A rape storyline gets scrapped on the WB drama, plus "Big Brother" and the latest news from the TV beat
Big Brother

Plan of Attack

If you thought Felicity’s haircut was a drastic move, consider this story arc that was in the works for the WB heroine: The college senior (Keri Russell) was going to get raped. Sources say writers were considering a violent conclusion for the four-year-old drama before it goes on its Dec. 12 hiatus—until network suits intervened and killed the idea. As a result, the show was recently forced to shut down so the writers could change the plotline, which they hoped would pick up when Felicity returned next spring. (Show producers declined to comment.) Says a WB insider, ”This show is about an empowered woman who made a bold choice in the pilot and followed through in college. We don’t want her remembered as a rape victim.” No word on how producers will rework Felicity, though the network wants to avoid the more somber plots that dominated season 2. ”External catalysts shouldn’t create story lines on Felicity,” continues the source. ”They should come out organically from the characters.”

Banded Brothers

Big Brother 2‘s Mike ”Boogie” Malin is far too savvy to let an old grudge get in the way of success. The wannabe rapper has teamed up with backstabbing housemate—and eventual winner—Will Kirby to make the Hollywood pitch rounds. They’re currently shopping two scripts: a sitcom that takes a behind-the-scenes gander at a reality series (how meta!), and a movie about two aspiring musicians who land TV gigs, only to unwittingly wind up on the wrong side of the law. ”It’s kind of like Dude, Where’s My Car? meets Big Brother,” says Malin, who has already met with Happy Madison, Adam Sandler‘s production company. ”Ideally, we’d like to do the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck thing.”

‘Space’ Invaders

Perhaps those Gilmore Girls should start hanging out at The Home Depot: The Learning Channel has found an unlikely teen magnet in Trading Spaces, a sophomore interior-design show that gives two teams $1,000 and two days to make over a room in each other’s homes. An average of 428,000 teens tune in to the Monday-Friday 4 p.m. repeats of Spaces each week—more than what Comedy Central, FX, Sci Fi, VH1, E! or TV Land attracts in that time slot. But it’s not just the Clearasil set that loves to watch hottie carpenter Ty Pennington work a buzz saw: Spaces is also posting double-digit gains over last year in the adults 25-54 demo—prompting TLC to order 45 episodes (five more than last year) to meet growing demand. ”It has all the elements of successful TV shows,” says executive producer Denise Cramsey. ”It is a little bit of a soap opera because of the characters. It’s a little bit of a game show, and there’s a reality element.” TLC also hopes to lure a college audience by airing dorm-room remodels during spring break—though contestants may need more than two days to chisel the mold out of those minifridges.

Episode Recaps

Big Brother
Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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