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Preview '96

Autumnal Alterations

September 15, 1996|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

As the networks unveil their new series this month, several returning shows will be adding cast members and plot lines. Here's a look at what's up for the fall on some viewer favorites:

ABC

"The Drew Carey Show": Drew and Mimi get a new boss (Craig Ferguson) at the department store. Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m., this week.

"Ellen": Ellen is sent back into therapy when her parents' marriage breaks up. She decides to buy a house and sell Buy the Book, whereupon she must deal with an adversarial new corporate supervisor (Bruce Campbell of "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr."). Wednesdays at 8 p.m., this week.

"Family Matters": The Winslows become foster parents to a young boy. Urkel and Laura go off to college. Fridays at 8 p.m., this week.

"High Incident": Blair Underwood ("L.A. Law") joins the police drama as an officer who had worked in the South Central gang units, but has now transferred to suburbia. Lisa Vidal also becomes a member of the squad as a determined, outspoken Latina police officer. Thursdays at 8 p.m., this week.

"Home Improvement": Debbe Dunning, who plays the "Tool Time" girl, is pregnant in real life and her impending motherhood will be reflected in the series' story line. Tuesdays at 9 p.m., this week.

"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman": The dynamic duo finally tie the knot on Oct. 6. Sundays at 8 p.m. beginning Sept. 22.

"Murder One": The Steven Bochco lawyer series has undergone a major overhaul for its second season. This year, three high-profile cases will be tried. Gone are Daniel Benzali, Patricia Clarkson, Vanessa Williams, John Fleck and Grace Phillips. Anthony LaPaglia ("Betsy's Wedding") is the new head of the high-powered L.A. law firm. D.B. Woodside also joins the firm as a hot new attorney. Thursdays at 9 p.m., beginning Oct. 10.

"NYPD Blue": Justine Miceli and Gail O' Grady have departed the cast. Tuesdays at 10 p.m., premiere TBA.

CBS

"Almost Perfect": Kevin Kilner exits the series after the first episode, which finds Kim (Nancy Travis) and Mike (Kilner) breaking up. Wednesdays at 9 p.m., premiere TBA.

"Chicago Hope": Roxanne Hart and Jamey Sheridan have left the medical series. Mark Harmon takes up residence as an orthopedic surgeon coaxed out of self-imposed retirement. Rocky Carroll ("Roc") is the new chief of trauma. Mondays at 10 p.m., beginning this week.

"Murphy Brown": With Miles (Grant Shaud) off to a new job in New York, the "F.Y.I." staff has a new executive producer (Lily Tomlin). Mondays at 9 p.m., this week.

"Touched By an Angel": The surprise hit moves from Saturdays at 9 p.m. to Sundays at 8 p.m. John Dye, who played the recurring role of the angel of death, has earned his wings and is now a regular. Sundays at 8 p.m., beginning this week.

FOX

"Melrose Place": Rob Estes, Lisa Rinna, Brooke Langton, David Charvet, Chad Lowe and Donna Mills join the hit soap at various points during its fifth season. Greg Evigan will appear in a recurring role. Pregnant Josie Bissett, who is married in real life to Estes, will depart the series in October. Mondays at 9 p.m.; already premiered.

"New York Undercover": Jonathan LaPaglia, the younger brother of Anthony, joins the series as Det. Tom McNamara, a savvy second-generation cop who got his shield six months ago. Thursdays at 9 p.m.; already premiered.

NBC

"ER": Laura Innes, who had the recurring role of the abrasive Dr. Kerry Weaver last season, is now a regular. Omar Epps will appear for at least 10 episodes as a new hospital surgical resident. Thursdays at 10 p.m., beginning Sept. 26.

"Law & Order": Jill Hennessey has departed the cast and former Bond girl Carey Lowell ("Licence to Kill") is on board as Asst. Dist. Atty. Jamie Ross, a divorced mother. Wednesdays at 10 p.m., this week.

"Homicide: Life on the Street": Michelle Forbes joins the show as Chief Medical Examiner Julianna Cox, a tough-minded woman who will work closely with the homicide detectives. Fridays at 10 p.m., this week.

"The Single Guy": Shawn Michael Howard ("Flirting With Disaster") will play a first-year law school student who works at a bagel restaurant frequented by Jonathan and his pals. Olivia d'Abo ("The Wonder Years") also joins the comedy as a newly divorced woman who moves into Jonathan's apartment building. Mark Moses and Jessica Hecht, who played Jonathan's married friends, have gone. Thursdays at 8:30 p.m., this week.

"The John Larroquette Show": Alison LaPlaca's Catherine Merrick will be departing after the first episode. Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., this week.

"The Jeff Foxworthy Show": The comedy series moves from ABC to NBC. Ann Cusack joins the cast as his wife, G.W. Bailey as his father, Bill Engvall as his best friend and William Lipnicki as his 5-year-old son. Only Haley Joel Osment, who plays his 9-year-old son, came over from ABC. In this incarnation, Foxworthy manages a loading dock at a shipping company. Mondays at 8 p.m., Sept. 23.

UPN

"In the House": The former NBC sitcom moves to UPN minus Debbie Allen and Jeffrey Wood. In this revamped version, former football star Marion (LL Cool J) runs a physical therapy clinic with a physical therapist (Kim Wayans) and a stuffy doctor (Alfonso Ribeiro). In his spare time, he also takes care of Allen's daughter (Maia Campbell), who is finishing her last year of high school in L.A. Mondays at 8 p.m., already premiered.

WB

"Savannah": Mimi Kennedy and Ted Shackelford will appear in recurring roles. Mondays at 9 p.m.; already premiered.

"Unhappily Ever After": Joyce Van Patten, who played the mother of Stephanie Hodge, has left the series. Sundays at 9 p.m., already premiered.

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