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Freaky Jinx?

Plus: In Search of Kevin Sorbo, and this week's season debuts.

By Steve Ryfle     October 02, 2000

Is time running out for those 'Blair Witch Project' guys, or can they extend their proverbial 15 minutes of fame and fortune for another year? They'll try to breathe new life into their old 'is it real or isn't it?' gag this week, with the premiere of Freakylinks (Fox, Friday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central), which follows the exploits of three twentysomethings (one girl, two guysis this sounding familiar yet?) who travel around the country investigating urban legends and strange phenomena. The show was created by Gregg Hale, one of the Blair Witch producers, but we hear it costs more than $5,000 to make.


'The first episode of the show is definitely a thrill ridecomplete with a spooky, empty house, lots of dark shadows and creepy things that go bump in the night,' writes Los Angeles Times TV critic Susan King. And the Freakylinks website talks a lot of talk about the unexplained, but fails to mention that it's all tied to a TV show.


OK, is this still not giving you that 'been there, seen that' feeling?


As you might have heard, Freakyinks was originally called 'Fearsum,' but the Fox folks changed the title because it was 'too dark and confusing,' according to one of its creators. Or maybe because it just sounded stupid.


The buzz on Freakylinks isn't exactly positive; USA Today, for one, says the show '...looks primed to be one of the fall's first casualties.' And with the forthcoming Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 already shaping up as one of the most reviled movies in memory, it may be high time for the Haxan guys to come up with a new riff.

WHAT DO SUPERWARRIORS EAT?


Can Dark Angel possibly live up to the hype? Does anyone besides the fanboys really care that the new sci-fi series (Fox, Tuesday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central) is a James Cameron product? Since Fox has the cojones to launch this series with a two-hour-long premiere, we're guessing Dark Angel has more going for it than just the marquee value of Cameron's name. And we're guessing it's Jennifer Alba, the 19-year-old actress who stars as Max, the genetically engineered, motorcycle-riding, leather-clad, post-apocalyptic superwarrior chick.


In case you haven't noticed, Alba has been doing the media blitz thing lately (Click here to read Fandom's exclusive interview with Alba). Mostly it's the usual stuff: what's it like to be thrust into the limelight, how did you get the part, how long have you been an actress, blah, blah blah. But USA Today actually got Alba to divulge some personal, albeit mostly useless, information: 'I make a killer Thanksgiving dinner,' Alba tells the newspaper. 'Stuffing with cranberries and pistachios. I marinate my turkey for almost two days in teriyaki sauce with herbs and then shove tangerines inside. Oh, I just go crazy!'


SEARCHING FOR KEVIN SORBO


This week also marks the unceremonious debut of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, which unfortunately looks like it could be quickly lost in the syndication quagmire. This is really one of those 'check your local listings' situations, as Andromeda is bowing on different days, in different time slots, and on different networks across the country.


The show, however, looks like it could be pretty cool. It's got Kevin Sorbo of Hercules and Kull the Conqueror celeb, playing Capt. Dylan Hunt, who presides over the starship Andromeda Ascendant and its 4,000-person crew. Hunt, who wears a way cool black uniform that is more 'Star Wars' than 'Star Trek,' is caught between warring factions in intergalactic politics; and, of course, he flies around the cosmos in that big-ass ship of his. The show is executive produced by the Yoko Ono of science fiction, Roddenberry's widow, Majel Barrett Roddenberry.

SOPHOMORE SEASON

Roswell makes its second-season debut (WB Network, Monday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central) with an episode titled 'Skin and Bones,' which has Michael (Brendan Fehr) getting arrested for murder and Max (Jason Behr) rescuing Michael from the FBI. In other words, more of the same stuff.


UPCOMING EPISODES


* This week's Buffy the Vampire Slayer (WB Network, Tuesday @ 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 7 p.m. Central) episode is titled 'Real Me,' and it furthers the kid-sister plotline launched in last week's season premiere. The WB.com website says that Buffy and Dawn's 'sibling rivalry gets them into trouble when a new gang of vampires target the slayer').

Usually, when a young kid is added to the cast of an established show, it can mean that things are in serious trouble (think Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch), but we like Michelle Trachtenberg, and think she'll turn into a serious butt-kicking 14-year-old. Not only that, but she's a well-adjusted teen in real life, too, unspoiled by the vagaries of fame. 'I think the words 'child actor' are often synonymous with bad things,' Trachtenberg says in an interview on the WBnetwork.com website. 'I'm really lucky to be surrounded by people that love and support me.' The cockles of our heart are now warm.

* Does anyone realize that Charmed (WB Network, Thursday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central) is still on the air? This week's episode, 'The Honeymoon is Over,' finds two of the witch-women lying on the witness stand to protect their supernatural identities; their perjury sets a murderer free and endangers the District Attorney's life. Oops, my bad!

SHORT TAKES


Want to become a successful TV producer? Well, maybe all you need to do is first become a successful fire-spittin', blood-spewin', platform-shoe-wearin', three-chord numskull rock musician. Variety reports that KISS bassist Gene Simmons is putting together a sitcom for VH1 called 'Smash,' about a washed-up rapper who launches a floundering record label and then struggles to get himself out of debt.

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