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Will "Felicity" be able to follow other WB success stories?

'Felicity' hoping to live up to hype

Web posted on: Monday, September 28, 1998 4:37:29 PM

From Correspondent Sherri Sylvester

NEW YORK (CNN) -- According to critics, it's one of the brightest new shows of the television season. But the creators and actors of WB's "Felicity" are just hoping their show can live up to the hype.

Characterized as the college version of "My So-Called Life," "Felicity" stars Keri Russell as a recent high school graduate who moves across the country to attend college in the big city. It debuts Tuesday night.

'She was a hag'

Russell says she won the job by convincing the series' creators she was not too pretty to play the problem-plagued "Felicity."

"I went into the audition with no makeup, my hair in a bun, a sweatshirt, (saying) 'Please just let me read,'" says Russell.

Executive producer J.J. Abrams says he was not fooled.

"Oh yeah, she was a hag, that hair back thing, that sweater," Abrams jokes. He hired Russell anyway.

You may recognize cast member Amy Jo Johnson as the Pink Ranger from "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers"

'We're doomed'

The audition has changed Russell's life. These days she works on the drama from morning until midnight.

"I wake up, run to the shower 'cause I'm probably 15 minutes late, get to work, eat breakfast during hair and makeup, memorize my lines on the way to the set, get to the set and freak out," says Russell.

WB has been promoting the television show on every medium, from billboards to bus-side ads, and miles of newsprint.

"I went to the movies the other night by myself and there was a poster. I was all freaked out," says Scott Speedman, who plays Ben Covington on the show.

All the attention the show is getting has the cast and crew feeling jinxed.

"We're pretty certain we're doomed," says Abrams. "It's like the countdown to the backlash has begun. There's only one way to go."

Speedman's mother, he says, tells him she hopes he has something to fall back on. "She still thinks I'm going to school after this, she still thinks I'm getting a degree. I'll let her think that."

With any luck, he'll be able to follow his own path.

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