Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Annie Potts Starts New `Love & War' Role

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Annie Potts Starts New `Love & War' Role

Article excerpt

ANNIE POTTS, late of "Designing Women," has a nice whimsical take on her new sitcom assignment.

She's been hired to fill a spot on "Love & War," the highly rated but comically erratic CBS show from which Susan "Scapegoat" Dey was unceremoniously dumped last spring.

"I'm just looking at it like a party that's in progress to which I am arriving fashionably late," said Potts, who makes her debut in the season premiere tonight (8:30 p.m. on Channel 4).

"It is a party where everybody is already having a fabulous time. The food is wonderful, the drinks are flowing, and they've set up the table for me to come in and dance on, in, I hope, leather or lame."

And the ticklish situation of replacing another actor?

"I don't think that actors can replace one another any more than you can replace one of your own pets," Potts said somewhat cryptically.

And, no, Potts hasn't talked to Dey. "I think that she's a charming actress. That's all I know."

Dey, acclaimed for her portrayal of Grace Van Owen on "L.A. Law," took the sitcom plunge last year when "Murphy Brown" creator Diane English introduced "Love & War."

Dey portrayed divorced, uptown Manhattan restaurateur/chef Wally Porter in the romantic comedy.

The comic hormonal hook? Wally impulsively bought a funky downtown saloon, the Blue Shamrock, and promptly fell in love with short, sexy male chauvinist newspaper columnist Jack Stein (Jay Thomas).

Despite occasionally snazzy repartee and a superb supporting cast of eccentric Blue Shamrock regulars, Thomas and Dey never generated real sparks together: either comic or romantic.

And so Dey, the comedy novice, took the fall.

On the "Love & War" season finale last spring, Wally was mulling Jack's sudden marriage proposal.

And tonight? We'll discover that Wally freaked out over the idea of another marital commitment and split for Europe.

Enter Potts in the sassy persona of Dana Paladino, a seen-it-all former chef to Mick Jagger who is hired as the Blue Shamrock's new cook.

And, of course, Jack Stein will be smitten anew. The betting is that Potts and Thomas will be a far better fit, especially in the crucial area of comic chemistry. …

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