Lynette Rice
August 06, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Fox’s Back to You boasted one of the most talented — and most expensive — casts on TV last season, but no amount of campaigning by star Kelsey Grammer could save the workplace comedy from the ax after a single year. Fortunately, we may not have to wait long to see the stars back in ­action; three of them have already moved on to projects at ABC. Grammer has scored a role as an ­eccentric billionaire in a midseason comedy pilot called Roman’s Empire. Patricia Heaton is in talks to star as a Midwestern mom in The Middle, a redo of a Ricki Lake sitcom pilot from 2007. And Ty Burrell, who played ­correspondent Gary Crezy­zewski, has joined the cast of a potential midseason comedy about two business partners — one gay and one straight — that’s in the works from Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David ­Kohan.

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