Film buffs may find special pleasure in a 1971 episode of “Columbo” airing on “The CBS Late Movie” Thursday at 11:30 p.m. It was directed by Steven Spielberg, who later went on to direct “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” TV buffs also should take note: The program was written by Steven Bochco, who later went on to co-create and produce “Hill Street Blues.”
“The CBS Late Movie,” by the way, is changing its name to “CBS Late Night” as of Sept. 23. This season it will feature reruns of “Remington Steele” on Mondays, reruns of “Simon & Simon” on Tuesdays, new episodes of “T.J. Hooker” on Wednesdays, new episodes of “Night Heat” on Thursdays and movies on Fridays.
David Letterman moved his program from New York to Burbank for a series of shows recently and now Phil Donahue is doing the same thing. His award-winning “Donahue” talk show will originate from the NBC studios in Burbank this week--the first time it’s been here since May, 1982. The show airs weekdays at 3 p.m. on KNBC Channel 4.
“Cover Up” was canceled by CBS after last season, but Jennifer O’Neill will be back on the network later this season. She’s starring in “Chase,” a TV movie about an attorney who is assigned to defend the man accused of murdering a judge she revered.
Buck Henry has written and will star in an episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” the new NBC anthology series. It’s a remake of a 1958 Hitchcock drama about a woman who murders her husband while under hypnosis. Henry portrays the attorney who prosecutes her; the woman will be played by Barbara Hershey.
And speaking of old shows coming back, the new version of “The Twilight Zone” is set to premiere on CBS Sept. 27. The first program consists of two stories, one starring Bruce Willis of “Moonlighting” and the other featuring Melinda Dillon and Greg Mullavey.
Oscar Wilde’s short story “The Canterville Ghost” is being turned into a TV drama for public television’s “Wonderworks” series. It will star Richard Kiley, Shelley Fabares, Barry Van Dyke, Mary Wickes and Jenny Beck. . . . Kiley also has a featured role in “If Tomorrow Comes,” a seven-hour miniseries that CBS is adapting from Sidney Sheldon’s novel.
Elizabeth Montgomery is starring in a modern-day Rip Van Winkle story for NBC. The TV movie, as yet untitled, tells the story of a woman who goes into a coma at the age of 17 and comes out of it 20 years later. Also in the cast are James Naughton, Dorothy McGuire and Karen Grassle.
Stephanie Zimbalist of “Remington Steele” and Alec Baldwin of “Knots Landing” are teamed in “Love on the Run,” a TV movie that NBC plans to broadcast Sept. 30. He plays a convict who must break out of prison to avoid being killed; she plays an attorney who falls in love with him and joins him in his flight from the authorities.
James Stewart and Linda Evans of “Dynasty” will be seen in “North and South, Book II.” That’s the 12-hour miniseries that ABC has ordered as a sequel to another 12-hour miniseries that hasn’t been seen yet. The first part of the Civil War epic, based on John Jakes’ “Love and War,” will be seen in November. The sequel will be seen in the spring. Starring in both are Kirstie Alley, David Carradine, Lesley-Anne Down, Genie Francis, Hal Holbrook and Jean Simmons, among others.