By EW Staff
Updated October 10, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Miss Match maker, matchmaker, wow, what a match! If only we all had as many admirers as cover girl Alicia Silverstone, the star of NBC’s Friday-night dating story (#727/728, Sept. 12). ”I stopped breathing when I saw the cover,” proclaims Michael Heagle of Minneapolis. ”In a world of disposable starlets and vapid pop stars, Silverstone still has the power to knock me out. Somebody call a doctor!” On that note, the paramedics and cops portrayed on Third Watch also had hearts racing for its new TV season. ”Thank you so much for doing a real story on Third Watchone of the best shows on TV today,” says Patty Parrow of Britton, S.D. ”The cast does an excellent job and never seem to get the credit they deserve.” Neither did John Mayer, according to some. ”After reading Tom Sinclair’s pathetic review of Mayer’s sophomore album I am very disheartened,” notes Philadelphia’s Shannon Small. ”Mayer is truly original. As long as he stays true to himself and his fans, his fans will follow.” His tribe has spoken.

Television Quest

I was really starting to doubt your magazine lately for putting Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Clay Aiken on your covers, but you rebounded nicely with the amazing shot of Alicia Silverstone. That may be the cover of the year! ROB BURKE Philadelphia

Thank you for your preview of Miss Match, starring Alicia Silverstone. I think it’s terrific that the show’s central character is a vegetarian. Nice to see this perspective represented on a prime-time TV show. SUSAN PROLMAN Washington, D.C.

I was enjoying your preview of the fall TV season until I came to the listings for Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Ed, That ’70s Show, Smallville, and Star Trek: Enterprise are all on at the same time! I like all four. What the hell am I supposed to do now?! KARL ROHNER Greenbelt, Md.

Note no. 1 for the networks: Dramas do not have to revolve around the fighting/prosecution/investigation of crimes, although you wouldn’t know that judging by the ”new” shows Threat Matrix, Navy NCIS, The Handler, L.A. Dragnet, Cold Case, etc. Note No. 2: Sitcoms do not have to revolve around the family, although you wouldn’t know that judging by the ”new” shows Two and a Half Men, All of Us, Happy Family, It’s All Relative, and Like Family, to name a few. The absolute dearth of creativity in TV today is pathetic and sad. All of the subtle variations on the same old beaten-down, redundant formulas are the problem with network television today, not TiVo and not reality TV and certainly not government laws about station ownership. MICHAEL A. WALLACE Irving, Tex.

The Life of O’Brien

Thank you for the fantastic, laugh-out-loud piece on Conan O’Brien’s better-late-than-never rise to funniest-man on-talk-TV status (”Hangin’ 10”). You did forget to mention the catalyst that helped nudge him over the topthe ingenious repeat programming by Comedy Central, which lets him into our homes during the dinner hour. For working folk who have to be up at the break of dawn, we can now get our Conan fix without having to know how to run the darn VCR! BECKI SCHMUECKER Atkins, Iowa