Jennifer Garner

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STARS REBORN

ABC is scheduling the second edition of Dancing with the Stars on Thursdays at 8 pm/ET beginning Jan. 5. Dancing will run for eight weeks, replacing Alias during the hiatus to accommodate Jennifer Garner's maternity leave. The network says the new batch of celebrity hoofers will be announced at a later date. read more

MAMMA MIA

Martha Stewart has made the mother of all etiquette gaffes: She invited more moms-to-be to the taping of her talk show's Jennifer Garner baby-shower episode today than would fit in the venue, the New York Post reports. Gee, what shower gift is appropriate for a really, really ticked-off woman who hasn't seen her toes in six months? read more

Oh. My. God. They just killed...

Smallville

Oh. My. God. They just killed off Vaughn! I'm still reeling from last seasons "I'm not Michael Vaughn" out-of-nowhere car crash. and then suddenly there are strains of a weepy Sarah McLachlan ballad and visions of a funeral on my screen. That doesn't seem like "mostly dead," or "We've got a big secret — he's not really gone." That seems like all dead to me. Whoa. Let me process for a minute here. I had heard the rumors and all, but I seriously expected it to be because he was a jerk who was really a traitor to his country and was going to abandon Syd and the kid, or that those manipulative writers were just throwing around stories to trick me. I know the last time that I checked our poll on Thursday a lot of people said they wouldn't keep watching the show if Michael Vartan's character were killed off. I for one will keep tuning in, not just out of a sense of loyalty, but because I think it's going to be fascinating to see this mom-to-be kick butt with some raging preg read more

Everybody is talking about ...

Question: Everybody is talking about what they can't say about Michael Vartan's rumored exit from Alias. My question is, what can you say?Answer: A lot more than I could a week ago, Steph. Shortly after picking up his first Emmy ever for directing the killer Lost pilot, J.J. Abrams finally broke his silence about the firestorm ignited by Vaughn's alleged forthcoming death, including reports that Vartan's ex, Jennifer Garner, engineered the whole thing in a plot to remove him from the show. And here's the best part: It's a bloody AA exclusive!!! First off, J.J. hinted that rumors of Vaughn's whacking have been greatly exaggerated: "It ain't over till the fat lady sings," he teased. "You have to see what the story is. And when I said at the beginning of the year that [Vartan] is back this season, I wasn't lying. So, in the way that Ali read more

I know you get a lot of ...

Question: I know you get a lot of questions about Alias, but why didn't ABC just wait until January to run new episodes? That way Jennifer Garner could have her baby without having to reduce her role in the show. The show has always been about her character, and I would rather wait till January 2006 than watch a muddled version of the show. Answer: So would we all, but that probably wasn't logistically possible. They needed to get some episodes in the can before Garner takes her maternity leave sometime toward the end of the calendar year, and you've got to admit Sydney would be a particularly difficult character to have hide a pregnancy. So the writers seized this as an opportunity. Maybe it'll pay off, maybe it won't. (From the mail I'm getting, the fan base isn't keeping much of an open mind, I've got to say.) But if they waited to produce episodes until after Garner delivers and takes the necessary time off, I can't imagine how Alias would have gotten on the air at all this season ... read more

GOOD WIFE HUNTING

Perhaps inspired by best bud Ben Affleck's recent union with Jennifer Garner, Bourne Identity star Matt Damon reportedly popped the question to girlfriend Luciana Barroso just before Labor Day, says US Weekly. This would be the first marriage for Damon, who in the past has been romantically linked to Minnie Driver and the preshoplifting Winona Ryder. read more

I know you're a longtime ...

Question: I know you're a longtime Alias fan, so I'm curious to hear your expectations about the upcoming season. Without getting caught up in all the rumor-mongering and nastiness, do you think the fifth season can survive all this cast reshuffling and continue to be great programming? I got hooked on Alias because of the forbidden love story, and kept watching for the family drama. The spy plots have grown increasingly ridiculous and are now my least favorite part of the show. With [name omitted] leaving, new cast members vying for screen time with favorites Victor Garber and Carl Lumbly, and Lena Olin gone, I'm not holding out much hope. Sure, J.J. Abrams is ABC's MVP right now, but I remember how much I liked Felicity a few years ago, yet gave up on that show in its fourth season. Answer: You're hardly alone. I've been getting, and largely ducking, a lot of e-mails on the order of this one from Adam W.: "With the recent news that [name omitted] is leaving Alias, along with the ... read more

VAUGHN GONE

Michael Vartan

Following weeks of very strong — yet never, ever officially validated — buzz, ABC has all but confirmed that Michael Vartan's character of Michael Vaughn is being killed off on Alias. In response to a New York Post article about scurrilous rumors being spread online by Vartan's more militant fans — including the allegation that the name of Jennifer Garner's onetime beau can never be uttered on set! —  a rep for the spy series says, "[This] is so not true! Of course people say [his] name. He was loved very much on the set, and [cast mates] remember him fondly. All this misinformation is being put out by fans who are angry about what happened with [Vaughn]." OK, Mr. Affleck, slowly step away from your keyboard.... read more

Who's Who and New on Alias?

Alias

Sydney Bristow's team at APO will be getting bigger when Alias returns for its fifth season on Sept. 29 (the show's new time slot is Thursdays at 8 pm/ET). Producers are adding three new characters to the hit ABC spy series — and that's not counting star Jennifer Garner's soon-to-be-born child, who will also be written into the action. (Yes, Syd is pregnant with Vaughn's baby. That much is certain in the secret-filled, perpetually uncertain Alias world.)

For starters, French actress Élodie Bouchez has been tapped to play a cohort from Vaughn's shady past, which had been just barely hinted at prior to last season's horrific car-crash finale. "She and Vaughn share a history," says executive producer Jeff Pinkner, "and in our season finale we started to tease the audience with what that history is and what secrets read more

This past season we saw ...

24

Question: This past season we saw several shows (24, Alias) start in January and run straight through, without rerun. I must say, as a big fan of 24, it was much nicer to watch it this way. Do you see this as a future trend, or do you think this will only be a once-in-a-while occurrence? I know it would leave networks wondering what to do with September to December, but I wish more series would operate in this fashion. It makes for much more coherent viewing. What do you think? Answer: It's a good and timely question, and I think it's fair to say that for many serialized shows, straight-through runs with limited breaks and few if any repeats will become more common. The exceptions will be for megahits like last season's Desperate Housewives and Lost, and the occasional show on smaller nets like UPN and WB, which may look at repeats as a chance for their low-rated serials to get extra exposure. This trend is also likely to start applying more frequently to shows that begin at the start ... read more

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Alias - Seasons 1-5 (Complete Series) [DVD] Jennifer Garner; Victor Garber; book
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Alias - Complete Season 5 [2002] (2006) Jennifer Garner; Ron Rifkin
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