Nip/Tuck

Prashant Gupta/FX

Hello, my fellow televisionaries. Korbi here, coming to you directly from the 2007 TCA Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. As promised, Jen Godwin and I will be bringing you all the tiny bits of TV info you're just dying to hear over the next two weeks. First up? Nip/Tuck, baby.

Of course, fans of the show know that McNamara/Troy has made the move from Miami to Los Angeles for season five, but will the sexy docs' family and friends be joining them when the series returns in October? You best believe. The entire cast is here today, including Joely Richardson, who left the show somewhat abruptly last season. She says it's nice to be back, especially now that the series has moved on to new territory. "There was nothing more Dylan and I could do in that kitchen!" she laughs, referring to the old set that saw some interesting scenes take place between her and her onscreen ex-hubby. "We were done with that kitchen, so the fresh start is great."

And it certainly sounds like Nip/Tuck is getting a fresh start. Here's the dirt I was able to glean from the panel:

Good Move:  Creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy has set out to explore Los Angeles as a theme this season, because people who come to L.A., he says, come to reinvent themselves. And because surgeons kind of rule the city, it will be interesting to watch two guys like Sean and Christian, who've hit 40 and have always been successful, try to survive suddenly being the small fish in a big pond. Interesting fact: When Murphy originally pitched the show five years ago, it was supposed to take place in the City of Angels.

Script Doctors:  The boys will be consultants on a Nip/Tuck-like plastic surgery show, called Hearts & Scalpels, starring none other than Alias' Will Tippin, also known as Bradley Cooper! "It's kind of like Nip/Tuck, but not," says Murphy of the satirical show within the show. “It’s like the worst plastic surgery show ever made. It’s so bad, they hire our guys to help.” Murphy reveals our boy Brad will be playing the big plastic surgeon cad. And Oliver Platt will take on Murphy’s role as the show runner...sort of.

Westward, Ho's:  One of the challenges this year was finding a way to bring the supporting characters out west in a believable way, because the heart of the series is the family, Murphy insists. “The one year we didn’t focus on [the family] was our least successful year.” And so they all arrive in Los Angeles for some reason or another. Julia will show up to share news about her life, and extends her stay. Liz will come out to support the doctors...after she learns of their offer to double her salary. And Kimber and Matt arrive for nefarious reasons. Everyone will explore the temptations of L.A.

Doctor, Heal Thyself:  Sean and Christian will switch roles this season, interestingly enough. Christian, whose always been arrogant and full of himself, will suddenly have doubts. “He’s always felt he could dominate the situation, but in L.A., he feels he’s surrounded by people who are better than him. Better looking, just as charming. Everything he’s sort of held on to [is challenged],” reveals Julian McMahon. Sean, on the other hand, is instantly successful and suddenly confident. For the first time, Christian will really be in his shadow.

Guest Workers:  Portia de Rossi is coming on to play an acupuncturist. Rosie O’Donnell will return in episode four. She’ll do several eps this season as the popular Dawn Budge.

Cosmetic Changes:  Now, if you're not a fan of change, don't freak. Though Nip/Tuck has certainly undergone a makeover of sorts, with shiny, new sets, bigger and better than before, Murphy says it's still the series we've loved all along. "We're through [shooting] episodes eight and nine and the show still feels the same. We're still exploring social issues and hot-button [topics], but it's also as sexy as ever."

Good to Be the Kink:  Speaking of sexy, did I mention Julian McMahon is a beautiful, beautiful man? And though we may think his character, Christian, has pushed every sexual boundary allowed on basic cable, he disagrees. "I want to push things even further. The shock and awe that we came out with initially has been done. We have to reinvigorate. Notch up our kink level a bit. I just want to do weird things," he says with a smirk.

Um, cold shower, anyone?

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