News Casting

Latest curiosity to hit town: a notice sent to actors' agents for an episode of . . . "Saturday Night With Connie Chung." And it comes from CBS News.

The unusual casting sheet is the latest wrinkle in the hot trend of re-creating news for news programs.

This one, to shoot shortly in Sacramento, reprises the dilemma faced by California Gov. Edmund G. (Pat) Brown in 1960 when he upheld the death penalty for sex criminal/ cause celebre Caryl Chessman, who died in the gas chamber. The script includes Brown, Chessman, key Brown aides, son Jerry (then 21), the San Quentin warden and the bishop who pleads Chessman's case.

The elder Brown told us that old-pal Chung has already interviewed him at his house for the "real" show on "why I acted as I did."

The casting call describes the guv as 55 and a heavyset man, "warm and chubby."

He took umbrage: "When I was 55, I weighed, well, I got up to about 200 for a little while--I got up to 212 at one stage--and my wife told me I wouldn't be re-elected if I didn't take off my weight. So I did."

Now he's at 190: "Warm--but not chubby."

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