Looking trim in a blue T-shirt and nylon police-academy jacket, newlywed and former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Alyson Hannigan is glad to be living the sitcom life on Fox’s “That “70s Show.”

She’s even got “70s hair. “It’s lost its flip,” she laments. “This is supposed to be my Farrah hair, but it lost its oomph.

“I just got a phone call saying, “Hey, would you like to be on a couple episodes of “That “70s Show”?’ I was like, “That sounds fun.’ Timing-wise, it was perfect because it was after the honeymoon. I was like, “Yeah, I can learn the whole sitcom-energy thing, because that’s what I want.”‘

In two episodes, “Suzy Simpson,” airing Wednesday, and “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” airing Feb. 25, Hannigan plays Suzy Simpson, cop-in-training Kelso’s (Ashton Kutcher) fellow cadet, who winds up in a romantic triangle with him and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama).

“Yesterday, she was named Sally,” Hannigan says. “Today, she’s Suzy. I saw an asterisk next to my name, which means there was a change. And I was like, “Gasp. I’ve been fired.’ I said, “Why is that there?’ And then I realized, “Suzy.’

“She loves the whole idea of being a cop. She really gets off on it. It was such a change of pace. The first day, the director comes in and says, “You have to work on your projection.’ Because on “Buffy,’ you talk real low.”

After working with lots of other women on “Buffy,” Hannigan is pretty pleased to be around “That “70s Show’s” Kutcher, Valderrama, Danny Masterson and Topher Grace.

“You know, Ashton’s not too shabby looking. The boys in this show, they’re nice boys. They might catch on with the girls. I think they’ve got some potential. They’re pretty smooth.”

It’s not the first time that veteran actress Hannigan has done a sitcom. “I did one when I was 15 (in 1989),” she says. “It was called “Free Spirit.’ It was about a witch who was our housekeeper, or nanny. Then I did guest appearances on random shows.

“The last sitcom I did, I may be mistaken, but I think it was “Almost Home.’ I believe Ben Affleck was the other guest star. He was dating a girl at the time. It was cute because she was really teeny, and he was really tall. But that was it. That’s my Ben story.”

After seven seasons of battling evil as a computer geek/witch on “Buffy,” and three go-rounds as “band camp girl” Michelle in the feature film “American Pie” and its two sequels, Hannigan is ready for the easier hours and lighthearted atmosphere of her own comedy series.

She recently signed on to an as-yet-untitled NBC comedy pilot from Matt Tarses and Bill Wrubel. She and Eric Christian Olsen (“Dumb and Dumberer,” “The Hot Chick”) play estranged siblings who try to reunite after not speaking for 18 months.

“I could be the new Peacock,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to it. I love the consistency of television, having a job that many months out of the year. After doing “American Wedding,’ I have the jones to do comedy again. It feels right to me.”

Hannigan has yet to make a guest appearance this year on the “Buffy” spin-off “Angel,” which stars her husband, Alexis Denisof. But married life seems to be working out. “He’s so amazing. It’s ridiculous. I’m so lucky.”

Reminded that, like Affleck, Denisof is also tall, Hannigan smiles. “He’s super-sized.”



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Alyson Hannigan

AP-NY-02-16-04 1106EST



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