This season’s biggest prime-time trend, the musical series, is turning out to be its briefest: NBC’s Fame rehash, Hull High, has been canceled after just four episodes, and executives at ABC reportedly have asked producer Steven Bochco to consider dropping the musical numbers from the drama Cop Rock, which has been stung by rock-bottom ratings. Although the ambitious series is thought to be hanging by a thread, Bochco says the songs will stay.
William Hurt has signed up to work again with Randa Haines, his director on Children of a Lesser God. The two will make The Doctor, in which Hurt plays a heart surgeon stricken with cancer. …Dick Tracy, the movie Disney was counting on to become last summer’s Batman, cost the company over $101 million in negative and distribution costs — leaving Disney $57 million in the hole.
The craze for boxed sets shows no sign of peaking: Multi-disc compilations are in the works from Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Brown, Barbra Streisand, the Doors, Aerosmith, and — possibly — Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Most of the record industry has reacted meekly to increased attempts to put warning stickers on albums or to censor music. But not Priority Records, which will release Explicit Rap early next month. The 10-song collection, including ”Me So Horny” by 2 Live Crew, is ”our way of flipping a finger at the whole idea of censorship,” says Bryan Turner, president of Priority. ”You should be allowed to use your imagination and creativity without restrictions.” Part of the album proceeds will go to a coalition fighting attempts to suppress pop music. — Melina Gerosa, Ron Givens, David Browne, and Mark Harris