TV news for the week of May 18, 1990 |


TV news for the week of May 18, 1990

TV news for the week of May 18, 1990 -- Brief updates from the world of television

Life Stays On
ABC’s family drama Life Goes On has gotten a big vote of confidence: a 22-episode order for next season. And executive producer Michael Braverman hopes to get an early start. ”It’s a very, very difficult shoot,” he says, adding that actor Chris Burke (Corky), who has Down’s syndrome, has ”held up magnificently.” Next season, Life’s credits will no longer feature 14-year-old Becca staring at her chest and groaning, ”Where are you guys?” (but, Braverman promises, ”We’re not going to have hee look down and say, ‘They’re here!”’). Oldest daughter Paige (Monique Lanier) won’t be back, but the Thacher family may grow before the season end.

Teed Off
Bryant Gumbel loves golf, but how do golfers feel about him? A sampling of Golf magazine’s mail suggests widespread discontent about Gumbel’s decision to moonlight on NBC’s golf broadcasting team. ”PGA has taken on a new meaning for me: Put Gumbel Away,” one irate correspondent wrote. ”We certainly got a ton of letters,” says executive editor JiJiFrank. ”You should see the ones I didn’t run.”

Peak Chic
Three signs that Twin Peaks has become a media obsession: Actor James Marshall, who plays biker James Hurley, recently turned up scowling in a Gap ad. The always-overheated Star magazine has blared a promise to unmask the Peaks killer. Even The New Yorker (yes, The New Yorker) has jumped in, with an enigmatic cartoon of a young couple in furious disagreement. The caption: ”Twin Peaks.”

Bologna on Wry
It looks like the ABC comedy The Wonder Years, with a sun-dappled vision of childhood. It sounds like The Wonder Years, with an ironic, twangy Daniel Stern-type narrating boyhood memories. So it must be a TV commercial. Oscar Mayer’s bologna ad is the latest campaign (McDonald’s is another) to mine Wonder nostalgia. Is the look-alike-sound-alike spot an homage? ”We weren’t trying to do that,” insists Paul Sciarrotta, the ad’s creative director. ”We were just trying to tap into the mind-set of ‘I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener.””’

The $11 Million Man
Brent Musburger is once again TV’s highest-paid sportscaster; CBS’ former jack-of-all-trades has signed a six-year, $11 million contract with ABC, where he’ll appear on everything from Wide World of Sports to college basketball. One booth he won’t enter (yet) is Monday Night Football, but Al Michaels, now TV’s second-highest-paid sportscaster, is known to be unhappy.

The Arsenio Hall Showdown
Is Warren Beatty really sexually insatiable? Does Madonna like to get spanked? Are Arrenio Hall and Eddie Murphy lovers? What about Madonna and Sandra Bernhard? Did LaToya Jackson get breast implants? This paragraph of innuendo, dirt, and low-down gossip is brought to you by Madonna, whose May 1 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show was a wrestling match between guest and host. By the end, Hall called Madonna ”cold-butted,” and she labeled Arsenio’s haircut ”tired.” Viewer interest pushed the show to near-record ratings. Answers to the above questions: No; you bet; just friends; just friends; and, both Hall and Madonna think so, but who can tell?