Like a vampire that simply refuses to die, the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows (which ran on ABC as an afternoon serial from 1966 to '71 and, almost a decade later, was resurrected by NBC as a Friday-night fright) is being raised from the grave yet again. This time, series creator Dan Curtis has even recruited for his partner a real power player: John Wells, who, as executive producer of ER, has lots of experience with faux hemoglobin. But before the latest prime-time version sees the light of day (so to speak), the dynamic duo will have to unearth an actor with the charisma to pull off the lead role of toothsome playboy Barnabas Collins. Luckily, their friends at TV Guide Online are here to help. Our picks?
Dylan McDermott: Not only does the Practice alumnus have experience playing a blood-sucker well, a lawyer but, with his dark good looks, Barnabas wouldn't even have to mesmerize his victims to make them as willing as Paris Hilton.
Jason Patric: Downsizing this celluloid sex symbol for the small screen would be no mean feat. However, considering how well his Lost Boys cohort and fellow Julia Roberts ex, Kiefer Sutherland, has fared on the tube, he'd be batty not to consider, ahem, sticking his neck out.
Adrian Pasdar: Since his turn as a corporate leech on Profit got him crowned a prince of darkness, he should capitalize on that image rather than go against the grain. Heck, if he'd been Dracula, not a detective, in House of Frankenstein 1997, the monster-mashing mini would've been picked up as a series.
Olivier Martinez: Having seduced Diane Lane away from Richard Gere in Unfaithful, this French hottie boasts an allure that is beyond debate; it's simply a given. Plus, with his exotic appearance and come-hither accent, he wouldn't go pale were he asked to make Bat Boy a bit more, you know, Transylvanian.
Bobby Cannavale: While many members of the cultured club on our shortlist possess the erudite aura of the classy Collins clan, only this Kingpin made man gives off the animal magnetism of a man made to play a real creature of the night. He's an honest-to-God rarity a fox we'd buy as a wolf even under a crescent moon.
James Haven: Given Angelina Jolie's penchant for accessorizing with O-neg, we were tempted to include her on this list and suggest making Barnabas a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania. Then it occurred to us that the brother with whom she's had such strange relations is gaunt and creepy and pale as death. In other words, perfect!
The Count: It's a long way from Sesame Street to Collinwood. But, should the mathematically-inclined Muppet be coerced into flying Big Bird's coop, he could be a tremendous asset to his bosses behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera. "One... Nielsen ratings point! Two... Nielsen ratings points!"