TODAY'S NEWS, TOMORROW'S TELEVISION : 'America's Home Videos' offers funny money; TNT tells a chapter if Jackie Robinson's life



Production is under way in Budapest, Hungary, Morocco, France and Spain for the summer sitcom "Wish You Were Here." The CBS series stars Lew Schneider as a young businessman who packs up his video camera after quitting the Wall Street rat race for adventures as a carefree traveler overseas. The gimmick: Schneider sends video "letters" back to his friends in the States. The series is set to air Fridays at 9:30-10 p.m. beginning July 20.

"America's Funniest Home Videos" will offer three grand prizee of $100,000 during the 1990-91 season, with the first to be awarded in November. The ABC program, which debuted as a series in January, spotlights humorous home videos shot by the nation's camcorder owners. Last season there was one $100,000 grand prize.

USA Network has renewed its anthology series "The Ray Bradbury Theater" for the 1990-91 season. The 12 new half-hour episodes, which begin July 20, feature performances by Hal Linden, Timothy Bottoms, Eddie Albert, Eileen Brennan and Patrick McNee.

NBC News correspondent Lucky Severson will host the new Discovery Channel series "Invention," debuting Oct. 2. The half-hour series, co-produced by the Smithsonian Institution, will examine technologies and mechanical marvels that affect everyone, from Post-it note pads and paper clips, to the Hubble Telescope and a flying car.


When the power-hungry president of the PTA is murdered after ingesting a poisoned crab finger sandwich at a fund-raiser, Ed Marinaro must solve the mystery in the fall CBS movie "Murder at the PTA Luncheon." The suspects: PTA treasurer Morgan Fairchild, vice president Julia Duffy, secretary Cindy Williams and members Marla Gibbs, Jane Carr and Joan Van Ark.

ABC Entertainment president Robert Iger has announced that the followiig theatrical films will air during the 1990-91 season: "The Witches of Eastwick," "The Dead Pool," "Cocktail," "Bull Durham," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "Innerspace," "A Fish Called Wanda," "The Running Man," "Clean and Sober," "Married to the Mob," "Stakeout" and "Rambo III."

On Oct. 6, a half-hour syndicated cartoon series called "Super Force" will kick off its first fall season with a two-hour movie. The movie and series stars the voice of Ken Olandt as a police detective who becomes a mysterious herculean force combatting evil in the 21st century.

TNT has announced the October premiere of "The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson." The film, now in production, will document how the black baseball star's refusal to take a seat in the back of an Army bus in 1944 snowballed into a battery of trumped-up charges and landed him in an Army court, fighting for his rights. The role of Robinson has not yet been cast.


In ABC's "Bette and Friends," Bette Midler is expected to perform with Cher, Robin Williims, Billy Crystal, Jane Fonda, Olivia Newton-John, Meryl Streep and Stevie Wonder. The special, to be taped at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles as a benefit for Mothers and Others For a Liveable Planet, will air next season.

Bob Hope will host four new comedy and variety specials over the 1990-91 season for NBC. Other NBC specials in the works: "The Jackie Bison Show," a prime-time animation project with voices supplied by Stan Freberg, Pat Paulsen, Rose Marie and Jayne Meadows; and four new "Super Bloopers & Practical Jokes," with hosts Ed McMahon and Dick Clark.


Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Selleck, Loni Anderson, Barbara Walters and Tom Brokaw will host "Who's Minding the Kids?," a week of educational, back-to-school programs beginning Aug. 27 on A&E.; The programs include: "The Truth About Teachers," "America's Kids: Why They Flunk," "More Than Child's Play: Kids, Parents & Sports" and "See Dick & Jane Lie, Cheat and Steal: Teaching Morality to Kids."

Also beginning Aug. 27, A&E; will present the ongoing series "A&E; Classroom" at 7 a.m., an hourlong schedule of commercial-free programming with educational interest for students, parents and teachers. Each day features a different subject: Monday is history, Tuesday is drama, Wednesday is performing arts, Thursday is biography and Friday is archeology/anthropology.


ABC News, in conjunction with Gostelradio (the Soviet national broadcast company) and NHK (Japan Broadcast Corporation, the public broadcasting company of Japan) will join libraries and production facilities to create a pictorial history of the 20th century. The venture will search for people and pictures from around the world to bear witness to the best-recorded century in the history of mankind. Other international partners will be invited to join.

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