David Boreanaz fans will soon be touched by more Angel: The WB plans to rerun episodes of the Monday-night drama at 8 o’clock Thursdays beginning Jan. 10. It’s also a good sign The WB may stick with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off—though if it cancels Angel, UPN is obligated to pick it up as part of its $102 million deal for Buffy. Still, WB insiders say the net has all but announced its intention to renew the series for a fourth year. In the meantime, it’s hoping to lure new viewers on Thursdays by beginning with the final four episodes of last season, when Angel started to establish itself as a freestanding drama rather than Son of Buffy. ”We now feel like we’re in the first season of the show, because in the first two years we were busy finding the show and building the characters,” says Boreanaz, whose title vamp actually fathered a human last season with fellow bloodsucker Darla. ”Now everything is falling into place.” So are the ratings: The drama has scored a whopping 35 percent increase among 18- to 34-year-olds since last season. Speaking of scoring, Angel may finally get hot and heavy with Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) this February, when the two inhabit the souls of young lovers in an episode that takes place at a ballet. Can you say happy feet?
Here’s a television rarity: a cable network celebrating the success of one of its Big Four competitors. That’s just what TNT will do come Jan. 14, when it airs Monday Night Mayhem—an unauthorized movie about ABC’s groundbreaking decision to run football on Monday nights. ”It pays homage to ABC, to [former ABC sports and news president] Roone Arledge, and to [former ABC chairman] Leonard Goldenson,” says exec producer Leslie Greif, who based the movie on a book by The New York Times‘ Bill Carter and Fortune’s Marc Gunther. ”These were people who pioneered sports television.” So why isn’t ABC airing this laudatory telepic? Well, the Alphabet never heard the pitch about the behind-the-scenes look at Howard Cosell and Co. from Greif, who sold to the first bidder. ”By going to a network like Turner, we didn’t have to deal with any of the politics that I think we might have dealt with had we gone to ABC, where it would involve its own history, personalities, and egos.” Besides, it’s unlikely the Alphabet—which has seen its Monday Night Football ratings plummet 13 percent over last season among 18- to 49-year-olds—would have appreciated the movie’s epilogue: ”MNF remains popular, but has never regained the pop-culture status of the Cosell, [Frank] Gifford, and [Don] Meredith years.” Ouch!
AND SO ON…It’ll be old home week on Off Centre Jan. 20, when American Pie‘s Jason Biggs joins fellow castmate Eddie Kaye Thomas on The WB comedy created by Pie‘s Paul and Chris Weitz. Biggs will play a cheesy career counselor named Rick Steve who provides advice to Mike (Thomas).