ROYAL PAIN: NBC’s version of royal discord, Fergie & Andrew: Behind the Palace Doors, airing Sept. 28 in the U.S., will be seen worldwide except in Great Britain, where it was shot. ”I think it’s harder for people (here) to accept the actors for who they play,” says Briton Sam Miller (Andrew). Pippa Hinchley (Fergie) adds, ”It took (England) 40 years before we did a series about Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson. I’m sure in 2032 the BBC will come up with its own version and it will be marvelous.”
LIFE GOES ON: NBC has hired actor Dean Jones — best remembered for a series of ’60s youth-oriented movies like The Love Bug and That Darn Cat — to play a grandfather in Saved By the Bell Hawaiian Style, the TV-movie adaptation of its Saturday-morning kid show, Saved By the Bell. NBC has big hopes for the movie. Not only is it set for a Sunday night, when viewership is highest, it’s scheduled during November sweeps, clearly a ringing endorsement.
U2 CAN BE A LANDLORD: On the heels of Achtung Baby, Bono and his band are invading new territory-real estate. The group has bought the Clarence Hotel near Dublin’s tony Temple Bar section. Plans for the building are up in the air, but guitarist The Edge hopes to turn the hotel’s parking garage into Ireland’s hippest watering hole.
STRAW MEN: Forget Gallup — if you want to know who’s going to be Prez, just consult the Straw Vote of General Cinemas. Every time you order a drink at one of the 275 GC theaters, you choose a Bush straw, a Clinton straw, or a plain, undecided straw. Sippers have been predicting Presidents since 1968. ”We’ve never been wrong,” says GC’s Mark Mazrimas. ”Usually we’re within a few percentage points of the actual vote.” A recent count had Democrats leading 54.6 percent to the Republicans’ 45.4 percent.
GERE SHIFT: Playing a manic-depressive in love with therapist Lena Olin, Richard Gere has been getting rave preview reviews for Mr. Jones. But the rest of us will have to wait. TriStar has bumped the movie’s October release to April so that the pair’s final scene — a heart-to-heart on a cliff — can be reshot. As a result, Warner Bros. will probably have to move its Gere movie, Sommersby. Costarring Jodie Foster, the remake of the French hit The Return of Martin Guerre was due in spring ’93. Warner now might have to accelerate or postpone Sommersby to avoid colliding with Jones.
–Nancy Mills, Alan Carter, Harold Goldberg, Cindy Pearlman, Jeffrey Wells