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Thursday's returning shows

”Friends,” ”ER,” ”Martin,” and are back on Thursdays this fall

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High Incident
ABC, 8-9 P.M.

”A lot of people watch Friends, but a lot of people don’t,” rationalizes coexecutive producer Charles Haid of his cop show’s deadly new regular slot. ”To put us up against a show like that, ABC must have some faith in us. It’s actually flattering.” Whatever you say, Charlie. To shore up, Incident‘s adding reinforcements: L.A. Law vet Blair Underwood as an officer from South Central, Lisa Vidal as a Latina policewoman, and Lindsay Frost as the new sergeant. Despite the show’s low ratings, executive producer Steven Spielberg remains involved — with one difference. ”He’s doing the new Jurassic Park movie this year,” says Incident star David Keith. ”So he’s doing all his stuff for us by phone and fax.” (Sept. 17)

NBC, 8-8:30 P.M.

Tom Selleck is gone — yay! — but Monica (Courteney Cox) will still be dealing with Richard’s departure. ”We’re not handling this as a hey-we’re-back-everybody’s-fine TV thing,” says executive producer David Crane. ”When you really break up with somebody, it’s hard.” Meanwhile, Chandler (Matthew Perry) has gotten back together with his shrewish ex-girlfriend (Maggie Wheeler), and new jobs are in store for Matt LeBlanc’s Joey (as a soap-opera acting teacher), Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe (she’s becoming an entrepreneur), and Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel (in the fashion industry). Regarding Rachel’s romance with Ross (David Schwimmer), there’s ”a bumpy road ahead,” says Crane. ”Something that good can’t last forever.” Sadly, the same could well be said of Friends should it not recover from its creative slump.

FOX, 8-8:30 P.M.

Martin pulls a gun in traffic! No, not really. But executive producer Bentley Kyle Evans is tight-lipped about the resolution of last season’s finale, in which Gina (Tisha Campbell) thought she might be pregnant (”She hasn’t taken her E.P.T. yet,” says Evans), so we had to make up something.

The Single Guy
NBC, 8:30-9 P.M.

Jessica Hecht and Mark Moses are gone as the Boring Married Couple; Olivia d’Abo and Shawn Michael Howard join the cast as new Single Friends for Jonathan Silverman. The Wonder Years‘ d’Abo won’t become a love interest — Jonathan’s still with his book-critic girlfriend (Jensen Daggett) in the premiere. Howard will play an employee at a deli where the gang hangs out. ”It’s a way to get Oscar-winning Ernest Borgnine into the show a little bit more,” says Silverman. ”There’s only so much he can do in a doorman’s outfit.” And after all, Ernest’s gotta eat.

Living Single
FOX, 8:30-9 P.M.

The sitcom hits bottom when Khadijah (Queen Latifah) goes in for hemorrhoid surgery and discovers her new boyfriend is the anesthesiologist. (Someone pass the laughing gas!) On a more serious note, Overton (John Henton) and Synclaire (Kim Coles) will finally take the big plunge — marriage. ”Even though the show is called Living Single,” says Henton, ”eventually somebody had to do it.” What’s next — The Married Guy?