Jeri Ryan: Carin Baer
Lynette Rice
July 22, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Expect a change in administration on Fox’s ”Boston Public” this fall. Jessalyn Gilsig (social studies teacher Lauren Davis) and Rashida Jones (office assistant Louisa Fenn) are out, while Jon Abrahams (”Scary Movie”) and Joey McIntyre — yes, the former New Kid on the Block — are in as new, upstart teachers. (Don’t worry, fellas, Jeri Ryan will be back.) ”It’s a question of keeping the show fresh and telling more stories,” says exec producer Jonathan Pontell, who relies on creator David E. Kelley to spin most of ”Public”’s yarns.

Speaking of which, Pontell assures us that his Überscribe boss — who’ll also be penning his new Fox legal drama ”girls club” — will focus more on student tales and less on the faculty’s crazy goings-on. ”We may have gotten a little away from the core of the show,” admits Pontell, in reference to last year’s wacky arc involving Kathy Baker as rigid teacher’s assistant Meredith Peters, who was held hostage by her demented son, accidentally cut off her own hand to escape captivity, and started dating vice principal Scott Guber (Anthony Heald). ”Sometimes you need to regroup.” Gee, ya think?

(Additional reporting by William Keck)

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