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Same Shows, New Look


In true Hollywood form, several older series will be getting face lifts this fall with an infusion of new characters, big-name guest stars and plot twists. Former bad boys Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr. are joining comedies, while Oscar-winning Sally Field will check into "ER." Though the presidential debates could shift some planned premieres, below is a look at what's in store for your favorite series.


"Norm": Faith Ford, an occasional guest last season, joins the Norm MacDonald comedy as Norm's former flame. Nikki Cox has departed for her own series on the WB. Friday.

"Spin City": Charlie Sheen replaces Michael J. Fox as the new deputy mayor of New York. Lana Parrilla joins the cast as an office assistant, while Connie Britton and Alexander Chaplin have left the series. Oct. 18.

"Once and Again": David Clennon becomes a regular, reprising his "thirtysomething" character, ad exec Miles Drentell. Jennifer Crystal plays Lily Manning's (Sela Ward) much younger boss, Christie Parker. Oct. 24.

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire": The popular game show adds a fourth night. Tuesday.


"Family Law": Tony Danza joins the cast of the legal series as a lawyer from a blue-collar Brooklyn neighborhood who champions the causes of underdogs. Monday.

"Nash Bridges": Yasmine Bleeth has left the Don Johnson series for NBC's "Titans." Jaime Gomez is also gone as Inspector Evan Cortez. Bridges' daughter (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) joins the San Francisco police force. Wendy Moniz will play her new partner and Cress Williams joins the series as a new cop. Friday.

"King of Queens": Star Kevin James' character gets a sister when Ricki Lake arrives in Queens for a recurring role on the show. Monday.

"City of Angels": Vivica A. Fox has left the cast of Steven Bochco's multiracial medical drama. Kyle Secor ("Homicide") has been added as a plastic surgeon and Gabrielle Union joins as a surgical resident. Occasional characters include Sandi Schultz as a psychiatrist and Bokeem Woodbine as a resident. Former series regulars Robert Morse and Maya Rudolph return for some episodes. Oct. 12.


"Law & Order": The only cast member from the first season, Steven Hill, has departed the long-running series as district attorney Adam Schiff. Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest joins the show as district attorney Nora Lewin. Oct. 18.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit": Stephanie March joins the police series as an assistant district attorney. Rapper/actor Ice-T also comes on board as a street-smart detective partnered with cynical detective John Munch (Richard Belzer). Oct. 20.

"ER": Two-time Oscar-winning actress Sally Field turns up in several episodes as medical resident Abby Lockhart's (Maura Tierney) mother. Oct. 12.

"The West Wing": Recurring Janel Moloney, who plays Josh's assistant, is now a regular. NBC is keeping mum on who survived last season's shootout. Wednesday.

"Providence": Rob Estes will be featured as Syd's romantic interest. Oct. 20.


"Ally McBeal": In his first role since his release from prison on a drug charge, Robert Downey Jr. joins the cast of the hourlong comedy for at least eight episodes as Ally's new love interest. Oct. 23.

"The X-Files": With David Duchovny appearing in just half of the episodes, "Terminator 2's" Robert Patrick joins the series as Scully's new partner, a by-the-book FBI agent. Nov. 5.


"Buffy the Vampire Slayer": Michelle Trachtenberg joins the cast as Dawn, Buffy's younger sister. Premiered.

"Angel": J. August Richards becomes a regular, playing a renegade vampire hunter. Premiered.

"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch": The teen comedy moves from ABC to the WB as Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) goes to college. Soleil Moon Frye and Trevor Lissauer play Sabrina's roommates. Premiered.


"The Hughleys": The comedy series, starring D.L. Hughley, moves from ABC to UPN. Premiered.

"7 Days": Kevin Christy joins the cast of the action thriller as a hotshot techie. Oct. 11.

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