Wednesday, April 23, 2003

'Angel' to return, creator 'pretty sure'



By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Buffy won't be back this fall, but Angel might escape the TV executioner to live another season.

Joss Whedon, creator of both Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, says he's anticipating that WB will renew Angel (9 p.m. today, Channels 64, 25) next month.

"I'm pretty sure that it's coming back," Whedon told TV critics in a conference call Monday.

Whedon says he's already planning 22 episodes for next season for the David Boreanaz drama about a centuries-old vampire. Angel was introduced on Buffy, then spun off into a companion series in 1999.

Ratings have suffered for Angel since Buffy jumped from WB to UPN two seasons ago.

Angel ranks No. 149 of 170 series this year, averaging 3.6 million viewers. It's down 600,000 viewers from last year, after being bounced around the schedule from Monday to Sunday and to Wednesday.

"It's doing pretty well," Whedon says. "I feel pretty sure they're going to pick us up (for next year). I feel pretty sure they're not going to tell us until the last moment. But I've been wrong before."

The new fall TV lineups - and cancellations - will be announced the week of May 12.

WB will broadcast the Angel fourth season finale in two weeks, on May 7.

Then Boreanaz's Angel character will cross over to UPN, and appear in the final two Buffy episodes May 13-20 (8 p.m., Channel 25).

Model search: Could a Warren County woman be America's next top model?

Shannon Stewart, 18, of Franklin, hopes so.

She's one of 10 contestants in UPN's new America's Next Top Model (9 p.m. May 20, Channel 25), a reality series created and hosted by model Tyra Banks.

Top Model follows the young women for eight weeks as they compete for a Revlon modeling contract and an appearance in Marie Claire magazine.

Channel 9 news: WCPO-TV managers are so pleased with the new David Rose-Kathrine Nero Good Morning Tri-State (4:55-7 a.m., Channel 9) that they've signed Rose to a new four-year contract.

Rose, hired in January last year, will continue to work a split shift - the morning show and co-anchoring at 5:30 p.m. - and to be Clyde Gray's primary back-up.

"His contract wasn't up until the end of the year, but we wanted to lock him up early," says Bill Fee, Channel 9 vice president and general manager.

TV today: All My Children (1 p.m., Channels 9, 2) makes daytime TV history with the first lesbian kiss by Bianca (Eden Riegel), who has been openly gay since October 2000, and Lena (Olga Sosnovska).

American Masters uses rare 1941 recordings and interviews with B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards and others, to profile blues guitarist Muddy Waters, who died of cancer in 1983 (8 p.m., Channels 48, 16).

Another American Idol performer is eliminated today (8:30 p.m., Channels 19, 45), leaving five finalists.

In the Junkyard Wars semifinals, two teams build amphibious beach crafts (9 p.m., Learning Channel).

PBS airs Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (9 p.m., Channels 48, 16), the 2000 Oscar-winning documentary about the rescue of more than 10,000 children from the Holocaust by transporting them to British foster homes and hostels.

Talk shows: Today's guests from TV Data:

Live with Regis and Kelly (9 a.m., Channel 9): Edward Burns, Yoko Ono.

Wayne Brady (10 a.m., Channel 9): Melissa Joan Hart, Vanessa Lengies, David Quinton and Blue Man Group.

The View (11 a.m., Channel 9): Dean Cain.

Good Day Live (Noon, Channel 64): Mo'Nique.

Caroline Rhea (3 p.m., Channel 19): Rachel Weisz, Bill Bellamy.

Oprah Winfrey (4 p.m., Channel 9): A five-member family describes living in a desert hut without electricity, plumbing or a phone.

E-mail jkiesewetter@enquirer.com




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