Christina Applegate, who spent 11 seasons playing Kelly Bundy on "Married . . . With Children," is starring in a sitcom of her own this fall - "Jesse," which has a prime slot between "Friends" and "Frasier" on NBC's Thursday-night schedule.

It's another TV comedy - this one from the executive producers of "Friends - but it's far less over-the-top than was "Married.""That was closer to a cartoon than anything else," Applegate said. "A lot of jokes were done for shock value and for laughs and that was it."

No kidding.

But Applegate doesn't regret the time she spent playing a bimbo.

"I don't have any resentments toward it whatsoever," she said. "It was a wonderful 11 years of my life. It was a lot of fun. And it was a great learning experience. I had another family that I will always cherish and love for the rest of my life."

She did find the experience of shooting the "Jesse" pilot a bit different from what she was used to. The studio audience at "Married . . . With Children" tapings was, well . . .

"Drunk?" Applegate asked. "Most of them were."

Which made the "Jesse" studio audience somewhat different.

"Well, they were listening," Applegate said. "And they weren't yelling lewd things at us in the middle of a scene, which oftentimes happened over at `Married . . . With Children.' That was like a sporting event for them."

IMPROVING "VERONICA'S CLOSET": Last year's highest-rated new comedy, "Veronica's Closet," wasn't exactly a consistent creative success - something even executive producer Marta Kauffman acknowledges.

"We felt like it hit some of the time and some of the time we didn't completely get it," Kauffman said. "But we think we have found some keys to that. We're making some changes. We're adding a new cast member."

And that new cast member is Ron Silver, who has found success in both theatrical and TV movies since his last regular role on a TV series - his two-year gig on "Rhoda" from 1976-78.

PRESS TOUR MOMENT: At the annual Writers Guild of America reception here at the press tour, TV critics mingle with the folks who write the TV shows we review. And, because neither the critics nor the writers have particularly recognizable faces for the most part, everyone wears name tags.

A woman whose name tag identified her as a writer for "Beverly Hills, 90210" looked at my name tag, saw Deseret News and asked, "What show is that?"


Of course, keep in mind that this was a writer for "90210," not "Nightline."

LEAVE HIM ALONE: Drew Carey hasn't been a formal guest on "The Magic Hour," but he was sort of drawn onstage when Howard Stern made his recent appearance on the show. And, while Carey isn't saying Magic Johnson is a good late-night host, he is saying he could be.

"When he's being natural, I really think that Magic Johnson does a good enough job," Carey said. "But the producers try to tell him where to turn and what to do and how to act. I think they just give him too much stuff. They should just let him go out and talk instead of trying to set him up.

"They tell him stuff like, `Go over to the band now and be funny with the band.' Just leave him alone and let him relax. I think it'd be a lot better if they did."