February 6, 1992 |
Let's be honest. Who among us has never harbored a desire to hurl a watermelon to the sidewalk from five flights up? Or maybe you've always wanted to tell your boss off in public. Or just wanted to ask Nastassja Kinski: "What's going on with your hair, exactly?" - but never had the chance. For 10 years, you've lived vicariously through David Letterman, who does it all on national TV. Highlights of the past decade of Letterman-style fantasy fulfillment will be included in the "Late Night with David Letterman 10th Anniversary Special," which airs at 9:30 tonight on Channel 3. Letterman's - oh, hell, everyone calls him Dave - Dave's show, once the naughty little brother of Johnny Carson's landmark "Tonight" show, has gathered an air of respectability in recent years.
January 11, 1992 |
In an unexpected shakeup of its two most critically acclaimed series, NBC is clipping the wings of I'll Fly Away and sentencing Law & Order to the death slot against ABC's top-rated Roseanne. The moves affect the Tuesday and Friday lineups. Sam Waterston's 8 p.m. Fly Away is on hiatus for six weeks. To fill the gap, In the Heat of the Night and Law & Order, normally seen at 9 and 10, respectively, will both move up an hour. Reasonable Doubts, with Marlee Matlin and Mark Harmon, now in the 10 p.m. Friday slot, will relocate to 10 p.m. Tuesdays from Feb. 4 through March 24. (News specials are scheduled for the next few weeks.
July 30, 1991 |
Producer Norman Lear is going illegitimate with NBC. After his Sunday Dinner bombed with CBS, Lear will create Love Child, an NBC sitcom starring Dynasty veteran John Forsythe as a prominent U.S. senator whose life does a 180 when his adult illegitimate daughter introduces herself to him. No casting yet for the daughter. Lear, whose hits began with CBS's All in the Family, will serve as exec producer for Love. It's his first creative involvement in an NBC series. (He had a financial interest in NBC's Diff'rent Strokes and Facts of Life.
June 7, 1991 |
As a reward for more than three years of exemplary service, good soldier Jay Leno will replace Johnny Carson as host of "The Tonight Show" when Carson retires in May, NBC announced yesterday. Carson, who fine-tuned "Tonight" over 30 years into the model for all late-night talk shows, gave comedian Leno a trial run on the job by naming him his "permanent guest host" in September 1987. Since then, Leno's hosted the show every Tuesday night and during Carson's 15 weeks of vacation a year.
January 9, 1991 |
NBC, in what one of its top executives calls a "rebuilding stage," will play the winter-spring substitution game conservatively, launching only four entertainment series during the second half of the 1990-91 television season. They include a family sitcom, a jazzed-up remake of the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows, a weekly drama in the mold of thirtysomething and a comedy- variety show about TV. In addition, the network has scheduled a half-hour investigative-news series. "We didn't want to go crazy mid-season . . . with a lot of change," Warren Littlefield, president of NBC Entertainment, told writers assembled here for the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour.
January 8, 1991 |
Most of the excitement on NBC this spring will come from the network's news division, which is adding several new and almost-new programs to the network lineup. Two, "Real Life with Jane Pauley" and "Expose," took their places in the prime-time schedule on Sunday night. A new daily daytime program, "A Closer Look," begins Jan. 28. NBC unveiled just a handful of new prime-time drama or comedy series for the spring: "Blossom," which debuted last week; "Dark Shadows," premiering with a miniseries next weekend; and "Sisters," for which no air date has been chosen.
September 10, 1990 |
So here's this overgrown kid, all sprawled legs and arms, seeming to fill every corner of the tiny NBC office. Electric green-and-white tank top, big shorts, Air Jordans, baseball cap cocked at a goofy angle, a gold chain around his neck that says "Fresh Prince. " This is Will Smith. This is the guy who's single-handedly going to guarantee success for the network this fall? You'd better believe it. "It's real easy to look at Will as Silly Willy," says Susan Borowitz, one of the co-writers of his series, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, which premieres at 8 tonight on Channel 3. Smith is only 21, and until now has worked only as a rap singer, though a very successful one, as half of D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
January 12, 1988 |
Now that we've gotten the first few kinks out of the latest TV season, let's take a look at the next series of adjustments being planned by NBC, as announced at the current network press sessions out here. Ben Vereen is joining Stephen J. Cannell's "J.J. Starbuck" on Feb. 20 as Tenspeed Turner, the character he created back in 1980 for Cannell's short- lived - but fondly remembered - detective comedy, "Tenspeed and Brown Shoe. " "Jim Henson Presents," a weekly prime-time series for "all-family viewing," will join the NBC lineup in mid-1988-89.
July 15, 1986 |
Cagney & Lacey, meet Remington Steele. In an unusual about-face, NBC yesterday announced that Remington Steele, the detective series it canceled in May, would be coming back next season. CBS pulled a similar maneuver several years ago with cop show Cagney & Lacey. Steele, starring smoothie Pierce Brosnan, Stephanie Zimbalist and Doris Roberts, will go back into production later this summer. According to an NBC spokeswoman, it will return to the network lineup in November with a two-hour episode.
February 14, 1986 |
Nona Hendryx may be small in size (5-foot-4), but when it comes to voicing her opinion on subjects such as freedom, poverty and hunger, her intensity makes her appear much taller. Hendryx has been nominated for a Grammy award (the ceremony is to be televised Feb. 25 on Channel 10) for her hit single "Rock This House," and was heavily involved in the recording end of "Sun City," the album that, through song, calls for a change in the racist policies of South Africa. Hendryx, formerly part of the group "LaBelle," which featured Patti LaBelle as lead singer, says her involvement with the Sun City album was a labor of love.