Kevin Williamson brings ABC ''Wasteland'' -- The ''Scream'' and ''Dawson's Creek'' scribe trades high school angst for postcollegiate blues

By Shawna Malcom
Updated January 22, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

PROJECT Wasteland, Kevin Williamson’s follow-up to Dawson’s Creek, due this fall on ABC.
THE DETAILS A sextet of college grads battle neuroses in New York. Says Williamson, 33, who moved to the urban jungle to pursue acting after graduating from East Carolina University, ”Someday someone’s gonna put together how autobiographical this is.”
AT STAKE He may have sparked the teen revolution with Scream, but can he strike the same chord with a drama about jaded twentysomethings? ”I’m a bit scared about [making the leap],” says Williamson. ”But my biggest fear is that I’m not gonna grow as a writer. I hate to think I’m not capable of doing anything different.”
THE BUZZ While Dawson‘s got off to a shaky start (critically, if not ratings-wise), the film-reared Williamson has learned from his mistakes. ”I’m getting the hang of this TV thing,” he says. ABC, which ponied up a 13-episode commitment last fall, is counting on it.
CALLING ALL ALLY MCBEALS With the pilot script finished, Williamson is turning his attention to his favorite part of the development process: casting. Although the characters include a closeted soap star afraid of being outed and his harried publicist, Williamson expects the biggest challenge will be finding an actress to play Dawnie; at 27, she’s still finishing up her thesis (entitled Wasteland) and (gulp) still a virgin hung up on the campus stud who dumped her after she failed to put out. ”When Dawnie bumps into men on the street,” says Williamson, ”she envisions having sex with them.” Let’s see Paula Cole come up with a song about that.