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`CHEERS' WILL RETURN, WOODY MIGHT

NBC is denying reports that when "Cheers" returns for an 11th season in the fall, Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson) won't be behind the bar.

"We're confident they'll all be back," an NBC spokesman said.It's at least a bit of a surprise that the series is going to be back. Ted Danson had said that "Cheers' " 10th season would be its last.

But NBC - desperately trying to hang onto its highest-rated series - came up with enough money to lure Danson, Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt, John Ratzenberger, Kelsey Grammer and Bebe Neuwirth back again.

Although Harrelson reportedly hasn't signed a new contract yet, NBC insists it will have his signature soon.

Should Harrelson happen to decide not to return, it wouldn't be particularly difficult to write him out of the show. In the series' hourlong season-finale on May 14, Woody Boyd will marry longtime, heiress girlfriend Kelli.STILL A HIT: NBC is quick to point out that, in its 10th season, "Cheers' is still the No. 4 show on television.

Only one other program, "Bonanaza" (which, coincidentally, also ran on NBC), ranked as high in its 10th season.ANOTHER DESIGNING WOMAN? In other season-ender news, "Designing Women" will wrap things up later this spring with a wedding.

But it isn't one of the current "Women" getting married, it's Anthony Bouvier (Meshach Taylor).

And his bride-to-be? Jackee - formerly of "227," currently of "The Royal Family."

Rumor is that Jackee's character will show an interest in joining the Sugarbaker firm, leaving open the possibility that she could join the cast next season.

(Of course, if "The Royal Family" gets picked up, that would nix those plans.)

The producers of "Designing Women" continue to deny any current cast members - Julia Duffy in particular - is in any trouble.

For my money, I'd just as soon keep Allison (Duffy) and lose Karlene (Jan Hooks), who may just be the most annoying character on network television. (OK, the second-most annoying, after Steven Urkel.)

And cheers to the producers for having Bernice (Alice Ghostly) on much more frequently this season - she's the funniest thing on the show these days.RUMOR DU JOUR: Fox is reportedly pursuing Chevy Chase to host a late-night talk show.

Some reports have Chase doing a show on the Fox Broadcasting Co., while others have Fox's Twentieth Television proposing a syndicated gabfest.A GOOD SIGN: ABC's relatively low-rated (but wonderful) drama "Homefront" recently received an order for the network for an addition pair of episodes.

That brings the season total to 24, while most series produce just 22 episodes per season.

There's still no guarantee that "Homefront" will be on ABC's schedule this fall, but this is an encouraging sign.R-RATED: It's been widely reported that producer Steven Bochco pitched an R-rated prime-time drama to ABC earlier this year. It's also been reported that ABC nixed the adult language and nudity, while allowing Bochco to go ahead with "NYPD Blue."

But according to Variety, "Bochco was so steamed he wanted to kill the series outright. ABC then asked if he would be content to show just a bit of skin, with no more than 10 cuss words per episode. Bochco said he didn't want a formal limit."

Somehow, I'm not all that anxious to see how "Blue" turns out.STORMY CYBILL: We may be seeing quite a bit more of Cybill Shepherd on ABC over the next couple of years.

The former star of "Moonlighting" won't be doing a series - exactly. But she might be doing a series of movies.

Shepherd stars in "Stormy Weathers," a telefilm that will air Monday, April 4. She plays "the gorgeous, street-savvy Samantha `Sam' Weathers," a private investigator in Los Angeles.

(Hey . . . that sort of rings a bell, doesn't it?)

But this time around, Shepherd's character is no former model. Instead, she's a karate expert and a policeman's daughter. And she'll be the one cracking wise.

If "Stormy Weathers" is a hit, expect to see several more made-for-TV movies - sort of like the continuing series of "Columbo" and "Perry Mason" movies.