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Faces to watch 2007

December 31, 2006|Maria Elena Fernandez;Matea Gold;Robert Lloyd

D.B. WOODSIDE

Actor

The TV series that gave the small screen its first African American president is about to give us another: his little brother.

When the sixth season of Fox's "24" begins Jan. 14, D.B. Woodside reprises his role as Wayne Palmer, former chief of staff and brother of President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), who was assassinated in last season's opening minutes. This time, Wayne Palmer is leading the free world and in typical "24" manner is not having an easy time of it. Terrorists have been attacking the nation and uber-special agent Jack Bauer is behind bars in China.

But Woodside, who was last seen as Principal Robin Wood on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and has guest-starred in several series, including "The Practice" and "Once and Again," should be up for the task. The job has proven to be a breakout role for two of the men who previously sat in the Oval Office -- Haysbert and Gregory Itzin.

Maria Elena Fernandez

*

CAMPBELL BROWN

Newswoman

It's been quite a year for Campbell Brown. During the months of heated speculation about whether Katie Couric would leave her perch at NBC's "Today" for CBS News, Brown was frequently mentioned as one of the top candidates to succeed her.

Meanwhile, the Louisiana native was planning her wedding to Fox News analyst Dan Senor, the former spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

"It was extremely flattering, but at the time my personal life so trumped what was happening to me careerwise," said Brown, a former White House correspondent who is widely respected for her news chops. "To me, it was all about my wedding."

They tied the knot in Colorado April 2, just days before Couric made her decision official and NBC announced it had tapped Meredith Vieira to replace her.

These days Brown not only co-anchors the weekend edition of "Today" with Lester Holt but works as the primary correspondent for the weekday morning show and the "NBC Nightly News." But with her contract set to expire this summer, Brown's name is cropping up again. Might ABC or CBS steal her away?

"Any time you have a contract window, it's important to take the time and think about what you want to do next, how to challenge yourself so you continue to grow," said Brown, who declined to comment on whether she has received inquiries. "That said, NBC has always been my home, and that's a big part about how I think about things."

Matea Gold

*

KEVIN HOOKS and KATHLEEN McGHEE-ANDERSON

Executive producers

First seen at age 11 as the star of the 1969 Peabody Award winning CBS Christmas movie "J.T.," Kevin Hooks went on to act in his youth in such films as "Sounder" and "A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich" and the high school basketball TV drama "The White Shadow" before disappearing behind the camera to direct. (His numerous credits include "St. Elsewhere," "24," "Alias" and "Lost.")

Playwright and teleplaywright Kathleen McGhee-Anderson is a veteran of "Soul Food," "Any Day Now" and "Touched by an Angel" as well as "Charles in Charge" and "Benson." Pooling years of experience, they start 2007 as the executive producers of "Lincoln Heights," a solidly made, warmly played new drama about an LAPD officer who moves his reluctant family to the marginal inner-city neighborhood where he grew up -- the sort of place that TV rarely goes nowadays, except to pass through. "Lincoln Heights" premieres Jan. 8 on ABC Family.

-- Robert Lloyd

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