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PROVIDENCE NBC, 8-9 PM

With her show in need of ratings CPR, Sydney (Melina Kanakaredes) gets a new job in an ER (her clinic burned down last season). Her romance with Owen (Father of the Bride’s groom, George Newbern, now a regular) progresses to the point where he introduces Syd to his mom (Sally Kellerman) and dad (John Bennett Perry). Says exec producer Ann Hamilton, ”It’s a Meet the Parents kind of episode.” Between Meet My Folks and In-Laws, hasn’t NBC ripped off that movie enough? (Oct. 4)

SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH THE WB, 8:30-9 PM

Our little spell caster (Melissa Joan Hart) is all grown up: She’ll be graduating from college, living with her friends (aunts Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick have vanished), and finding work at a Rolling Stone-like magazine. Her job will put her in contact with pop acts like Ashanti and Smash Mouth, and she’ll soak up wisdom from none other than SpongeBob SquarePants (who’ll appear in his Nickelodeon-cartoon form). Sabrina will also get a scoop, says exec producer Paula Hart, when ”she goes into a store and sees an actress who’s shoplifting.” No word yet on whether Winona Ryder will take the role. (Sept. 20)

REBA THE WB, 9-9:30 PM

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A sitcom built around a working-class woman undergoes a behind-the-scenes shake-up. That’s old news to Roseanne and Grace Under Fire scribes Kevin Abbott and Matt Berry, who’ve been hired to give Reba a second-season makeover. ”The series tended to be a bit silly,” says Abbott, who intends to give divorced mom Reba (Reba McEntire) more realistic problems as she reenters the workforce and the dating world. Reality will also bite daughter Cheyenne (JoAnna Garcia), who gave birth to her husband’s baby last season. Says Berry, ”These were two 17-year-old kids who had a kid, and it seemed to go smashingly well.” Adds Abbott, ”We’re going to cease to be an advertisement for teenage pregnancy.” (Sept. 20)

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT NBC, 10-11 PM

More like Law & Order: Special Guest Stars. Among the celebs who’ll share screen time with Manhattan cops Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay are Pam Grier (as a foxy federal attorney), Sharon Lawrence (as a hooker suspected of serial killings), and Sherilyn Fenn (as a wealthy woman who may be sleeping with her 17-year-old stepson). Family Ties’ Michael Gross also turns up as a socialite lawyer. Can SVU withstand competition from CBS’ new Robbery Homicide Division? ”Michael Mann is going to put something glitzy on the air,” says exec producer Neal Baer. ”And we’ve got the sexy Sherilyn Fenn, Sharon Lawrence, and Pam Grier to attack.” May the best Mann — er, man

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