Casting calls look for lovers, Lennon

Who wants to be a TV star? From the looks of it, practically everybody. In the last year, we've seen the rise of game shows, with contestants from all walks of life, as well as so-called "reality" TV where the "acting" is provided by ordinary people in unusual situations. Wednesday night's "American High" (Fox) presents a documentary look at high school life that is a lot more believable than anything found on "Dawson's Creek" or "Opposite Sex."

Even the well-acted, well-scripted drama, "The Sopranos" got into the reality act last month with an open casting call in Harrison, N.J., that resulted in a "mob" scene. Thirteen thousand would-be wiseguys showed up. Now the Fox network is making an offer you can't refuse. Fox and Bunim-Murray Productions (makers of "The Real World") are looking for 18 singles to embark on an all-expenses paid cruise to exotic locales. This "Dating Game" meets "The Love Boat" series will be called "Love Cruise." Casting directors are seeking "energetic singles in pursuit of romance and relationships." All participants must be willing "to open up their lives to the show" and "have themselves taped 24 hours a day." For more information, log onto www.bunim-murray.com.

On a very different note, NBC is looking for a young actor between the ages of 18 and 23 to play the role of the young, not-yet-famous John Lennon in its forthcoming biopic, "In His Life: The John Lennon Story" scheduled to air in December. According to writer/producer Michael O'Hara, NBC is looking for "an incredible young actor who can sing, play guitar, look like John Lennon and capture the essence of his personality and wicked sense of humor on screen." There's just one hitch. The open casting call will be today in London (Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, EC1) and Wednesday in Liverpool (Elevator Music Studios, 23-27 Cheapside). Both auditions begin at 10 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time.

  • VH1 counts down the top 20 places of its "100 Greatest Rock & Roll Moments on TV" (9 p.m., VH1). My favorite moment is No. 14, the week in which John Lennon and Yoko Ono took over the hosting duties for "The Mike Douglas Show." Other highlights include: Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video (No. 18), "Live Aid" (No. 7) and "The T.A.M.I Show" (No. 15).
  • German director Werner Herzog lauds and lambastes the late, legendary actor Klaus Kinski in the documentary, "My Best Fiend" (7 p.m., Independent Film Channel). Kinski's outrageous ego and antics even inspired fellow cast members to contemplate murdering him. Like a lot of Herzog's films, this curious documentary combines the frightening, the fantastic and the whimsical. IFC will air several of Herzog's classics starring the mercurial Kinski, including "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" (5:25 p.m.), "Nosferatu: The Vampire" (8:45 p.m.) and "Fitzcarraldo" (12:15 a.m.).

Tonight's highlights

  • John Larroquette and Kimberly Williams star in the fantasy miniseries, "The 10th Kingdom" (7 p.m., NBC, TV-14, part one of four).
  • Crichton discovers that his statue has limitations on "Farscape" (8 p.m., Sci Fi, TV-14, V, part three of a three-part story).
  • A cult leader's daughter is found dead on a repeat of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
  • Scheduled on "20/20" (9 p.m., ABC): a repeat report finds that the water used in many dentists' offices contains unhealthy levels of bacteria.

Cult choice

  • A no-nonsense doctor (Dana Andrews) falls under an evil spell in the acclaimed 1956 thriller, "Curse of the Demon" (9:30 p.m., AMC, TV-G). From Jacques Tourneur, director of "Cat People."

Series notes

Surveillance on "Big Brother" (7 p.m., CBS) " A detour into the past on "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?" (7 p.m., Fox, TV-PG, S, V) " Law and order in the Wild West on "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (7 p.m., ABC, TV-G) " Probing an old murder case on "The Strip" (7 p.m., UPN, TV-PG, D, L, V) " On back-to-back episodes of "Baby Blues" (WB), cooking lessons (7 p.m., TV-PG, D), and sensitivity training (7:30 p.m., TV-PG, L).

Recalling Allen Funt on "Candid Camera" (7:30 p.m., CBS, TV-G) " Shawn can't be Cory's best man on "Boy Meets World" (7:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

Undercover in a coven on "JAG" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG, V) " The tallest stack of chairs on "Guinness World Records" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) " On back-to-back episodes of "Making the Band" (ABC), a crucial performance (8 p.m., TV-PG), and a dramatic defection (8:30 p.m., TV-PG) " Help from dad on "Secret Agent Man" (8 p.m., UPN, TV-PG) " A date for the dance on "Young Americans" (8 p.m., WB, TV-PG, L).

In search of a dangerous impostor cop on "Nash Bridges" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14, L).

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