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The latest on ''Dawson's Creek'''s new love affair

Joshua Jackson talks about his blossoming on screen romance with Katie Holmes

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Dawson's Creek
Marc Kayne

Soon, many teen males (and some older ones too) will be envying Joshua Jackson, whose ”Dawson’s Creek” character Pacey Witter is starting a romantic relationship with Katie Holmes’ Joey Potter. When new episodes of the series begin airing April 5, the pair will add fire to the spark of last week’s show, in which Pacey finally worked up the nerve to kiss Joey. The duo has been palling around ever since Dawson asked Pacey to look after his ex-girlfriend earlier this season. And now, Jackson confides that he and Holmes are going to heat up Capeside, at least for a while: ”There’s going to be a lot more kissing involved,” Jackson says. ”And there can never possibly be enough kissing Katie Holmes, if you ask me.”

But fans who worry that Joey and Pacey’s new feelings will keep the titular hero sulking in his rowboat can relax. Jackson says Dawson will have a typically ”Creek”-ish response (read: extremely confrontational) to the blossoming relationship. ”Dawson’s going to be like, ‘That’s my girl, man, and you’re a little bit on the shady side. I don’t want my girl to be with you,”’ the 21-year-old Jackson reveals. And who can blame poor Dawson: He and Joey are still virgins, while Pacey is so sexually adroit he seduced his English teacher at 15.

But what will eventually become of the love triangle? Jackson doesn’t know for sure, because even the writers haven’t decided who’s the better match for doe-eyed Joey. ”They’re either going to use me to bounce her back to Dawson, or they’re going to let us stay together,” Jackson says. ”Personally, I don’t want to be the bounce-back guy.”

Either way, Joey and Pacey’s hookup could boost ”Creek”’s ratings, which have fallen consistently since its 1997 debut. Although the teen drama drew approximately 5.6 million viewers a week its premiere season — making it the WB’s most-watched show — it’s now the flagging network’s fifth-ranked series, averaging just 4.2 million viewers a week. (Older-skewing WB programs ”7th Heaven,” ”Buffy,” ”Charmed,” and ”Angel” all have audiences of 5.0 to 6.9 million.) But even if this sexy subplot fails to ignite ”Creek”’s Nielsens, Jackson says he isn’t too worried: ”I’m going to go on a limb and predict that, Yes, the WB will ask us back for next year.” Gotta love a confident romantic.