Daily News from New York, New York on May 19, 1993 · 75
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Daily News from New York, New York · 75

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New York, New York
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Wednesday, May 19, 1993
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75
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3j Ex 01 'Human' Bean Counter NBC President Robert C. Wright took some razzing from BUI Cosby (photo) yesterday. Making an " appearance before the net work's affiliates gathered in Orlando, Fla., Cosby jibed Wright about his financial background. (Wright worked with NBC parent General Electric before taking over the network.) "Bob Wright may have been a bean counter, but ladies and gentlemen, he's been taught," Cosby . said. "You're looking at a bean counter who's a human being." Cosby, one of the network's all-time big stars, h told the affiliates, "I'm in volved with this peacock, and I want to see this peacock 'fly again." Richard Huff A : Soap Stars Explain Health Care 'fcES News economics and business correspondent Robert Krulwich will try a new approach to explaining president Clinton's proposed health care plan on "CBS This Morning," next Monday-Wednesday. Krulwich, best known for using visual aids to explain technical financial stories, will have soap stars act out "My ,Turn to Live," a three-installment explanation of the plan. CBS will devote 10 minutes a day to the topic, and spromises cameos by other CBS News personnel. Cast-4ng for the coveted roles is taking place now. R.H. Something Old, Something New . . ,.-.voi. ... t ' "I 'S - $ U ;i Fox has renewed its hit If r ... V,' fc. J of Brisco County Jr.," a venture series. series "Married . . . With Children" for two years, making it the only program from the network's onginal schedule to continue. The show debuted, along with Fox, in 19S7, when the only nights programed were Saturday and Sunday. "Married" was Fox' second -highest rated series last season, behind the "The Simpsons." For the fall, Fox has picked up "My Girls," a sitcom starring rapper Queen Latifah (photo) about three women living together, and "The Adventures tongue-in-cheek Westemad-- R.H. Silver Screen in Nick's Future Twentieth Century Fox and cable's Nickelodeon announced yesterday they have entered into a two-year deal to develop and produce theatrical motion pictures. Said Nick president Geraldine Laybourne of the kiddie channel's first venture into theatrical film making: "American movie theaters today don't have enough to offer kids and their parents. Our mission is to create family movie-going experiences where kids will feel comfortable bnnging their parents." - Jeff Wei ngrad Coming Attractions The fall roster of stars for ABC's made-for-TV movie and miniseries includes Sissy Spacek, Victoria Principal, Mel Harris ("thirtysomething"), Craig T. Nelson ("Coach") and Donna Mi!ls ("Knots Landing"). Also on the schedule: three more "Columbo" flicks, and a Halloween special staring "Full House" twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Oisen. The miniseries will include "Heaven and Hell North and South, Book III," John Jakes' latest Civil War saga; "JFK: Reckless Youth" based on the book by Nigel Hamilton, and Stephen King's "The Stand." - R.H. Dot's All . . . Tonight's "Beverly Hills, 90210" season finale is the graduation episode, starting at 8 and running till 10. . . . WNBC sportscaster and WFAN radio commentator Len Berman discusses job opportunities in TV and radio sportscasting tonight at The Learning Annex, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Pre-registration required: (212-570-6500) . . . Lome Michaels, producer of SNL and the new late-night show starring Conan O'Brien, has sjgned a four-year deal with NBC. ', j '- R.H. radymaiiia': Insanely bad Special is actually among the worst of the bunch ' N MOST CASES, I'm a big champi on or the preservation, apprecia-, tion and analysis of popular TV pro- . grams. But there are exceptions, and "The Brady Bunch" which seems to resurface as often as Richard Nixon is one of them. The Nixon comparison is by no means a casual one. The original incarnation of "The Brady Bunch" was launched in 1969, the same year Nixon took office, and was canceled in 1974, the same year Nixon resigned. When the Bradys returned in 1977, as the stars of the comedy-variety series "The Brady Bunch Hour," Nixon came out of his self-imposed hibernation as well, and sat still for a series of nationally televised interviews with David Frost later that year. It's not especially surprising, therefore, that on the same week new audiotapes from Nixon's Watergate years are released for public consumption, a new ABC special built around old "Brady Bunch" tapes is released, too. Hosted by Florence Henderson, the one and only Carol Brady, tonight's one-hour special (8 p.m., Ch. 7) is called "Bradymania: A Very Brady Special," a title intended to evoke memories of the group's 1988 holiday telemovie, "A Very Brady Christmas." Never mind that "A Very Brady Christmas" stands, even to this day, as the worst telemovie ever made worse, even, than "Side By Side: The True Story of the Osmond Family" and "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilli-gan's Island." What this special tries to do is sprinkle around the word "phenomenon at every opportunity, and show some of the ways in which, for whatever reasons, "The Brady Bunch" has lived on. If you call that living: It lives on as a trivia category on MTV's "Remote Control"; as a derisive lyric in a Will Smith rap song; as the Off-Broadway stage show re-creating old sitcom episodes verbatim, and as a series of skits on the current incarnation of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" wherein the impersonation of Jan Brady, in particular, is so bad that it becomes a "phenomenon" of its own. Call it "Talentless: The Next Generation." If there's any reason at all to watch "Brady-mania," written by Allen Rucker and directed by executive producer Malcolm Leo, it's to catch those garishly colorful excerpts from the "Brady" variety show. Not even the Care Bears sported that many shades of pastel. There's nothing in "Bradymania" that looks at HAPPY CAST: Members of the original ' way from 1969 to 1974. Brady Bunch" smiled their DAVID BIANCULU the original show and its cast even remotely objectively and, needless to say, there's no mention of Robert Reed's publicly hidden homosexuality or Henderson's on-the-set infatuation with one of her young co-stars. Although, come to think of it, Henderson does look at old clips of Barry Williams as Greg Brady and say, "He IS cute, isn't he?" Williams and the other surviving Brady actors are relegated to the final minutes of the special, when they're seen in interview clips that last about two sentences each. Henderson, as the key link in this chain of fools, provides all the narration, as well as what passes for introspection and what might be called retrospection. "You'd get laughed off TV today," she says straight-faced at one point, "if you made a whole show about sneaking a goat in your bedroom." (Ah, for the good old days.) Nostalgia doesn't seem to serve a point when the object of the presumed affection isn't worth remembering. This is driven home especially hard when the special contrasts old "Brady Bunch" scenes with similar plot points on "The Cosby Show," "Family Ties" and "Roseanne," all of which look infinitely superior by comparison. I realize that, to the generation after mine, "The Brady Bunch" fulfilled the same function as "Leave It to Beaver," just as "Full House" fulfills it now. But "Leave It to Beaver," unlike those shows, is genuinely funny. "The Brady Bunch" deserves not canonization, but extermination. II may vmh q Live at Fsue By RICHARD HUFF Da'ly News Staf Writer RLANDO, Fla. - "Live at Five," a daily interview-news program that was once a staple on WNBCCh. 4. may be making a comeback. Launched in the early '80s, the hour-long mix of entertainment and information rapidly became a dominant program in the marketplace, providing a much-needed evening outlet for celebrities and authors looking to pitch their latest works. But WNBC replaced the show with a traditional newscast a few years ago. Now, sources say, station programers are revisiting the "Live at Five" format and could incorporate a new fuy-length version of the show in the coining nioilthsA Others speculate -that I " 8 -J i -( C: Matt Lauer, co-anchor of the station's early-morning news program "Today in New York," will be elevated to the "Live" seat alongside Sue Simmons when the new format debuts. Bill Bolster, WNBC president and general manager, yesterday confirmed that the station was looking at the current 5 p.m. program, but said it was premature to commit to any format or launch date. Bolster, in town for the network's annual meeting, declined to discuss specifics. The decision to alter the format of its 5 p.m. news show may help WNBC loosen up an extremely tight ratings battle with WCBS'Ch. 2 for that time period. WABCCh. 7 dominates the time period, though WCBS and WNBC run neck-and-neck for second among the news shows. By changing the format VC,u,d,Jujreifans,of-the celebrity talk shows! i 1 1 r a Z m a. CO ( feu . , iji m m3 i are aasKn i m ft s 5 IS Kr a W Si Sti is 43 Si UtSiCS 2 IZ "ii .tj "Jv Li &t i-i 52 -

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