ABC’s The Bachelor is twice as nice this season. PEOPLE has the dirt on the premiere, as well as other big events to watch for in the coming week:
SUNDAY, SEPT. 19: It’s TV’s biggest night of the year – and no, we’re not talking about the premiere of Wife Swap. The 56th annual Emmy Awards air live on ABC from L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium, with Garry Shandling hosting after a four-year absence. Though Friends was ignored for best comedy series, both Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc are nominated in the lead comedic actor categories. Among the dramas, HBO’s The Sopranos is the frontrunner with 20 nominations, while The West Wing received 12 nods. One mainstay missing from the event, however, is the ever-blunt Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa, who have left E! and will be replaced by The View cohost Star Jones on the red carpet.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 21: Be on the lookout for Jedi fans camped out in front of video stores: The Star Wars trilogy DVD goes on sale Tuesday. The four-disc set includes the original three films (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) along with a fourth DVD featuring a behind-the-scenes documentary called Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to whet fans’ appetites until Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, hits theaters on May 19, 2005. May the force be with them.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 22: It’s time for the ladies to take control on The Bachelor. In the latest installment of the ABC series, the 25 bachelorettes will decide between – count ’em – two eligible bachelors as their potential soulmate. Will they opt for Jay Overbye, 40, a residential real-estate agent? Or will it be Byron Velvick, a 40-year-old professional bass fisherman? “I’m looking for someone who has intelligence and compassion,” the divorced Velvick recently told PEOPLE, “someone who gives me a new perspective on life.”
Meanwhile, in another reality-show universe, model wannabes will cat-claw and catwalk toward becoming America’s Next Top Model as the UPN series enters its third season. The 14 aspiring models (among them, Julie, a 19-year-old who “wants to create a new image for Indian women” and Toccara, a 22-year-old who “dreams of becoming the world’s first superstar plus-size model”) will live together in a New York City loft as show creator and supermodel Tyra Banks oversees the glam action.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 23: As thousands of volunteers search through a Salt Lake City landfill for the body of Lori Hacking, her husband Mark Hacking will attend a preliminary hearing to enter his pleas on charges that he murdered his wife. Hacking allegedly told his brothers that the night before he reported her missing on July 19, he shot her in the head with a .22 caliber rifle and disposed of her body in a trash bin. Hacking is working on a book about his experience, he said in a recent letter to Salt Lake TV station KTVX. Proceeds from the book would go to the Lori Hacking memorial scholarship fun, established by her mother.