June 29, 1998 12:00 PM

>Mary Tyler Moore

Pet Projects

“Did you ever think you’d see a stingray leap out of its pond and give a kiss on the face?” asks Mary Tyler Moore. On HBO’s Mary Tyler Moore in Three Cats from Miami…and Other Pet Practitioners (Sunday, June 28, at 8 p.m. ET), a special hosted by the animal-loving actress, that frisky ray motivates a boy with cerebral palsy to get out of his wheelchair, while a horse named Frosty provides physical therapy for kids with Down syndrome. “[The show] has such a good, strong message about what animals can give us,” says Moore, 61.

Meanwhile, the star herself has good news: ABC, she says, has committed to 13 episodes of her new, as-yet-untitled sitcom reuniting her with Mary Tyler Moore Show costar Valerie Harper (Rhoda) and set to debut sometime next season. It was conceived after both stars appeared on The Rosie O’Donnell Show in May 1997. “Why don’t we get together and just do Mary and Rhoda?” Moore asked Harper the next day. “We want to do this right,” she adds, alluding to a script rewrite ordered by ABC. Can they pull it off? Hey, do stingrays leap?

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