Off: The Pat Sajak Show, after 15 months as CBS’ late-night challenger to Johnny, Ted, and Arsenio. On: In its place, reruns of Wiseguy and 21 Jump Street, the first Fox show another network has aired. Off: Maria Shriver, who’s eaving NBC’s Sunday Today to appear on prime-time NBC news specials. ON: In Shriver’s place could be Mary Alice Williams, whose last big assignment was NBC’s reenactment-filled ”reality” show Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Off: Brent Musburger, dropped by CBS before the baseball season. On: CBS Radio’s Jack Buck, hired for play-by-play in backup games, now promoted to the top job.
Normal Life is still on CBS’ schedule, but its days are numbered. Hampered by low ratings, the Zappa family ccmedy may now lose one of its stars: Cindy Williams has taken the Sally Field role in a version of Steel Magnolias CBS is developing for next fall.
Alien Nation of Affection
”It takes two hours to put on — more if I have to have spots down my back,” Terri Treas says of the no-hair, no-ears makeup she wears as Newcomer Cathy Frankel on Fox’s Alien Nation. Now on hiatus (”We call it being out from under the dome”), Treas says Cathy’s relationship with Sikes (left in doubt in the May 7 cliff-hanger) may heat up next fall, with the interspecies couple attending ”a kind of Lamaze class on how to have sex with an alien.”
The Wet Look
It’s been a very moist spring for prime-time’s leading men. The top weepers:
Elliot on thirtysomething. Once Mr. Insensitivity, he now sobs at his desk, sweating out Nancy’s illness.
Vinnie on Wiseguy. After his last case, the poor guy snapped. Now he spends his time curled up in bed, soaking his pillow.
Bart on The Simpsons. He misted up after a bully’s beating. Dad blow-dried his tears away.
Everybody on Twin Peaks. Deputy Andy, Leland Palmer, the school principal— and that was just in episode one. No wonder there’s a waterfall in the opening credits.
When David Angell, and David Lee gave up producing and writing Cheers to create their own show, they could agree only on what to avoid. ”We didn’t want a living room set,” Angell says, ”we didn’t want children, we didn’t want any characters who would be described as ‘streetwise’ or ‘crusty yet benign,’ (and) we wanted to be as far from Boston as we could.” They got as far as Nantucket with Wings, which follows Cheers on Thursdays on NBC. Do comparisons of the shows make them nervous? ”Yes,” says one. ”Absolutely,” adds another. ”You could say that,” says a third.
E-Day: the Sequel
Earth Day may be over, but the environment blitz is still going strong. The next big event comes June 2 — that’s International Environment Day — when Earth ‘90, a three-hour concert to increase environmental awareness, will be shown in syndication. The special includes some of the usual suspects (John Denver, Olivia Newton-John) as well as less familiar names, including Japanese New Age musician Kitaro and Soviet rock band Gorky Park.