John Beck and Catherine Oxenberg are out at "Dallas" and "Dynasty," respectively, while Eddie Velez is in at "The A-Team."
Beck, who played Mark Graison on "Dallas," said that he was dropped from the CBS soap opera at the end of last season, even though the final episode had his character getting married to Pam Ewing (Victoria Principal).
His departure was precipitated by Patrick Duffy's return to "Dallas" as Bobby Ewing, Pam's former husband. Despite having died a year earlier, Bobby was seen in Pam's shower in the final episode of the season in May.
"Dallas" producers have not said how they will explain Bobby's return. But Beck's departure fuels speculation that Pam may have dreamed his death and her subsequent marriage to Mark.
Over at ABC's "Dynasty," meanwhile, Oxenberg has been replaced by New York actress Karen Cellini in the role of Amanda Carrington, daughter of Blake and Alexis.
Oxenberg was "terminated in the interests of all concerned" by the producers, with contractual matters said to be involved. Oxenberg, in a statement, expressed thanks for having worked on the series and said she was "thrilled at the prospect of pursuing other aspects of my career."
NBC's "The A-Team" will have a fifth member this fall, played by Velez, who has appeared in TV shows ranging from "Capitol" to "Charlie and Company." His character will be Frankie (Dishpan) Sanchez, a special-effects expert.
KENNEDY FILM: The Kennedy family has not always been happy with the many TV movies made about them, but the latest one has received their full endorsement.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) visited the set of "The Ted Kennedy Jr. Story" in Ireland. The senator is being played in the NBC film by Craig T. Nelson, with Susan Blakely as Joan Kennedy and Kimber Shoop III as their son.
The movie dramatizes the story of how Ted Jr. battled cancer and lost a leg to the disease in 1974, when he was 12.
"We hope this movie is of help to other families whose children are struggling to recover from cancer," the senator said in a prepared release, "and to all those millions of Americans who are physically or mentally disabled in some way and who strive to be accepted as creative, productive members of society."
BACKUP SHOWS: Ed Asner, who previously starred in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Lou Grant," will be back in another series next season. He'll play a high school principal in "The Bronx Zoo," which NBC will schedule at mid-season. Kathryn Harrold, Kim Delany, David Patrick and Jerry Levine will play teachers in the show.
Other backup shows ordered by NBC include "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd," a comedy starring Blair Brown as a single woman in New York; "Rags to Riches," set in the 1960s and featuring music from the period as a wealthy bachelor (Joe Bologna) takes in six orphaned girls; "The Tortellis," a spinoff of "Cheers" featuring Dan Hedaya and Jean Kasem as Nick and Loretta Tortelli, who leave Boston for Las Vegas, and "Remington Steele," the detective show that was canceled in May but got a new lease on life this week.
EMMYS ON VIDEO: Here's a new twist in the campaign for Emmy Awards nominations. Hallmark has gone beyond the usual placement of ads in the Hollywood trade papers to produce more than 200 cassettes of its "Hallmark Hall of Fame" movie "Love Is Never Silent" and will loan them for free to members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
"In the absence of any formalized post-telecast screening procedure for either specials or films for television, Hallmark hopes to encourage the availability of such product in order that all Academy members may be afforded an opportunity to screen programs they may have missed and wish to consider for nomination," the company said.
The cassettes are available in 20/20 Video stories through July 25.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: CBS has set Sept. 14 as the date for "The Last Days of Patton," a sequel to the movie "Patton" with George C. Scott again playing the famed general. . . . "Christopher Columbus," the six-hour miniseries that starred Gabriel Byrne as the great explorer, will be rebroadcast on CBS Aug. 6-7. . . . The 1982 film "Sophie's Choice," for which Meryl Streep won an Academy Award, will be shown on commercial TV for the first time Aug. 20, on CBS. . . . Jane Pauley will be on maternity leave from NBC's "Today" show from July 24 to Oct. 10. She'll be replaced during that period by at least seven different women, including "Today" correspondent Pat Mitchell, NBC correspondents Ann Rubenstein and Anne Garrels and Ms. magazine editor Gloria Steinem.