18)? What's the premise? — Sarah
Ausiello: Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you, honey? The potential offshoot will center on three women whose "son or boyfriend or husband plays professional football," explains Dawn Ostroff. "It's about the women behind the men." The characters will be introduced in an episode of Girlfriends later this season.