In its application of AM fiberoptic technology to supertrunks and to segmentations of trunk cascades, the cable TV industry has gained an appreciation for the performance and reliability features of this technology. It has become increasingly clear, however, that CATV distribution·'architectures other than the traditional tree and branch might be needed in order to fully exploit the advantages of fiber technology. This paper describes and discusses one of the most promising of these new architectures -- optical bridgers -- which permit widespread deployment of fiber in new-builds and substantial rebuilds without incurring a cost penalty. In an optical bridger network the CATV trunk is completely eliminated and each fiber receiver feeds a multiple-output RF bridger directly. With no trunk cascade, widearea distribution can be made through four or five high-level amplifiers without compromising end-of-line performance. Using specific examples, this paper will review the properties of optical bridger architectures and will discuss hardware implications, such as selection of hybrid amplifier type.