HOLLYWOOD -- Maybe American law schools make their students take side studies in sex ed.

It always seems to be the legal shows -- inevitably written by lawyers-turned-TV producers -- that argue on-air for the existence of intriguingly vague lovemaking moves.

L.A. Law had the mysterious, magical Venus Butterfly. Ally McBeal's got that never-quite-explained neck wattle and knee pit manoeuvre. Now a husband-wife lawyer sitcom, Work With Me, is preparing to raise another out-there possibility -- what is "fifth base" and would it be a nice place to go?

Mind you, nobody actually does it -- whatever it is, as Bill Clinton might say -- in the CBS fall comedy's opening episode. They just talk about it -- and they'll keep talking about it in subsequent episodes, says executive producer Stephen Engel, who's not ready to reveal anything.

"I leave it to your imagination and to the imagination of everyone at home," he says. "I like to think that it's cuddling."

MORE HOT STUFF: There's suffering for your art -- and then there's suffering spontaneous combustion for your art. One of the telltale quirks of the undercover teen aliens in the upcoming WB drama Roswell is their reliance on an incendiary diet. They dip cookies in wasabi and like their Cokes laced with Tabasco.

The props people helpfully supplied tomato juice as a hot sauce stand-in, but that's something that actor Brendan Fehr happens to loathe. He had an unnaturally high resistance, on the other hand, to the real thing.

"When we were younger, instead of spankings, lots of the time my mom would make us stick out our tongues and she'd pour Tabasco sauce on them. That was our punishment," says the 21-year-old from Winnipeg.

"So I opted for the Tabasco, but by the time we'd done the 100th take or whatever, my body temperature was rising. It wasn't so hot in my mouth but my body temperature was rising and I was going red and I was just so sweaty that they couldn't keep the shine off my face. So then I had to go outside and cool down and switch to the tomato juice."

EARTH STATION LISA: Ally McBeal co-star Lisa Nicole Carson made a memorably spacey impression at a press conference to promote CBS's Aftershock: Earthquake In New York. Carson, who plays very together D.A. Rene Radick on Ally, is cast as the daughter of the New York mayor in the November disaster miniseries.

Carson's appearance, alongside Aftershock co-stars Tom Skerritt, Cicely Tyson and Sharon Lawrence, looked as if it might dissolve into disaster at any moment. She stared dreamily, smilingly into space, and in a small, breathy voice gave odd answers to the increasingly occasional questions directed her way.

Asked whether she knew, growing up in New York, that the city is in an earthquake zone, Carson replied, "During my time in New York, I thought I was the earthquake -- then I moved to the West side and they started calling me 'El Nino.' "

More than a few journalists followed her outside for a closer look. Executive Producer Matthew O'Connor told me he didn't think Carson was on anything except for "her own planet" and that she was completely reliable during production of Aftershock.