Well, it’s bound to be better than “Garfield.”

Jennifer Love Hewitt has signed on to topline the Oxygen original movie “Confessions of A Sociopathic Social Climber,” a drama about a sociopathic social climber set to premiere in March of 2005.

The telefilm, which is based on a best-selling novel by Adele Lang, will co-star Joseph Lawrence and Colin Ferguson.

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with Oxygen – they gave us all the support we needed to make a smart, funny, sexy movie that shows Jennifer Love Hewitt in a whole new light,” says Stanley M. Brooks, president of Once Upon a Time Films. “She seamlessly transforms herself into a character we know audiences will both love to hate and hate to love.”

Hewitt plays wannabe social climber Katya Livingston, a 28-year-old advertising executive. When Katya isn’t invited to the year’s biggest party, she decides to use every trick at her disposal to make it to the top. Lawrence (“Blossom”) plays Ferguson, Katya’s gay partner-in-crime, while Ferguson (“Coupling”) is Charles, an attorney who briefly captures Katya’s heart.

“We’re over-the-moon-thrilled to have Jennifer Love Hewitt as the deliciously wicked Katya Livingston,” says Oxygen Programming President Debby Beece. “Add Joseph Lawrence, Colin Ferguson, and Stan Brooks to the equation and we have a truly spectacular movie.”

Dana Lustig (“Wedding Bell Blues,” “Kill Me Later”) will direct the Once Upon a Time production.

Hewitt, best known for her tenure on Fox’s “Party of Five” and the short-lived spin-off “Time of Your Life,” will next star in a midseason comedy for ABC.

CBS RUNS FRIDAY “NUMB3RS’ GAME IN JANUARY

Get ready to permanently subtract “dr. vegas” from your Friday schedule and add a drama with an equally quirky title, as CBS attempts to divide the 10 p.m. ET primetime audience and eat away at a fraction of NBC’s “Medical Investigation” audience. Get ready to solve some important equations and fill in those unknown variables as CBS premieres “Numb3rs” (their typographical silliness, not ours) this January.

The new drama, which comes from filmmaking siblings Ridley Scott and Tony Scott, will launch Jan. 21 in the 10 p.m. slot “dr. vegas” vacated before the start of the November sweeps period.

The series features David Krumholtz (“The Lyon’s Den,” “Grounded For Life”) as a mathematics genius enlisted by his FBI agent brother (Rob Morrow of “Northern Exposure”) to use his gift with numbers to solve complicated Los Angeles-based crimes for the Bureau. “Numb3rs” co-stars Peter MacNicol (“Ally McBeal”), Judd Hirsch (“Taxi”), Sabrina Lloyd (“Sports Night”) and Alimi Ballard (“Dark Angel”).

Originally developed for a fall launch, the “Numb3ers” pilot, written by Cheryl Heuton and Nick Falacci, was somewhat reconceived. Actors Michael Rooker and Gabriel Macht exited from the initial cast, with Morrow joining on board. CBS ordered 12 episodes of the drama at the beginning of the month.

In its five airings on Friday night, “dr. vegas” averaged 8.16 million viewers, somewhat overshadowed by NBC’s freshman medical procedural, which has settled in with 9.13 million viewers.

BRITS BASH “BAYWATCH,’ HAIL HOMER

“Baywatch,” once considered the world’s most popular TV series, is also the worst American television import ever to hit British screens, according to a magazine survey.

The British TV-industry magazine Broadcast recently asked buyers of foreign programs to name the best and worst U.S. imports. The poll was taken to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first American show broadcast in the U.K., an episode of “I Love Lucy.”

Not surprisingly, “The Simpsons” topped the list of best shows from across the pond. The long-running animated series’ cult following in Britain is just as fervid as it is in this country. “Dallas,” “24,” “M(ASTERISK)A(ASTERISK)S(ASTERISK)H” and “The Larry Sanders Show” round out the top five.

“Baywatch,” which ran for 12 seasons in the United States, aired in 140 countries at the height of its run and helped make stars of Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth and Gina Lee Nolin – not to mention David Hasselhoff. Broadcast notes the show’s popularity but also its ” mind-numbing predictability: beachgoer is saved from drowning.”

Other shows on the worst list are “The Anna Nicole Show,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The Jerry Springer Show” and “Manimal.”


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