Robert Hays, who starred in "Airplane!," has a dual role in "Alter Ego," a TV movie that will be broadcast on CBS. He plays both a soft-spoken writer of detective novels and the tough detective in the novels. Also starring are Catherine Mary Stewart, Fred Gwynne and Celeste Holm.
George C. Scott is confronted by "Choices" in a new TV movie that ABC plans to air later this season. He's cast as a retired judge who has no qualms expressing his opposition to abortion when his 19-year-old daughter (played by Melissa Gilbert) reveals that she's pregnant. But the issue becomes cloudier when his wife (Jacqueline Bisset) discovers she is pregnant too.
Lee Grant is directing Marlo Thomas in "The Marie Balter Story," a TV movie for CBS about a Massachusetts woman who spent 20 years in a mental institution and then went on to earn a graduate degree from Harvard University.
Linda Lavin, late of "Alice," and Bruce Solomon, who ran off with Louise Lasser in "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," are cast as a married couple in "Maricela," a drama that KCET is producing for public television's "Wonderworks" series. The story focuses on their teen-age daughter, played by Lisa Marie Simmon, and her relationship with the daughter of their live-in maid from El Salvador. Carlina Cruz plays the other girl.
Troubled children form the basis for three forthcoming CBS programs. Marsha Mason stars as a psychologist trying to cure a teen-age boy of "elective mutism" in "Silent Rage". . . . In "Who Hears the Child's Cry?," Lindsay Wagner plays a social worker who suspects that a 6-year-old boy with whom she is working has been sexually molested. . . . And a "CBS Schoolbreak Special" called "Have You Tried Talking to Patty?" will look at the life of a deaf teen-ager.
Martin Sheen is producing and directing a "CBS Schoolbreak Special." It's about teen-age pregnancy and is called, fittingly, "Babies Having Babies." Sheen's daughter, Renee Estevez, is one of the actors in the hourlong drama.
CBS has set Dec. 27 as the telecast date for "The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts." Those being honored this year are Bob Hope, Beverly Sills, Merce Cunningham, Irene Dunne, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.
David Brenner and Billy Preston teamed up to make the pilot for a proposed late-night syndication series, "Nightlife." Brenner would serve as host and Preston would head the band if the series sells.