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updated 08/16/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/16/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

It's not unusual for new shows to he tinkering with their casts right up until the last moment as they try to improve their chance for survival. That's certainly the case with this fall's sitcoms. NBC's Cafe Americain signed on Marion Ross (Brooklyn Bridge). On ABC, Joe's Life just added Mary Page Keller (Baby Talk), and George recruited Sheryl Lee Ralph (It's a Living).

But I can't remember a year in which so many established shows made significant cast changes during the summer hiatus. When they return next month, CBS's Love & War will feature Annie Potts (Designing Women); Murphy Brown will have Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap). ABC's Hangin' with Mr. Cooper welcomes Nell Carter (Gimme a Break) and Raven-Symone (The Cosby Show). NBC has added Loni Anderson (WKRP) to Nurses and Estelle Getty (Golden Girls) and Marsha Warfield (Night Court) to Empty Nest. Whether all this retooling works: You'll be the judge.

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