Comings, goings and near-goings in TV land. . . .

COMING: Ron Reagan Jr., the 27-year-old son of President Reagan, has signed a contract with ABC to work as a reporter for the network's entertainment division.

ABC said that Reagan, a former ballet dancer who has authored articles for several national magazines and has worked as a film critic on a radio network, will be involved "with a variety of entertainment programs and various services within ABC Entertainment." No specific assignments were disclosed, however.

The affiliation with the entertainment division means Reagan apparently will be free to work on such programs as "Good Morning America" but not on programs produced by the news division, such as "20/20."

Terms of the agreement were not announced.

GOING: Marlin Perkins, guide to Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" for more than two decades, is stepping down as host of the weekly half-hour television program, a Mutual of Omaha executive said.

Perkins, 80, is leaving the show immediately because of his age and his battle with cancer, said Len Tondl, a vice president at Mutual of Omaha.

The program, the longest-running wildlife show on television, opens its 24th season in September. Jim Fowler, co-host of "Wild Kingdom" for many years, will become host, said Tondl.

Perkins, who lives in suburban St. Louis, has spent much of the last year undergoing chemical and radiation treatment in his fight against cancer.

COMING: First Mary Tyler Moore said she would be returning to series TV next season in a situation comedy. Now Valerie Harper, who co-starred on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and then went on to her own series, "Rhoda," says she'll be back too.

Harper will star in "Valerie," a midseason comedy for NBC. The network said that she will play a mother who shoulders much of the responsibility for raising her three sons because her husband is an international airline pilot who is often away from home.

Jason Bateman, who starred in his own series last season, "It's Your Move," will portray the oldest of Harper's children.

NOT GOING: Forget "San Diego Vice."

A labor dispute that created worries that NBC's popular "Miami Vice" series would move to California has ended, so Universal television will continue filming in southern Florida, according to a labor official.

Mike McCarthy, an agent for Local 544 of the Miami Stage and Film Technicians, said that a planned strike by drivers of the show's production trucks had been averted.

Producers had threatened to move if a strike was ordered, and an official with the San Diego Film Bureau said that "Miami Vice" was scouting in his city.

"Everything is nice and peaceful," McCarthy said.

COMING: Linda Alvarez, an anchor and producer at KPNX-TV in Phoenix, has been named co-anchor of the weekend newscasts at KNBC Channel 4.

She will join the station Aug. 7 to work the Saturday- and Sunday-night news programs with Bill Lagattuta. Frank Cruz, who had been co-anchoring the broadcasts, will continue with KNBC as a reporter and backup anchor, a station spokeswoman said.

Alvarez, an L. A. native who earned a bachelor of arts degree at UCLA, worked at KNBC in 1977 as host of "The Saturday Show." She joined KPNX that year and has been there ever since, anchoring three newscasts a day and serving as executive producer of the station's documentary unit.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World