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Rhoda will marry next-TV seasori By Lawrence Laurent Thf Wtuhington foil A "spin-off" is the term used in the television business to perpetuate a successful production company. The character, usually a Support- / ing actor or "second banana," who has been around for several years;- emerges with his or her own television series. Where; the production company had only one show, it nqw^has two. After that, if the ratings continue to be high! the successful program'can once again split itself like an amoeba, and there's no end to the whole process. Tandem Productions, headed by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, is the current top model for making many . shows from one. They start- TM ed with "All in the Family," and from that series came "Maude." The popularity of Maude's maid led in turn to the creation of "Good Times." Most people have forgotten that the two Los Angeles policemen in "Adam-12" were first introduced in an episode of "Dragnet." Even earlier, Andy Griffith gave up being sheriff of Mayberry. N. C., but not before he had prepared the way for Ken Berry to take over as a city councilman in "Mayberry, R. F. D." For at least the past two seasons the success of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" has led to speculation that at least one of : the supporting characters would emerge with a new series. The talk most often centered on the strong possibility that Ted Baxter, television's densest newsman, would get a shot at going alone. Actor Ted Knight plays Baxter. The-first spinoff from the show, however, won't be Ted. It will be "Rhoda," which will arrive in September, Monday nights (CBS). This scheduling is made necessary by the retirement from weekly production of Lucille Ball, and by the lamentable f a i l u r e of the "New Dick Van Dyke Show." Â· CBS-TV, which has had a strong Monday night schedule since the early 1950s, will continue to lead off the evening with "Gunsmoke," which will be starting its 20th year of prime-time exhibition. In the slot left vacant by Lucille Ball's retirement will.go ""Maude/' featuring more of the misguided liberalism of actress Bea Arthur, This shift'from Tuesday to Monday should help "Maude," which suffered during the "second season" from the new ABC-TV competition of "Happy Days." The new "Rhoda" show will follow "Maude," with the slipping "Medical Center" probably having its final season in the subsequent one-hour period. "Rhoda;" for the' benefit of those who have been spending Saturday nights gazing at the moon, is Rhoda ^Morgenstern, a tenant in the Minneapolis Victorian house where Mary lives. She has been the man-hungry woman with indifferent career-success, and a participant with Ms. Moore in some of the most deft comedy scenes that TV has provided in recent seasons. Valerie Harper, who plays Rhoda, won two Emmy Awards in a row for the role. With becoming modesty, Valerie has declared: "I honestly feel any actress could win an Emmy with a part like Rhoda. I mean, it's ;, ; all there on paper. All I have to do is play her. And that's easy for me, because Rhoda is a composite of a lot of girls I knew in New York. I play her 'regional' rather than 'ethnic, because I know a lot of non-Jewish Rhodas. Having established the character, having placed her as a working, unmarried woman in the upper Midwest, what do you suppose is being planned for the "Rhoda" series? Well, for openers, forget all the familiar details that led to success. CBS is going to move Rhoda from Minneapolis to New York! Then, bachelor woman Rhoda is going to meet and marry a man. He is the father of a young child. All of which makes one wonder just why anyone bothered to retain the character of Rhoda, since her whole character and background is being changed. The series was sold without a "pilot" episode, which means that no one. has yet been able to guess just how well Rhoda will play without the good, straight lines provided by Mary Tyler Moore. . As noted in a recent issue of Television-Radio Age Magazine: "The history of second bananas spun off to try their own shows is not good. They're rarely strong enough to carry it off by themr selves." But in the same magazine is the reasoning of pairing "Maude" and "Rhoda" against the tough competition provided by ABC-TV "NFL Monday Night Football" and NBC-TV's "Monday Night at the Movies." The reasoning is that the two situation comedies "make Monday a strong adult night for CBS." Valerie Harper has said more than once: "I can honestly say I have never really had that all-consuming drive to be a big 'star.' I like acting because, to me, it's fun -- a turn-on. I'm miserable when I'm working at something I hate.'' "Rhoda" shouldn't be miserable this year. 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