TV STUFF: Ed O’Neill Returns

Erstwhile “Married … with Children” star Ed O’Neill is returning to television.

And we’re not talking about reruns of the syndicated show.

Daily Variety says that O’Neill has nabbed one of the two leads in the cop drama preliminarily titled “Big Apple.”

In the series about the workings among the NYPD, FBI and the Mob, the actor will play an Irish top dog in the police department.

A VERY IMPORTANT SERIES: Looks like Pamela Anderson is going to have a new home. Variety says that the cable channel TNN has bought the rerun rights to the buxom blonde’s action series “V.I.P.”

For viewers who just can’t get enough of the show, it will air on the station beginning fall 2002. And viewers can still catch Lee on reruns of “Baywatch.”

CELEBS TV: The ratings war rages on. According to Variety, NBC scored the most TV viewers Thursday night with a cameo-filled lineup including guest appearances by Cher on “Will & Grace” and Sally Field on “E.R.”

The Peacock Network might have done well Thursday, but most of the weekend belonged to ABC. The Alphabet Network won both Friday and Saturday nights with programs such as the celebrity edition of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” a special “Whose Line Is It Anyway” with Robin Williams on Friday, and the Florida-Florida State college football match Saturday.

BALL AND ‘CHAINS’: Variety also says that UPN might pick up the reality gameshow “Chains of Love.” The show, wherein up to four men or women are chained to one member of the opposite sex for several days and then let go one by one, was first being developed by NBC last summer, but NBC backed out of the deal soon after.

Hmmm, it couldn’t be because the show sounds really stupid now, could it?