The latest television news for the week of July 20, 1990
Stop Us If You’ve Heard This One
Showtime is looking for a few cheap laughs. This month the cable network is crisscrossing the country, videotaping ordinary folk as they tell their favorite dirty jokes. The results will be edited into a series of 15-minute segments called Jokes — an adult version of America’s Funniest Home Videos — slated for debut in August. ”We want to raise toilet humor to an art form,” executive producer Neal Marshall explains. ”We won’t run anything offensive — no racist jokes — but we will be X-rated.”
Will Dallas Hit the Trail?
According to Cathy Podewell, the actress who plays J.R.’s young wife on Dallas, next season probably will be the last for the 12-year-old series. ”Dallas just isn’t fashionable anymore,” she says. ”People aren’t as interested in money and power as they were in the 1980s. Everyone on the set is pretty much resigned to the fact that it’s over.” Almost everyone: The show’s producers insist that Dallas still has a few good years left, and they’re planning a series of special guest appearances to bolster the ratings. This fall, for instance, All My Children star Susan Lucci will temporarily join the cast as a mysterious widow who has designs on Bobby Ewing. Later in the season, Barbara Eden will appear in several episodes, playing a wealthy businesswoman trying to buy Ewing Oil. It will be the first time that Eden and Larry Hagman have acted together since I Dream of Jeannie went off the air in 1970.
Madonna’s feet are the subject of a multimillion-dollar controversy. According to the trade newspaper Advertising Age, Reebok is offering the Material Girl $6 million-plus to plug its shoes. At the same time, Madonna is saying that Nike owes her $4.25 million for an unfulfilled endorsement contract she claims to have signed last fall; Nike insists it doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, over at Calvin Klein, word is that ad execs are trying to convince Twin Peaks creator David Lynch to direct the company’s fragrance commercials. Lynch has directed ads before: a French TV spot for Opium perfume and an American anti-litter public service ad, which featured a typically Lynch-esque abundance of rodents.
The Fall Shuffle
New on CBS’ fall schedule: a sitcom starring live-in couple Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett. O’Neal hasn’t appeared in a TV show since 1969, when Peyton Place was canceled; Fawcett hasn’t done a series since leaving Charlie’s Angels in 1977, returning to television only for occasional movie roles (such as the acclaimed The Burning Bed in 1984). No plot details yet. Meanwhile, in the world of syndicated TV, Grammy-winner David Sanborn’s weekly musical show, Night Music (which has showcased such talents as Miles Davis, Sting, and Eric Clapton), will return this fall for its third season, and Fox’s canceled 21 Jump Street has been given a second chance: The show is set to return, without Johnny Depp (who is pursuing a movie career), as a first-run syndicated series in the fall, according to its producers, Stephen J. Cannell Productions. NBC’s canceled Baywatch also has been given a reprieve — the USA cable network reportedly has sealed an agreement to produce 26 new episodes of the lifeguard drama.