Coming Soon!: Hot New Shows and Stars on The WB and Fox

TeenTelevision attended a series of press conferences announcing some hot new shows coming up this Fall on The WB and Fox networks. We've sorted through the presentations and come up with our fave shows with the best hottie potential. Before we get started, we'll pause for a word from.....Superman! Mega-cute Tom Welling, star of the WB's "Smallville" popped up to give us some inside scoops on show storylines and guest stars and the fact that the series is moving to Thursday nites this year. Picture Tom all corporate in a very flattering suit.

Tom: One thing I didn't want to hold back from you, because, from what I hear, it's very exciting, is that James Marsters [Buffy's "Spike"] is going to be on the show this season [applause]! As you know, "Smallville" is entering the fifth season. The entire cast is re-energized with our amazing finale last season, and the challenge is to move onward to college.

Joining us this season will be another famous character from "Superman" lore, Professor Milton Fine, also known as Brainiac. Brainiac, the ultimate villain, will be played by someone you are very familiar with, James Marsters of "Angel," but this time without the British accent and the blond hair, which I'm kind of sad about, but we'll see. Also, the seasoned Clark will explore the Fortress of Solitude, which I just saw for the first time two days ago. It's brilliant. It's spectacular.

Another D.C. comics legend, Aquaman will visit the show this year. That's actually the next episode we're doing, and he dates Lois Lane which is interesting because Erica Durance, who's wonderful who plays Lois, in real life is terrified of the water, and so she's playing a character who's in love with -- well, a guy who can't live outside of the water, so that will be interesting on set.

Tom also told us about a weird Dukes of Hazzard pairing. Not the current movie... the old TV show where John Schneider played Bo Duke. Check it out.

Tom: John Schneider who plays my father on the show, a character from his past is going to be on the show, Tom Wopat [who played Luke Duke]. He's going to play a senator. And I don't know what's going to happen with the storyline, but I'd really love to see those two slug it out, to tell the truth. I mean, how fun would that be?!

We agree that this all sounds like a lot of fun. Also interesting, in addition to your current WB fave shows, is a spooky new series on Tuesday nights called "Supernatural" which stars hunky Jared Padalecki of "The Gilmore Girls" and the movie House of Wax. Texas-born Jared will also be in another movie thriller Cry Wolf coming out in September. Playing Jared's brother is fellow-Texan Jensen Ackles who was on "Dawson's Creek, "Dark Angel" and was Lana's sneaky boyfriend Jason on "Smallville". The two Winchester brothers face some freaky "X-Files"-style monsters, demons and all-around creepazoids out of urban legend each week as they travel the backroads of the U.S. in their muscle-car 1967 Chevy Impala looking for their missing dad, trying to solve the mystery of their mom's grisly murder and taking on every supernatural evil force they meet along the way.

In the pilot, the boys face a really hot and scary femme ghost who was busy luring wayward motorists to her family plantation. The show is executive produced by McG who directed the "Charlie's Angels" films so expect some cool effects and action along with your hunky leads. Jared and Jensen met with press briefly. Here are some choice quotes about the show from the boys and their producers and writers:

Eric Kripke (Executive Producer): [This is] a show that I've really wanted to do for really the extent of my career, a show about American folklore and urban legends and the idea that every town has a really great, terrifying ghost story. We landed on this idea to do it as a road show, that purity of literally just driving in and out of a different horror movie every week, driving in and out of a different small town where something dark and evil is lurking in the shadows, seemed like a very pure and stripped-down and mythic way to tell this story.

McG: I got excited about the show because it's a downright scary show. If you watch it you'll know what we're talking about. This is a show that's designed to make it difficult to go to sleep that night after you watch it. If you're watching by yourself, you're in trouble because you're going to be looking behind the door. Your mind is going to be playing tricks on you a little bit. And, that's just a delicious feeling.

TeenTelevision: Okay, Jared and Jensen, what scares you guys?

Jared: I guess the unknown, which this show embraces a lot. You like, have a grasp on your life and your thoughts and your beliefs. And when something kind of puts that into a tailspin and lets you know that what you expect to be isn't actually the way things are, it's hard for your mind to grasp it and wrap around the concept.

Jensen: Yeah. I used to be scared of uncertainty. And now I think I get a high out of it. And I that what I've kind of used in this show is kind of just that blind fear of not knowing what you're dealing with, not knowing who's around the corner, not knowing the thing or person or beast that you're going to run into.

The guys were doing supporting roles on other WB shows but McG says that the two earned their co-starring roles on "Supernatural" just on the basis of their acting and the great match they make as brothers. McG also promises that effects will stay impressive as the episodes go on.

TeenTelevision: And, what about weird baddies in future episodes?

Eric Kripke: Under the model that our boys investigate and chase and hunt down the demons, creatures and spirits from urban legend and American folklore, they fairly quickly come across the hook man, you know, the killer with the hook for a hand. They very quickly come across Bloody Mary. There are doppelgangers and succubi and lions and tigers and bears.

TeenTelevision: Did you guys ever have a supernatural experience?

Jensen: I grew up with my mother telling me a bunch of stories that happened to her when she was a young child growing up in Michigan, and I don't know. They kind of creeped me out, but it was something that I never experienced for myself. I'd like to think that there's some paranormal and unexplainable type of circumstances in this world. But then there's part of me who likes to think that there's a scientific explanation for everything. It kind of depends on what side of the bed I wake up on in the morning, I guess.

Jensen told us he'll be way too busy on this new show to appear again as Jason on "Smallville" but he did have time to compare and contrast his old and new characters.

Jensen: Well, these two characters are totally different. Dean is night and day from Jason on "Smallville." They do both come from an interesting kind of parent. Well, I would say Dean loves his family very much and it is the core and the tragedy of who he is. With Jason, it was kind of like just a skeleton in a closet. But I really like the complexity of Dean, because I think with the "Smallville" character the story just kind of snowballed as the season progressed whereas this is just very solid to begin with and there's a very distinct presence of who this guy is and what he's coming from and torture for both the characters. It's mythology. It's two knights on a quest.

On Fox, our fave choices for new shows we'd like to hook up with are "Bones", which stars "Angel"'s David Boreanaz, and Emily Deschanel who was in the fright film Boogeyman. It's kind of "CSI" meets the "X-Files". She plays a forensic anthropologist identifying bods and solving cases. David plays Seeley Booth, an FBI special agent who doesn't think much of science and scientists. Of course the two have a mutual attraction. According to David, it's all about the characters. "I work on instinct and my character is all about gut. You throw in a maverick FBI guy and who's got a lot of attitude. He's pretty realistic and simple with these cases. We get inside the minds and the heads and the personal experiences that these two characters have, along with the rest of the cast members, and that makes it very interesting to see what's behind closed doors. What do these people really do and how do they tick, because that's what motivates them to go to these cases".

David's character isn't really into the forensics so he's been concentrating on.. "having a '69 Chevelle with a 396 under the hood and 375 horsepower and the fine line of being correct as an FBI officer. Booth is a simple guy. He likes a cheeseburger, a black cup of coffee. He's pretty simple on the outside, but very conflicted on the inside. He's a precision sharpshooter. This is a guy who is very patient, sees his target, locks on and he shoots to kill. There is intensity but, also, a lot of humor that is coupled with that."

And what does Buffy's former boyfriend think about playing opposite a strong woman to whom he is attracted... again? "Well, I can actually go to bed with this one" [laughter]. We think he means without losing his soul as he would to Buffy. "With these two characters, the potential for their personal lives entering into their professional lives is dynamic. On "Angel," the banter really was with a bunch of demons. On "Buffy" it was with Sarah, but it was more an intense, brooding kind of relationship. There was a lot of torment and angst. And with "Angel," she wasn't there, so I really didn't have a female banter to go with per se, and always toe to toe with someone. So I think with this character, I know it's a run of gold with someone that's going to be a lot of fun".

Another new show on Fox with hottie potential is "Reunion". It's got that "O.C." vibe of high school friends but the twist is in the presentation. Each successive episode takes place over one year. We start out at a funeral of one of the main characters. Then the show goes backwards to 1986 and the characters' high school graduation until we get to their 20th reunion, solving the mystery of the friend's murder in the process. Cool idea. There will be the usual romantic entanglements, brushes with the law, etc. that make for hot nighttime soap action.

"Reunion" stars Will Estes, the big bro in "American Dreams", Sean Faris from "Life As We Know It", hot-looking Alexa Davalos from The Chronicles of Riddick, Amanda Righetti from "The O.C.", Dave Annable from Little Black Book and Chyler Leigh from Not Another Teen Movie.

When asked about doing a show that blasts him back to the 1980's, Will Estes says, "I think every actor has a best era for him. Like, I don't know if Burt Reynolds is going to be any better than he was in the '70s. I love the '80s. I grew up in the '80s. I love the music. I like The Clash".

Sean Faris tells us about his bad boy character. "I play Craig Brewster, and my character is the rich kid that is a product of the environment that he was raised in. And I can't really tell you where he's going because I don't even know yet myself. But I think that the audience response will probably be, he's the guy they love to hate. At first, they're not going to like him very much. But he has his moments where he wins you back over because you see that he doesn't realize what he puts out to other people. He doesn't want to be the rich kid. He wants his friends to love him and he loves his friends".

When asked about the 1980's style clothes they had to wear, the cast got really animated. So, did they like their wardrobe?

Sean: Oh God!

Will: Sean loved it.

Sean: Oh sure. I love rockin' pink with the collar up. Throw a little green in there to balance it out.

Amanda: I thought the outfits were pretty rockin'. You know, it's the '80s. What are you going to do? It was a very fashion fad period.

Chyler: Basically every time she came in with a new outfit, Will's response was, "What are you wearing?"

Will: Hey, don't say Will. We all would come out of a trailer every day and be like, "What are you wearing?" She had white boots up to the knee. I'll never forget them.

Sean: And lace skirts.

Also of note on Fox, "Kitchen Confidential", the story of a young chef trying to climb to the top in the restaurant game after hitting the skids. The chef Jack Bourdain is played by Bradley Cooper who did time on "Alias" and working with him at a top New York restaurant are Nicolas Brendon of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Teddy Wong of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. The restaurant hostess is played by Jaime King of White Chicks and Pearl Harbor and the rookie pastry chef is played by John F. Daley of "Freaks and Geeks".

The series, executive produced by Darren Star ("Sex and the City") and David Hemingson of "Just Shoot Me" and "American Dad", shows promise for comedy and cool character interaction.

Check your local T.V. listings for the launches of these new shows and pick your own faves!


Lynn Barker is a Hollywood-based entertainment journalist and produced screenwriter.

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