Monday, September 04, 2000

TNT brings 'Pretender' back to life

        The Pretender, canceled after four years by NBC, will come back to life as a series of TNT cable movies. But NBC's Profiler, another canceled Saturday series, won't be so lucky.

        NBC wanted to make a Pretender wrap-up movie this fall, as it did last year for Homicide: Life on the Street. The network yielded to TNT, which will make four Pretender films, says Garth Ancier, NBC Entertainment president.

        “We didn't feel passionate enough to make four Pretender movies,” he says. “We would like to wrap it up for the fans, but we didn't want to mortgage our future that way.”

        The Pretender reruns will air 7 p.m. weekdays in chronological order on TNT starting Tuesday. An episode also airs at 10 p.m. today on TNT.

        NBC has no interest in more Profiler, because fans showed little interest in it.

        “I got a couple thousand e-mails on Pretender, and I got like six on Profiler,” Mr. Ancier says.

        Those six Profiler fans can catch repeats of the show beginning 8 p.m. Sept. 18 on Court TV, starting with the 1996 pilot staring Ally Walker.

        Square deal: Cincinnati brothers Nick and Drew Lachey from 98`share a square on Hollywood Squares this week (7:30 p.m., Channels 5, 22). Also participating in in “Teen People week” on the show are singers Chris Kirkpatrick ('N Sync), Jessica Simpson, Tyrese, Hoku, Vitamin C, and Mark McGrath and Rodney Sheppard of Sugar Ray.

        Pig deal: The Making of a Pig special repeats at 7:30 p.m. today on Channel 12. The Big Pig Gig special, hosted by WKRC-TV's Cammy Dierking and Tim Hedrick, originally aired July 28 on Channel 12.

        Child stars: Former child stars Melissa Gilbert and Tony Dow produced Child Stars: Their Story (8-10 p.m., A&E).

        They contacted more than 100 former child actors. Interviewed for the film are Danny Bonaduce, Todd Bridges, Angela Cartwright, Jackie Cooper, Johnny Crawford, Patty Duke, Kim Fields, Lukas Haas, Barry and Stanley Livingston, Jerry Mathers, Bill Mumy, Jon Provost, Fred Savage and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.

        “The majority of child actors who didn't do our project didn't do it because they don't want to be remembered as being child actors — which I don't understand because it's like denying that that whole part of your life ever existed, and that it's a detriment to who you are now,” Ms. Gilbert says.

        Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Fabares are among those who declined to participate in the film, Ms. Gilbert says.

        Fall season: UPN gets a jump on the TV season, officially to start in four weeks (Oct. 2), with the season premiere of Moesha (8 p.m., Channel 25) and The Parkers (8:30 p.m., Channel 25). UPN's Girlfriends premieres next Monday.

        WB will launch two nights against NBC's Summer Olympics and CBS' Survivor reruns (Sept. 15-Oct. 1). WB's Friday lineup debuts Sept. 22 with Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (8 p.m.), teen soap spoof Grosse Pointe (8:30) and Popular (9).

        Buffy the Vampire Slayer (8 p.m.) and Angel (9 p.m.) return Tuesday, Sept. 26.

        Around the dial: Set the VCR for the best of ER today (9 a.m.-8 p.m., TNT), including George Clooney's dramatic rescue in “Hell and High Water” (1 p.m.) and the Emmy-winning attempt to save a pregnant woman in “Love's Labor Lost” (3 p.m.).

        New "Nikita': USA Network has revived Peta Wilson's La Femme Nikita, canceled earlier this summer, after an Internet protest campaign. USA will produce eight new episodes to air next year.


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- KIESEWETTER: TNT brings 'Pretender' back to life
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