Delta cries.

And everybody else laughs.

OK, that's not quite fair. They're not really laughing at her - it's just that the bawdy stars of Designing Women simply enjoy a good laugh when they get together.

Which isn't often, apparently.

The four original cast members — Jean Smart (search), Dixie Carter (search), Annie Potts (search) and Delta Burke (search) — haven't been in the same room together since 1991, the year Delta left the show.

Twelve years is a pretty long time to be apart for people who claim to love each other — which is why I would take all the hugs, kisses and warm memories on tonight's Designing Women Reunion with a grain of salt.

Which is not meant to quash anyone's enthusiasm.

Delta's tears certainly look real enough as she recalls her battle with depression and thanks her co-stars - principally Annie Potts and Meshach Taylor — for giving her their shoulders to either cry or lean on.

And the laughs look and sound authentic also as the cast members each recall favorite scenes and share war stories.

Of course, laughter is one of those things that actors are good at, so the whole thing might be as phony as a bushel basket of three-dollar bills.

Not that I'm complaining. While I can't admit to being the biggest fan of Designing Women, the show, in hindsight, looks pretty darned good.

The actors — who made up an ensemble cast that really was second to few, if not to none — tonight give credit where credit is due to the show's creator and principal writer, Linda Bloodworth, who is also on hand to take a well-deserved bow.

Whether the laughs are sincere or not, Designing Women fans will love this reunion special, which Lifetime hopes will score the same big numbers as its recent, record-setting Golden Girls reunion special.

Besides the four original stars (Delta's replacement for the show's last two seasons, Julia Duffy, is nowhere to be seen), a handful of others show up to lend support, including Taylor (who shares the stage with the four women), Delta's hubby Gerald McRaney, Dixie's hubby Hal Holbrook and Alice Ghostley, who played the clueless Bernice on Designing Women and whose TV credits over the decades reads like a history of television.

With its cast of strong female characters, Designing Women was a historic show in its own right. And as TV reunions go, this one is golden.