Tidbits from today's press conference with ''Nip/Tuck'' main man Ryan Murphy and the three stars:
-- The Carver is gone for good.''Never appear again,'' Murphy said. He wants the show this year to have more humor and more sex, away from the ''very dark and very nihilistic'' tone of last season. Both Julian McMahon and Joely Richardson said last year was not their favorite. And while he liked it (and the Carver drew high ratings), Murphy said the Carver storyline in particular got away from the show's core relationships --- Christian, Julia and Sean. Those will be more in focus this year. But -- since I've seen the first episode -- still expect some serious drama, especially between Julia and Sean, because of an unexpected development with their baby; the baby will be born in the third episode. (Peter Dinklage will play their night nurse.) Christian, meanwhile, is going to have a lot of thoughts about his emotional makeup.
-- Kimber, played by Kelly Carlson, will be back early in the second episode, but as a ''yoga-ish, spiritual'' character who enlists Matt in her opposition to plastic surgery. And Christian will treat her very badly, turning her ''very vengeful. ... Sort of back to the Kimber who tied him to the bed and was going to cut him up. She's back in that place, which is fun. It's funny!'' Murphy insisted.
-- Matt, meanwhile, will look very different; John Hensley, who plays him, has been weight-lifting. Last season's storyline will be wrapped up early (and Brittany Snow will not be back) and Matt ''falls in love with Kimber.''
-- Rosie O'Donnell will guest-star as a white-trash woman who hits the lottery, wants plastic surgery for all her family and falls in love with Christian, creating what Murphy called ''an 'Indecent Proposal' situation. She'll be in two episodes. Noting that the anti-plastic surgery O'Donnell is getting grief for appearing on a show about plastic surgeons, Murphy added that O'Donnell thinks the show is also anti-plastic surgery. The character is named Dawn Budge, but Murphy says he wasn't thinking of tennis player Don Budge when he came up with it.
-- Brooke Shields will play a therapist who proves to be a sexual compulsive with a mad obsessive crush on Christian.
-- Catherine Deneuve is lined up for a guest role. ''When you think 'Catherine Deneuve,' you think 'French murderess,' Murphy said. ''At least I do.'' But her storyline may also involve breast implants containing the ashes of a woman's husband.
(I know, EWWWWWW. It's ''Nip/Tuck.'' Wait until you see what they do to Larry Hagman in the season premiere.)
-- Famke Janssen will be back ''eventually. Maybe not this year. But she will come back.''
The fourth season will start Sept. 5.