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Lois & Clark’s Wedding Expedition : AFTER A THWARTED ATTEMPT AT MARRIAGE LAST SEASON, THE SUPER COUPLE MAKE IT OFFICIAL THIS WEEK

TIMES STAFF WRITER

You are hereby cordially invited to attend the nuptials of the Daily Planet’s ace reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent. When: Sunday at 8 p.m. Where: ABC’s “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”

Lois (Teri Hatcher) and Clark/Superman (Dean Cain) were supposed to tie the knot during the all-important ratings sweeps period last February. But their dream wedding turned into a nightmare when Lois’ ex-fiance, Lex Luthor, kidnapped her and substituted the bride-to-be with a frog-eating clone.

Executive producer Eugenie Ross-Leming swears that this time around the couple will actually say their “I do’s.” She acknowledges that fans were a tad upset when the lovebirds’ highly publicized march down the aisle was thwarted.

“You could have predicted that,” she says. “People have a huge investment in their relationship. They want some sort of gratification.”

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But that’s not to say Lois and Clark won’t be placed in jeopardy on this wedding day. In fact, Delta Burke is on hand as the evil Wedding Destroyer.

“She tries to undermine the wedding,” Ross-Leming says. “She is sort of famous for breaking up marriages. She takes credit for Liz Taylor’s marriages, Di and Charles’. That is her goal in life--to get Lois and Clark.”

The series stars say they are very happy that Clark is finally marrying the love of his life.

“I like the show to get into uncharted territory,” Cain says.

“My favorite part of the show is the work that we do together,” Hatcher says. “The romance and chemistry is very special. I know that Dean and I have our most fun with those scenes.”

Three days after TV’s Lois and Clark marry, their DC Comics’ counterparts also will be tying the knot after going together for more than 50 years. “Superman! The Wedding Album,” a 96-page comic book, will be available in stores Wednesday.

Tony Jonas, president of Warner Bros. Television, which produces the TV series for ABC, says the studio discussed the marriage with DC Comics when the show was being developed.

“Our attitude [with the series] was we wanted to explore human relationships,” he says. “We wanted to plot the realistic highs and lows and sexual tensions of a ‘90s couple. So the wedding was something we had always talked about because that was going to be a logical conclusion.”

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Last year, Jonas says, Warners informed DC that the couple would probably marry in this, the fourth season. “They said that would be fantastic,” Jonas says. “The comics’ people have killed him, brought him back to life and this would be another milestone.”

Don’t look for wedding bells to chime, though, on the new “Superman” cartoon series on WB.

“I think the way things stand with the animated show is that they are introducing the whole mythology and relationship [of Lois and Clark] to a new generation,” Jonas says. “It doesn’t behoove the animated version of the show to be leaping to [a marriage] at this point.”

In the past, several prime-time series--most notably “Moonlighting"--lost their pizazz when their characters became a couple. But Cain, Hatcher and Ross-Leming believe the marriage will only strengthen “Lois & Clark.”

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“I think these two characters work together very, very well,” Cain says. “I think the closer they are, the stronger their bond and the more enjoyable the show is, because then there’s jeopardy when you really care about the other person.”

Plus, Ross-Leming says, “Lois all of a sudden doesn’t become passive and insipid just because she puts on a wedding ring. He’s also heroic as a man and heroic as Superman. That’s a secret they share, so it makes her a more powerful ally. She is the only functioning human besides his parents who knows his secret, which makes her a cool partner.”

Clark also revealed another secret to Lois last season: He’s a virgin. Cain came up with the notion in one of several scripts he’s written for the series. “We thought it was hip to do that,” Ross-Leming recalls. “Only Superman could be a virgin and not be a nerd at the same time.”

Cain believes it was right on target for Clark to be a virgin. “He had had the opportunity [to have sex] and he’s thought about it,” the actor reasons, “but he is the most moral guy on Earth and he decided that he would save himself for his special person.”

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Ross-Leming says there are a lot of stories in the pipeline that will take full advantage of the couple’s marital status.

“We have good sweeps episodes which will probably be made all the richer because they are married,” she says. “I think that basically we are going to have big villains and a lot of big issues that require a united couple. The sexual chemistry with Teri and Dean is so firm, it won’t go away once they are married.”

Hatcher says the first few episodes after the wedding will deal with house hunting, the beginning of living together and, she adds, laughing, “sex. Let me mention that.”

The couple soon will be getting their own love pad in Metropolis. “It’s like a brownstone,” Ross-Leming says. “It has balconies he can land on when he flies home late at night. It has a secret panel for his capes. So we are happy about that. It is the perfect love nest.”

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So is there a Superbaby in the future?

“We are looking at a [season] finale that will in some way deal with a baby,” the producer says. “We also deal with the fact that Lois and Clark are, in a way, different species.”

“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.


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