New WB Show Fills Teen Slot

Notes and quotes from the WB's summer press tour session held over last weekend:

* WB says it got scared that "Fearless," its new "Alias"-like drama, would get lost in the pack of new shows this fall. So the network is holding it until midseason.

"One Tree Hill," a basketball drama starring Chad Michael Murray ("Lone Ranger"), is taking its place. With the loss in recent years of young dramas such as "Dawson's Creek," "Felicity" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the WB was without a signature teen-angst drama and sees "Hill" as fitting the bill.

And like "Creek," "Hill" will be filmed in Wilmington, N.C., and center on the hopes and loves of teenagers in a small North Carolina town.

"Hill" will air at 9 p.m. Tuesdays.

* In a post-"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" world, "Angel" will be reeling next season.

"I know there is going to be a lot of changes with characters, a lot of standalone stories," says "Angel" star David Boreanaz.

"It's exciting to be involved with something new and exciting for the show."

"Buffy" creator Joss Whedon is writing and directing the season opener of "Angel." And popular "Buffy" co-star James Marsters, who plays Spike, will be in that episode.

Might there be other "Buffy" folks to follow? Whedon says perhaps, but none of them will be regulars.

* A "Gilmore Girls" spin-off starring rising young hunk Milo Ventimigla, who plays Jess, has been nixed because of production costs. Insiders say Ventimigla is not pleased and is looking at other career opportunities.

However, the WB put on its fresh face about it when talking to TV critics. They say Ventimigla will probably be back on the acclaimed family drama next season.

* A visit from a young Bruce Wayne is probably not going to happen on "Smallville" anytime soon. The idea of doing a series about Wayne was pitched at the same time "Smallville" was, but the studios decided to take it instead.

The adventures of a young Wayne is now being considered as a premise for an upcoming "Batman" feature film.

* When "Pepsi Play for a Billion" airs Sunday, Sept. 14, there's a 1-in-1,000 chance that one of the audience members in the studio will win $1 billion, the largest payout in TV game show history.

If there is a winner, the money can either be paid in a lump sum of $250 million or in installment payments over the next 40 years that total $1 billion.

Drew Carey and Jamie Kennedy will host the event. The winner will be chosen from an audience of Pepsi capholders.

A monkey will ultimately choose a winning number, and if an audience member is holding the number, the $1 billion will be awarded.

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