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Screen Queens, 12.11.01 ...

They come from many different walks of life: a medical examiner, a lawyer, an anchorwoman, a nurse, a graduate student by day/double agent by night. They're smart. They're strong. And yes, they're not too hard on the eyes, either. They're TV's Women of the Year:

Jennifer Garner, ''Alias''
Shuffle off, ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer.'' Fly away, ''Dark Angel.'' In a battle of the butt-kicking babes, we'd put our money on Garner's Sydney Bristow. She defeats real-world demons every week armed with only an assortment of flattering wigs and form-fitting dresses, cutting-edge gadgets...and a little help from the CIA.

Garcelle Beauvais, ''NYPD Blue''
From the washout soap ''Models, Inc.'' to the no-profile sitcom ''The Jamie Foxx Show'' to a steady gig as the new ADA on the popular cop show, Beauvais has come a long way, baby. And the fact that ''NYPD'' boasts partial nudity is only a bonus for us.

Kelly Ripa, ''Live! with Regis and Kelly''
Anybody who can work that early, look that great, and put up with Regis' incessant ranting with such good humor doesn't just deserve a spot on this list. She deserves a medal. Oh, and did we mention she's on ''All My Children'' too?

Jill Hennessy, ''Crossing Jordan''
We loved her as buttoned-down assistant DA Claire Kincaid on NBC's ''Law & Order'' from 1993-96. We love her even more now that she's undone a few of those buttons and let her hair down as crime-busting coroner Jordan Cavanaugh on the Peacock's new hit drama.

Lauren Graham, ''Gilmore Girls''
Call it an Oedipal complex, but Graham's Lorelai Gilmore is both the girlfriend and the mother we always wish we'd had. She's never at a loss for words, whether flirting with a suitor or offering sage advice to her teenage daughter. In short, she's one hot mama.

Tina Fey, ''Saturday Night Live''
She was that smart-mouthed college classmate you always wanted to ask out but were intimidated by her obvious intellectual superiority. Now she's the witheringly witty coanchor of ''Weekend Update,'' the head writer of ''SNL,'' and a newlywed. You missed your shot. Damn!

Judy Reyes, ''Scrubs''
Guys have always had a thing for nurses, but R.N. Carla Espinosa is no white-stockinged fantasy figure. She's a down-to-earth medical pro who expects to be treated with respect -- on and off the job. And she just happens to look good in the sitcom's titular, loose-fitting duds.

Kristin Kreuk, ''Smallville''
Why does high-schooler Clark Kent (Tom Welling) feel his knees turn to jelly whenever he gets near Kreuk's hometown girl Lana Lang? Maybe it's those almond-shaped eyes. Maybe it's the Mona Lisa-like smile. Okay, that Kryptonite necklace she always wears might have something to do with it, too.
Credit: Entertainment Weekly

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