News from the boob tube!

‘Alias’ star’s baby won’t be covert
LOS ANGELES √≥ Jennifer Garner won’t have to hide her pregnancy when Alias returns for its fifth (and probably final) season this fall.
That’s because Garner’s Sydney Bristow also is expecting with Vaughn (co-star Michael Vartan).
Though Ben Affleck’s newlywed bride is due in December, Alias creator J.J. Abrams expects she won’t miss work on the series, scheduled to resume production Friday. Producers plan to shoot earlier some scenes that would have been filmed during her short maternity leave: “She’ll be in every episode,” he says.
The decision to write her pregnancy into the plot also means the show can now air largely uninterrupted in its new home, Thursdays at 8 ET/PT, ABC says. An early plan called for the series to air eight episodes, take a long breather and return in the spring.
‘L&O’ means $$:
NBC may want to take creative risks, but for Law & Order producer Dick Wolf, it’s all about business. He’d prefer that the press focus on the fact that the Law franchise generated $1 billion in ad revenue last season and not on the ratings declines posted by two of the shows and the cancellation of a third (Trial by Jury).
“We’re not looking to be the hot show,” he says of the series and its spawn. “We’re about longevity, we’re about repeatability, staying on the air and being a profit center for years to come.”
Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which again faces Desperate Housewives this fall, is splitting its season in two with alternating episodes led by Vincent D’Onofrio and Chris Noth, returning as Detective Mike Logan. It’s aimed at reducing the actors’ schedules. And in a first, a foreign version of CI is in production for French network TF1. It’s due next year.
Fame windfall:
Lottery winners aren’t the only people who can go a little crazy.
Jason Gedrick (Boomtown) is returning to NBC in Windfall, a midseason soap about instant millionaires who get carried away by riches. But money, he says, isn’t the only thing that can throw a person off. So can sudden fame. “When you come in, there are so many things that are promised to you. … You can fall into the trap of ‘Oh, maybe I deserve this.’ ”
What pulled Gedrick out of the trap? “I had friends in Chicago who said, ‘You’re just seconds away from being slapped.’ ”
Birth daze:
Babies are booming at NBC’s Inconceivable.
Angie Harmon just had a daughter, and her co-star, Ming-Na, is pregnant. Co-creators Marco Penette and Oliver Goldstick each have used surrogates, and Goldstick and his partner are expecting their second baby in August.
Which explains why Goldstick thinks this NBC drama about a fertility clinic is timely. In the old days on TV, he says, women used to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor. “Now they can borrow an egg or a uterus.”
Harmon, who joined the show after the pilot was shot, says she also felt a timely pull: She read the script when she was pregnant and fell in love with it. But she says it wasn’t the hormones.
“I watched it after I had my baby, and I still liked it.”