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Tom, Jenna, Julia coming to CBS

A "Love Monkey" is coming to CBS. So is Jenna Elfman. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

America's Most-Watched Network (as the folks at CBS just love to call it) has announced a bunch of changes for midseason. And, what with midseason being such a nonspecific term, some of those changes are coming in January and others in March.

"Love Monkey" (which debuts Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m.) marks the return of Tom Cavanagh ("Ed") to series television. Based on the book by Kyle Smith, Cavanagh stars as Tom Farrell, a 30-something "up-and-coming, single record executive who's navigating the tumultuous and highly amusing waters of work and dating in New York City," according to CBS.

Well, we'll see whether or not it's amusing.

"Love Monkey" will air after the end of the current "Amazing Race: Family Edition" and before the debut of the next regular ol' edition of "Race."

"The Jenna Elfman Show" (Monday, Jan. 23, 8:30 p.m.) marks the return of, well, Jenna Elfman, who's doing her first sitcom since she starred in "Dharma & Greg."

She plays a "single, semiworkaholic with one simple goal — find true love while balancing a career as a successful lawyer." (Maybe we should introduce her to the "Love Monkey.")

"The Jenna Elfman Show" — which might get a new title before it debuts — replaces the very funny "Out of Practice" on CBS' schedule. But not to worry; we're assured CBS has already picked up "Practice" for a full season and it will return in March.

Still . . . that doesn't seem like a big vote of confidence, does it?

"The New Adventures of Old Christine" (sometime in March) marks the return of Julia Louis-Dreyfus to weekly TV — her second attempt to overcome the dreaded Seinfeld Curse, and her first since her sitcom "Watching Ellie" went down in flames a couple of years ago.

Louis-Dreyfus — best known for playing Elaine on "Seinfeld" — will star as "a divorced working mom who is successfully juggling the daily stresses of motherhood and her business, while maintaining her fantastic relationship with her ex-husband . . . until his young, new girlfriend enters the picture."

As previously announced, CBS will also add "The Unit" at midseason — sometime in March, to be exact. Well, to be inexact.

It's an ensemble action/drama (the cast includes Dennis Haysbert, Scott Foley, Robert Patrick and Regina Taylor) about "a covert team of Special Forces operatives as they risk their lives on undercover missions around the world, while their families maintain the home front, protecting their husbands' secrets."

CBS has also picked up the crime drama "Close to Home" for the rest of the season and will make its move from Tuesdays to Fridays at 8 p.m. permanent. (Well, as permanent as anything on a TV schedule.)

There's no word yet on whether the show that swapped time slots with "Home" — the science-fiction drama "Threshold" — will be renewed through the end of the season.

If not, it will be the only one of the six series CBS premiered this fall that won't make it through at least one season.


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com