It was a classic case of bad timing. "Melba," a CBS sitcom offering starring Melba Moore, debuted the same day that the Shuttle crashed. Where it wasn't pre-empted by news briefs it was probably pre-empted by a national mood not open to comedy. A second look at the schedule indicated that it also would be pre-empted by other programming during most of its remaining run of five shows.

"So they pulled it off the air with the promise of a new timeslot," said Moore.

That was six months ago. Perhaps overlooked amid a programming department shakeup, "Melba" has been dusted off and rescheduled for Saturdays at 8.

Moore's role -- she plays a divorced New Yorker with a 9-year-old daughter -- has been beefed up a bit to make her more assertive. Audience surveys indicate that people liked her character, she said, but wanted to see more feistiness.

A successful summer run could put the show in line to be a midseason replacement this fall.

Moore displays no open anxiety over the show's fate. "To be honest, I'm not that concerned with whether it gets picked up or not," she said, noting that she has a new album ("A Lot of Love" with a hit single on it, "Love the One I'm With") and a coming tour to promote the records. "Either way," she said, "I'm going to be hot as a pistol in August."