CBS Delays Movie but Keeps Conflict

CBS has moved back by one week the date that it plans to air a TV movie based on the Charles Stuart murder-suicide case, but the move most likely will not circumvent the scheduling conflict that prompted MGM/UA to sue the network last week in an effort to block the broadcast.

Whether the suit continues is now in ABC's hands.

At issue is the fact that the movie, "Good Night, Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston," stars Ken Olin and is scheduled for a Tuesday night, which is when his series "thirtysomething" normally airs. MGM/UA's suit, filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Olin's contract with the studio bars him from making guest appearances in programs to be broadcast during the season's premiere week of "thirtysomething" or opposite any first-run broadcast of an episode of the series.

Originally, CBS planned to air the movie Sept. 18, the first Tuesday of the fall season. After the lawsuit was filed last week, CBS moved the film to Sept. 25. The network said that the decision was prompted not by MGM/UA's action but by a desire to avoid broadcasting the Boston-based movie on the same night as the Massachusetts gubernatorial and senatorial primary.

The new night could still conflict with a first-run episode of "thirtysomething," however. But that won't be known until ABC announces the season premiere date for the series. Neither CBS nor MGM/UA would comment.

In other TV matters, CBS confirmed that it has scrapped plans to make a TV series based on the hit movie "Big." CBS had originally planned to put the series in its fall lineup, then had pushed it back for possible mid-season scheduling.

And ABC said that it has dropped plans for a one-hour "Twin Peaks" special, which was scheduled to air Sept. 29, the night before the quirky soap opera's two-hour season premiere. The program was intended to bring viewers up to date on last season's convoluted plot twists.

The network said that the decision was "due to a mutual decision of both ABC and Lynch-Frost Productions, since the two creators (David Lynch and Mark Frost) simply decided to expend all their creative energies on the new season rather than the old."

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