Sensitive Subject


Both ABC and CBS are preparing TV movies on the subject of preschool child molestation with satanic ritual overtones.

Casting is under way on CBS’ fictional “O Do You Know the Muffin Man,” set to begin production May 25, with Jon Avnet producing, Gil Cates directing. Cates told us that “Muffin Man” focuses on a couple who discover “one of their children has had a certain experience” at preschool, and called the script “very special” and not at all lurid.

Avnet also downplayed the possibility of a sensational treatment: “If you know my work, then you know I’ve handled material that could have been viewed as highly exploitative in the past, such as ‘The Burning Bed,’ with good results. This is going to be a very good film.”


Meanwhile, producer Alan Landsburg’s “Unspeakable Acts” has just wrapped production in South Carolina for ABC, due for November airing. Jill Clayburgh and Brad Davis star in an account of a day-care center molestation case that took place in Country Walk, Fla., in 1985. A scene involving prayers to Satan is included.

Cates said that “Muffin Man” will not be rushed to beat the competition. “Ours is different from theirs, a fictional project.”