Working (Again) Girl
Another former screen queen is making the move to daytime TV: Following in the footsteps of June Havoc (General Hospital) and Jane Powell (Loving), Tippi Hedren has joined the cast of CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. ”I play a character named Helen Maclaine,” says the star who is most famous for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 The Birds. ”She’s married to this very depressed man, and her son has been gone for 10 years, but she’s very stoic about it, very strong.” Hedren has stepped out of semi-retirement for rare guest appearances on such shows as Hotel and Baby Boom, but acting on a soap is ”completely different,” she says. ”It’s much more dramatic — there are these lonnnng pauses to build up suspense. Every scene is a cliff-hanger.” How long Hedren will stick with the soap hasn’t been decided, but at least one important fan is rooting for her comeback — her daughter, Melanie Griffith. ”She just said, ‘Oh, that’s great, Mom!’ She’s real happy about it. We’re not at all competitive.”
Justice With a Beat
You may not know the name, but you’ve probably heard the voice. These days Carl Anderson’s vocal riffs are as common on the airwaves as commercials: The 45-year-old recording artist sings the theme songs for Equal Justice and Santa Barbara, and this season he’ll have a recurring role as a crooning judge on ABC’s new Wednesday-night police opera, Cop Rock. ”It’s very risky television, unlike anything that’s ever been done before,” Anderson says of producer Steven Bochco’s musical drama. ”People are either going to love it or hate it. But that’s what makes it so special. It’s a TV show that actually takes a chance. That’s very unusual.” And dangerous: ”It has a 50-50 chance for survival,” Anderson says. ”I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t last long.” If it doesn’t, Anderson has his recording career to fall back on: His new album, Pieces of a Heart, is selling briskly.
Northern Exposure, the low-key CBS comedy series set in Alaska, attracted a sizable following during its eight-week summer run, but what happens to it now that fall has arrived? ”We all think it’s a strong possibility for a mid-season replacement,” says Exposure associate producer Martin Bruestle. ”We haven’t had any official word from the network, but it would make sense considering the Nielsens we’ve been getting.” Those Nielsens have been impressive: This past month, before the show was replaced by the established nighttime soap Knots Landing, Exposure’s ratings were higher than those of NBC’s L.A. Law and ABC’s PrimeTime Live. If the numbers persuade CBS to bring the show back, will Dr. Fleischman and bush pilot Maggie O’Connell ever hop a flight to romance? ”I’d be crazy to answer that question,” Bruestle says. ”Let’s just say we have a lot of script ideas in development.”
Between Iraq and a Hard Place
Recent events in the Persian Gulf have presented one prime-time TV show with a bit of a problem: What should CBS’ comedy series Bagdad Cafe do about its newly newsy name? ”We discussed the situation,” co-executive producer Thad Mumford told Entertainment Weekly. ”But we decided to keep the title the same. Our show has nothing to do with the Baghdad in Iraq. (The show takes place in the California desert.) The name is just an unfortunate coincidence.” Still, the producers’ decision isn’t cast in concrete; it could change. Says Mumford, ”If the war escalates and there’s massive loss of life, then we may have to discuss the issue again.”
Beach Time for Keaton
Diane Keaton is landing on China Beach: The actress-turned-director will soon be behind the cameras for an episode of ABC’s Vietnam series, according to the show’s producer, Carol Flint. ”It’s called ‘Fever,’ and it’ll focus on Dana Delaney’s first days back in Kansas after the war,” Flint says. ”I’m not sure why she decided to do it — I guess she just likes the show.” Keaton has done television before — last January she directed a CBS Schoolbreak Special called The Girl With the Crazy Brother — but as a director, Keaton is better known for her 1987 afterlife documentary, Heaven. She’s also still acting; Keaton’s most recent movie is The Lemon Sisters. Expect her China Beach episode to appear sometime in late October.