CBS is either planning for the future of "Touched by an Angel" or sending a message to star Roma Downey — a message in the person of Valerie Bertinelli.

The network has announced that Bertinelli, the former star of "One Day at a Time," has joined the cast of its made-in-Utah series through the end of the season. Beginning April 29, she'll be seen as "an angel for the 21st century who is new to Earth and needs guidance from Monica (Downey)."

Executive producer Martha Williamson issued a statement that "This is the . . . way of expanding our family. We couldn't be more thrilled with the addition, and we hope Valerie will want to stay with us for a long time!"

Underlying all of this is Downey's own uncertain future with the show. Her contract is up at the end of this season, and she has indicated that she may leave the show.

The addition of Bertinelli could be a way of transition from one star to another, or it could be a way for Downey to remain with the show on a more limited basis.

Or this could be CBS's way of letting Downey know that she can be replaced.