Long, Alley to return to TV comedy

March 31, 2004 at 8:30 PM

LOS ANGELES, March 31 (UPI) -- Former "Cheers" actresses Kirstie Alley and Shelly Long are planning returns to U.S. television comedy, The Hollywood Reporter said Wednesday.

Alley, who played bar manager Rebecca on "Cheers," is in final negotiations to play Ricki Lake's mother in an untitled CBS comedy pilot, the trade paper said.

Long, who played prim barmaid Diane on the long-running, Boston-set comedy, has joined an untitled NBC sitcom project.

The CBS pilot is about a widow and her mother who raise the younger woman's two sons after the death of her policeman husband, while also running a bar.

Long's show centers on the relationship between an adult son (Mitch Rouse) and his newly divorced father (Tom Conti.)

Long will play the mother.

Beverly D'Angelo, who was initially cast in the role, has left the project by mutual agreement, The Reporter said.

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