Bakkers Grace 'The Late Show'

Scandal-ridden TV evangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker will return to television Monday as featured guests on Fox Broadcasting's "The Late Show."

Monday's show (at 11 p.m. on Channels 11 and 6) is scheduled to be taped in Palm Springs with newly elected mayor Sonny Bono joining current "Late Show" host Ross Shafer as the centerpiece of the program.

A spokesman for Fox said the Bakkers, who have a residence in Palm Springs, approached Fox with the idea of appearing on the show. After the Bakkers lost their television ministry last March because of revelations of a sex scandal involving former PTL secretary Jessica Hahn, there was speculation that they might try hosting a late-night talk show.

Fox's receptivity to the Bakker's appearance on Monday's show, an anonymous source at Fox suggested, could indicate that the fledgling fourth network is interested in giving the Bakker's a tryout.

Since Fox canceled the original "Late Show with Joan Rivers" and later with Arsenio Hall in favor of the disastrous "Wilton North Report," only to resurrect it with an unknown host last February, the lowly rated late-night program has generally floundered in obscurity.

However, an official Fox spokesman vigorously refuted any suggestions that the Bakkers' appearance on the program was anything more than a one-time deal.

"We're happy with Ross Shafer as host," said Brad Turell, vice president, publicity, at Fox. "There are no plans for Jim and Tammy Bakker to host that show."

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