Pax lands Link, nets Jordan

In its new season, Pax TV will one of NBC's hottest shows -Weakest Link (Fridays at 8 p.m.) - and one of its hotter prospects, Crossing Jordan, a drama starring Jill Hennessy.

The former Law & Order co-star will appear in the show on Tuesdays at 10 p.m., starting in January. Pax has also licensed one of NBC's biggest hits of all time - Bonanza - for a new drama, or "prequel" as Pax executives call it, titled The Ponderosa (Sundays at 9 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 p.m.) The new drama will chronicle the early years of Ben Cartwright and his three sons as they build the biggest ranch in the Nevada territory.

Pax is also airing a new version of Candid Camera (Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.) with hosts Peter Funt and Dina Eastwood (wife of Clint), as well as a new Star Search-type show, Ed McMahon's Next Big Star (Sundays at 6 p.m.).

Other new shows include Left Behind, a science fiction drama and Forbidden Secrets, a Lee Majors-hosted reality series that will let you in on secrets - like how to avoid paying taxes and the four seats you want to be in when a plane crashes. Left Behind debuts in January on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Secrets will air Mondays at 8 p.m. Returning series include Doc, with Country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, Mysterious Ways, which will air on NBC this summer and then on Pax in the fall, the Richard Thomas-hosted It's a Miracle and Encounters with the Unexplained. Pax has ordered 250 new episodes of Supermarket Sweep and Shop `Til You Drop, which make up its weekday 6 p.m.-8 p.m. game block. The network is also developing its first original sitcom, Happy Wife, Happy Life, with comedian Jeff Allen. - Steve McClellan