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Newsday (Suffolk Edition) from Melville, New York • 193

Melville, New York
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2961 804 TELE I THE MARVIN KITMAN SHOW A 'Different' Sort of SpinFrom 'Cosby' I the been HAVE spin-off secretly A from watching CONFESSION "The "A Cosby to Different Show" make. on I World," NBC have Thursdays at 8:30 and enjoying it. I feel like a traitor. All the hip people I know want it to fail. Everybody is turning against Bill Cosby these days.

He has too much money. The system of programing whereby a "Cosby" show leads to a spin-off, or an hour of "Cosby," is called "synergy" or what the critics call "greed." It's based on two ancient principles: 1) what worked once will work twice, and 2) what worked in a half-hour will work in an hour. Brandon Tar- tikoff learned NBC, Freddie one-two punch ley" from "Happy Executive Producer these basics from his mentor at Silverman, who discovered the spinning off "Laverne and ShirDays" at ABC in the 1970s. Tartikoff told me he was kind of ashamed when he got the idea last year. (It came to him when he was walking past the U.S.

Mint one day.) "If you see a million dollars lying in the he said, "don't you pick it up?" "A Different World," starring Lisa Bonet, is like a disease that could spread farther on the wonderful NBC schedule. Why not a Sondra Huxtable (Sabrina LeBeauf) show? And the other "Cosby" kids? When is enough enough? There is no reason why they couldn't fill up all Thursday night. But there I go being a worry wart again. "A Different World" is the story of Denise Huxtable, the prima donna of the Cosby kids, trying to make it on her own. She is trying to get her act together at college.

She is growing up away from home. Those mavens of good taste, Howard Stern and Robin Quivers of K-Rock (WXRK) radio, hated last week's second episode. Denise had a crisis. A check has bounced. She was overdrawn at the bank.

She was afraid to tell her father. It was the end of the world. I realize this may seem like nothing compared to her getting braces on her teeth in the first season of "Cosby" or the time her sister swiped her sweaters, or when she claimed to have slept with her boyfriend. And may have been only teasing. The critics argue that an unbalanced check book is a silly thing to have as a conflict in a In 'A Different World' with Lisa Bonet, center, are Marisa Tomel, left and Dawnn Lewis COLIS ALLAMAy ME CAB sitcom by the Cosby organization, already under attack for being unreal in "The Cosby Show." The fact is everybody is becoming like the families on TV.

If people in general aren't like the Huxtables, they will be soon. Whatever they say or do on TV is becoming reality. I don't happen to think reality is the proper criterion for judging sitcoms. Humor should be. "A Different World" can be amusing.

Anyway, I know girls like Denise. One of them is in my own house. If only I were a doctor who made $80 million a year I'd think it was funny, too. The show isn't as original in concept as, say, "My Two Dads" on NBC or "A Full House" on ABC. It won't win any creative writing prizes.

The supporting cast isn't "Saturday Night Live" either. Denise's roommate, the older, divorced girl, Jaleesa, played by Dawnn Lewis, is just okay 80 far. The new token white girl, Maggie (Marisa Tomei), who moved in last week, is a step toward equal rights, sitcomwise, and has some promise as the room's kookie clock. The scripts make all the good points human beings and human values, material things vs. what's important that you'd expect from anything with Dr.

William H. Cosby Ed. as "consultant." And I've never disagreed with anything he stands for yet. But what makes the show work is Lisa Bonet. I really like her.

She is not exactly Whoopi Goldberg or a big comedienne-comedienne like Elayne Boosler or Madeline Kahn. But she has a deceptively different style of comedy. Denise, of course, is a cliched role, but she plays it like a jazz piano. She is above and below the melody line. So she is always slightly off what you expect from a prosaic role such as this.

She slips and sashays around as she toys with the -Continued on Page 27 NBC Correspondents Seek End to Strike ington yesterday between representatives of By Kevin Goldman NBC, NABET and the Federal Mediation and BC NEWS correspondents, including Conciliation Service. It was the first meeting chor John Tom Chancellor, Brokaw yesterday and sent commentator a letter an- The since talks Sept. will 22 when resume talks today. collapsed after one day. to NBC president Robert C.

Wright urging the The letter, drafted Tuesday and delivered to Wright's office yesterday, said that because of the company to "redouble" its efforts to end the 15- strike, "there is an ebbing of the spirit" at the week strike by the National Association of BroadEmployees and Technicians. network. That strike. spirit, "The the letter said, is was becast "sapped" by the atmosphere The letter, signed by correspondents such as coming increasingly bitter," the letter said, "inConnie Chung, Chris Wallace, Bob Jamieson and creasingly painful to those on the picket line and John Hart, is the first time that on-air reporters to their friends who are not on strike." have formally expressed concern about the strike The correspondents said they urged NABET to by NABET, the union representing technicians, be "realistic" in its negotiations. The main issue news producers, writers and graphic artists, is job security.One correspondent said the letter which began June 29.

was written because "we'll have to work with The correspondents have been absent from the NABET once the strike is over." picket lines, unlike last winter when CBS and Wright was out of town yesterday and had not ABC correspondents, such as anchors Dan Rather seen the letter. M. S. Rukeyser NBC execuand Peter Jennings, publicly supported the strik- tive vice president of corporate communications, ing members of the Writers Guild of America. said the company "hoped the talks could lead to a Separately, negotiations reconvened in Wash- settlement." LO TV SPOTS By Ben Kubasik 'Once a Hero' Out, 'Sable' In ABC's Saturday night "Once a Hero," about a comic book super-hero who comes alive to find life isn't like the funny papers, had an even harder time coping with network TV scheduling realities.

With its second outing last week, "Once a Hero" finished 74th of 74 shows with a minuscule 4.6 rating and was sent packing. It will be replaced Nov. 7, with "Sable" in which Lewis Van Bergen is a mystery man who leads two lives, as an author of children's stories and as a man of action who helps others. Sounds real different. Lorne Michaels on 1987-88 'SNL' "We want to do 'Saturday Night Live' from Moscow this winter it's time their censors met ours," "SNL" executive producer Lorne Micahels said yesterday as he and the show's cast came together live at NBC's Studio 8-H.

Michaels also hopes to do shows this season with the Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls. "I always wanted, too, for Richard Nixon to host an 'SNL' to show another side to him." Why hasn't Nixon accepted? "Probably common sense." Besides Steve Martin and Sting on the Oct. 17 premiere, Michaels has Sean Penn as host Oct. 24 and Dabney Coleman and Elvira on Halloween. "What people missed after our early years," Michaels told me afterward, referring to when he wasn't in charge, "was moral outrage at the heart of what we did.

The show became outrageous without a basis in reality. it was foolishness. Anger builds up in a given week about what's going on, and we have to define it or hit it head on. The hardest part this past year was getting our 18-to-45-yearold viewers back. We're doing 'Frank's Place' Goes Topical It's a coincidence, but the U.S.

Supreme Court's decision to hear a case on membership bias in private clubs came as CBS scheduled an episode of "Frank's Place" for this Monday (8 p.m.) on which star Tim Reid gets an invitation to Tim Reid attend The Capital an upper-crust New Orleans club. Reid finds out the reason he got invited is to test an existing color barrier. TV Excellence Saluted Tonight Channels Magazine will be hapding out its excellence awards tonight at the Yale Club, with producer Nomran Lear, Channels owner, hosting. Among the honorees: "Hallmark Hall of Fame," Public TV's "Eyes on the Prize" and its producer Henry Hampton, The Disney Channel, Cable News Network, and Bruce Paltrow, executive producer of "St. U.S.-Soviet Human Rights To Be Debated Wednesday's ABC News special live 90- minute "Capitol to Capitol," preempting "Nightline," will have Sen.

Patrick Moynihan as one of the U.S. guests in Washington debating Soviet counterparts in Moscow. The subject: human rights. Expect anchor Peter Jennings to have his hands full as the U.S. participants go after Soviet policies on gulags, Soviet Jewry, refusniks, psychiatric detainees, political prisoners, and dissidents even as Soviet officials charge the U.S.

with racism, homelessness, and unemployment. As with last month's first "Capitol to Capitol," next week's will will be seen live in the Soviet Union Thursday at 7:30 a.m., Moscow time, and repeated there that night..

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