Dave Karger
April 12, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The countdown’s begun. New Year’s Eve 2000 won’t be here for another five years, but the millennial hype is already in swing. There are enough turn-of-the-millennium-related TV shows, movies, and books in the works to make Prince (”We’re going to party like it’s 1999”) weep for joy. Among the first of these projects we’ll see is the aptly titled TV series Millennium, the next freak-athon from X-Files mastermind Chris Carter, set to debut on Fox this fall. ”It just seems timely,” says Bob Greenblatt, an executive VP of development for Fox. ”The year 2000 has been written and prophesied about for hundreds of years as some magical number. And we’re about to reach it.” The show will star sci-fi-film veteran Lance Henriksen (Aliens) as a retired FBI agent who must band with psychotic killers and criminals in order to stave off the end of the world — scheduled to occur you know when. So does that premise limit the show to a four-year run? Says Greenblatt craftily, ”I’m not one of those who believe the world’s going to be over in the year 2000.”

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