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But they all acknowledge misgivings at the outset: “Hot in Cleveland” was the first original scripted show on a little cable network that, until then, was exclusively a home for much-loved series from the past.

“I was a little nervous to be the guinea pig,” says Bertinelli.

“I didn’t even know where TV Land was,” says Malick.

“I had just done a pilot for a broadcast network,” says Leeves, “and I found things had changed so much since the end of `Frasier.’ There was so much interference from the executives. But with this show I felt like we won’t have all those network guys around. Here’s a place we can go and experiment and _”

“Nobody’ll ever know!” White cracks.

“It’ll be a secret!” cackles Leeves.

“The president of TV Land, Larry Jones, is different,” persists Malick over her co-stars’ chortling. “We go out to dinner with him. He’s one of our pals.”

White nods emphatically, and then, with perfect timing, adds, “I’m the only one on the show who didn’t get her job sleeping with Larry.”

Another roar of laughter leaves them all out of breath.

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Online:

http://www.tvland.com

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EDITOR’S NOTE _ Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier