"No, this was very much destiny at my own hands," he said. "This has been something I've been thinking about for a while - that it's time to move on."
LeMasters said he planned to take some time off before jumping back in the biz - as a producer.
Meanwhile, Tri-Star Pictures' Jeff Sagansky, everybody's bet as LeMasters' replacement, told the Times that he would not take the job.
THE '80S IN A NUTSHELL. Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley will anchor The Eighties, an NBC News prime-time retrospective to air at 10 p.m. Dec. 27. The show, which will examine a slew of social, political and economic changes that have "reshaped mankind's fundamental perspective of the world" (so says NBC, anyhow), is set to begin with the big news of the day - the crumbling of the communist bloc. Other highlights, says the network, will include the "pretty big one" in San Francisco, the very big Wall Street crash of '87, AIDS and crack.
ANYTHING BUT SEX. The relationship between Marty and Hannah - Richard Lewis and Jamie Lee Curtis, that is - on ABC's Anything but Love will remain strictly a platonic one, for the rest of this season anyway. With production just beginning on the last third of the series' 1989-90 episodes, executive producer Peter Noah has told columnist Marilyn Beck that "there are still many benefits to be derived from maintaining a relationship between their characters in which there is clearly no sexual component. . . . There's a lot of affection between them, but they're at an age where they've each had a number of relationships and realize that physical involvement can be fleeting."
SHORT STUFF. Debbye Turner, veterinary student and the reigning Miss America, will co-host Monday's Evening Magazine on Channel 3 (7:30 p.m.) with the mustachioed Ray Murray. . . . Singer Natalie Cole is set to host a new Star Search-type weekly music show, Big Break, to be syndicated for a debut in September. The amateurs on the show will compete in five categories: soloist, group, children, rap and variety. Studio audiences will choose overall winners (or winners in overalls). . . . Look for Little Roseanne, a Saturday- morning cartoon based on ABC's big Roseanne Barr sitcom. The animated Roseanne will be reduced to a kidnik version of the whiny, temperamental TV- housewife in the 'toon, being readied for the 1990-91 season. . . . Sexagenarian TV host-entrepreneur Dick Clark (his 60th birthday was Thursday) has landed two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees for his end-of- the-decade New Year's Eve special on ABC: The Temptations and Dion have signed on for the traditional ring-out-the-old, ring-in-the-new fest. Other guests for the Times Square countdown include Michael Damian, Expose, Martika and Stephanie Mills.
AWARDS CENTRAL. Star Trek: The Next Generation has been selected as the best television program by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, a group based in Hollywood. The Fox TV show's star, Patrick Stewart, was named best television actor. Linda Hamilton, of (or is it late of?) CBS's Beauty and the Beast, was named best actress. . . . And Angela Lansbury, of CBS's Murder, She Wrote , has been named 1989 winner of the Louella O. Parsons Award of the Hollywood Women's Press Club - for presenting a positive image of Tinseltown to the world. She will receive the award at the group's 49th Golden Apple Awards chow-down, set for Dec. 10.
QUANTITY TIME. Aaron Spelling, it has been noted in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records, is the most prolific producer in the history of television. To date, the stellar TV exec has been responsible for 1,770 episodes of such top-drawer fare as Charlie's Angels and The Love Boat, which amounts to a lot of time that you could have spent reading a book.