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HAGMAN STAYS AFLOAT WITH A NEW FALL SERIES

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Larry Hagman, best known as nefarious wheeler-dealer J.R. Ewing on "Dallas," is returning to prime time in another larger-than-life role.

In "Staying Afloat," which will debut next fall on the "NBC Friday Night Mystery" series, Hagman plays a former millionaire turned undercover agent who just happens to operate from a yacht.Hagman told TV Guide he had to fight to get an hourlong drama series in a season where the trend is for family-oriented comedies.

After his stint on "I Dream of Jeanie," Hagman said he had no wish to return to sitcoms, although some producers tried to change his mind.

"I said to CBS, `I don't want to work with animals. I don't want to work with children. And I don't want to work with any more genies.' "

Hagman also admitted spending much of his J.R. years overindulging in food and alcohol. "I was pickled most of the time and just had a good time," he said. "Now I'm not pickled - and I'm still having a good time."