Welcome to Jim's Notebook.
In this new feature, I will be concluding my week of chatting up actors, actresses and showrunners by sharing various scoops and tidbits from these interviews with my fellow TV Fanatics.
On tap in this opening edition? Intel on Covert Affairs, Dexter, Drop Dead Diva, Bones and Hell on Wheels...
COVERT AFFAIRS: If you’re like me, Tuesday's Covert Affairs had you on the edge of your seat. How can it possibly be topped? I went to Auggie himself, Chris Gorham, with that question. His response:
This Tuesday's BIG Covert Affairs episode is all about justice. Annie's back on the job and hot on Lena's trail. Let's just say, we're heading into our three week break with a bang!
Does Gorham like to give good tease or what? Sadly, he’s correct in that Covert Affairs is going away for a bit: it will return October 16 with the first of six all-new episodes. Can we live a few weeks without Auggie and Annie (Piper Perabo)? It’ll be tough, for sure!
DEXTER: Anyone else dying to see what happens in the season premiere of Dexter? As you diehards know, last season ended with sister cop Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) finally witnessing her brother (Michael C. Hall) performing his ritural.
After the direct pickup in the September 30th opener, just how much of these season will be focusing on how the siblings work together... or apart? According to Executive Producer Scott Buck, a lot!
“It’s a huge story for the season that will carry us all the way throughout this season," Buck told me. "It’s not just the same story, it continues to change and take turns and twists because it’s not exactly going to go the way everyone would think it’s going to go. It’s a very complex issue."
DROP DEAD DIVA creator Josh Berman, meanwhile, was justifiably thrilled about the showing of last Sunday’s Season 4 finale. But was it enough to get a fifth season order from Lifetime? Berman, also the creator of The Mob Doctor - which bows Monday on Fox - showed off his understanding of the complex ratings game with this quote:
I'm thrilled that the Drop Dead Diva fans turned out in record numbers for our season finale. We hit season highs in total viewers, HH, W25-54, A25-54, A18-49 and men demos, despite being on against the big football game! The finale was also up 29% from last season's finale. As a fourth year show, I'm thrilled to see that we continue to attract new viewers, and I'm so pleased with all the buzz on Twitter and other social media websites.
The cliffhanger was really well received by both viewers and critics. At this point in time, I have big plans for season 5, but I'm waiting for Lifetime to pull the trigger on us pick us up officially. I believe the cliffhanger reinvigorated the show and the best story lines are yet to come.
What do YOU think? Should Diva get another season? You can tell me here or go to Diva’s Facebook page and tell Lifetime what you think. (And check back on Monday for my Q&A with Josh about The Mob Doctor.)
I’m a big fan of BONES and with the eighth season finale starting Monday, I asked my Twitter peeps what they’d like me to ask Executive Producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan about the new season. For some reason, there is quite the contingent that do not like seeing Sweets (John Francis Daley) carrying a gun. Sure, he’s an FBI psychologist - but when you have a psycho killer like Christopher Pelant (played with creepy finesse by Andrew Leeds), knowing how to shoot a gun (after training we saw last season) could come in handy.
Hanson settled it all once and for all by telling me: “I think it’s safe to say, and this is not a spoiler, that Sweets is not going to be upstaging David Boreanaz as the FBI.”
But you gotta adore a guy who loves the level of fandom his show has: “I can't tell you how torn we are,” Hanson said, “between saying ‘what the hell?’ and then being delighted that people care that much that they really want the show back. So bless their hearts. Bless them.”
The Bones season premiere is Monday at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Sometimes there's nothing better than seeing two guys in a movie or TV show duke it out. No guns, no fancy flips and over-the-top surprises. Just mano-to-mano aggression.
Look no further than AMC’s addictive HELL ON WHEELS. Set in 1865 and making the building of the transcontinental railroad exciting, the show also loves a good fight, as Executive Producer John Shiban (who also worked on kick ass shows like The X Files, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and Breaking Bad) told me during our recent chat. Safe to assume there are some pretty smart fight coordinators in the mix, right?
We have a great stunt team and we spend a lot of time choreographing and storyboarding…Catherine Hardwicke (yep, the same one who directed the first Twilight film) was the one who directed the ‘Scabs’ episode and I think she did a fabulous job of just marshalling those people and getting the pieces make sense. That’s one of the things we take pride in. And we want to be that cinematic show and we want to give people that action that rivals movie action. I think we’ve been doing some good stuff.
Shiban also told me a little spoiler about the fate of one of our favorite character... and while I’m sworn to secrecy, I will tell you one of our regular characters just may meet a dismal end soon. Hell On Wheels airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC.
That's a wrap! Time to close my Notebook for now. Anything else you’re dying to know about your favorite show? Leave a comment here or you email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember: get all your TV scoop by following @TVFanatic.
Until next time!
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.