David Bock

Patrick Duffy's return to ''Dallas''

Was it a prime-time night of the living dead? Or just a case of mistaken identity? Daytime soap operas had brought characters back to life for years, but when loyal viewers heard in the spring of ‘86 that Patrick Duffy would be returning to Dallas, they wondered how the show would pull it off. After all, his character, Bobby Ewing, had been killed with such finality in a car crash the previous season that the prospect of his returning to the sixth-place series seemed laughable. Speculation was rampant: Would he be a long-lost brother or an evil impostor? Or neither?

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Geraldo Rivera's failure launches his career

When Geraldo Rivera cracked open Al Ca-pone’s secret vault on live TV on April 27, 1986, America didn’t know what to expect. Big Al’s best silk boxers? His favorite baseball bat? An Eliot Ness dartboard? Anticipation was high, and Rivera, already renowned for theatrics as an ABC news reporter, played to the audience with trademark skill.

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Barbara Steisand says no to pay-per-view

Money isn’t everything to Barbra Streisand. The diva’s decision to nix plans for a live pay-per-view broadcast of her New Year’s Eve show from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand hotel means her paycheck will be a lot less than the $20 million originally reported. Roughly $12 million of Streisand’s earnings for the two-night event — her first paid public concert in 27 years — was to come from PPV (with ticket sales and an undisclosed seven-figure fee from the hotel itself generating the remainder).

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'Saturday Night Fever' spreads to the masses

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been dethroned. The cult movie of the ’90s is…Saturday Night Fever? At least at Laemmle’s Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles, where twentysomethings turn up for Saturday’s midnight show to shout dialogue (”Attica! Attica!”), lambaste Donna Pescow with catcalls, and boogie a la John Travolta. ”People think everything from the ’70s was crap, but this is a great film,” says Feverphile Joe Moore, 21. ”It captured that period and preserved it.”

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Ray Bradbury: Sci-fi man

Forty years ago this week, Ray Bradbury published Fahrenheit 451, the anticensorship fable he wrote in nine days flat. It depicts a future world in which books are torched because they give citizens dangerous ideas. (Four-hundred fifty-one is supposedly the temperature at which paper ignites.) ”My book is used as a club to beat back any possible repressions,” says Bradbury, 73.

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