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What’s in a name? ABC changes titles

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ABC has changed the titles of two of its new shows for this fall even before they go on the air. And the network, which is still obsessed with "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" — it's going from three weekly editions to four in the fall — is only adding four new shows.

I'll grant the network that "People Who Fear People" wasn't a great title for its sitcom about a bunch of people who think everyone is out to get them — although it certainly was descriptive. But the new name — "The Trouble with Normal" — is much worse.

(But not as bad as the show, which has about as much chance of succeeding as Bill Clinton does of being elected to a third term. What was someone as talented a Jon Cryer thinking when he signed on to this thing?)

The second change comes on another sitcom. "Geena" has become "The Geena Davis Show," which should cut down on all that confusion caused by "Geena," right?

DUMB ADS: Speaking of "The Geena Davis Show," the new sitcom is better than the ads ABC has been running to promote it.

But then, it would pretty much have to be, wouldn't it?

CASTING ABOUT: And, speaking of changes, several shows are making them before the season begins — including several shows that haven't even gotten on the air yet.

Gregory Harrison ("Trapper John, M.D." and "Safe Harbor") has been added to the cast of NBC's forthcoming "Ed," the new series from the producers of "Late Show with David Letterman."

He'll appear in a recurring role as the boyfriend of the woman the title character falls in love with. (Got all that?)

The greatly troubled new NBC sitcom "The Michael Richards Show" (the original pilot was so bad, the network wouldn't show it to critics) has added several new cast members.

Bill Cobbs ("The Others") plays a seasoned detective and William Devane ("Knots Landing") is the media-savvy owner of the detective agency where Richards (the ex-Kramer of "Seinfeld") works as a bumbling gumshoe.

Tim Meadows ("Saturday Night Live") has also come aboard as another sleuth.

Jack Wagner ("Melrose Place" and "General Hospital") has been added to the cast of the slick, over-the-top, so-outrageous-it's-funny, prime-time soap "Titans." He'll play the younger brother of business tycoon Richard Williams (Perry King).

Rob Estes (who spent time on "Melrose Place" with Wagner and spent last season on "Suddenly Susan") has been signed for a recurring role on "Providence." He'll play a guy who woos Sydney (Melina Kanakaredes) in a story arc that kicks off the season.

E-mail: pierce@desnews.com