‘George,’ ‘Where I Live’ Take a Holiday: ABC will try to ring in some ratings on Saturday nights in December with holiday specials, placing on hiatus “George” and “Where I Live,” two ABC comedy series with less-than-jolly ratings. The Christmas programming, airing from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., begins Saturday with a repeat of the Olsen twins’ movie, “To Grandmother’s House We Go.” Others include “Ernest Saves Christmas” on Dec. 11 and “A Flintstone Family Christmas” on Dec. 18. ABC says that “George” and “Where I Live” will return sometime after the holidays.
Talk Show to Replace ‘Home’: ABC on Monday announced plans for “The Mike & Maty Show,” a new live, one-hour talk show beginning in early 1994. The program will replace the network’s “Home” show, which airs in Los Angeles at 10 a.m. Hosts Michael Burger, a stand-up comedian, and Maty Monfort, who has hosted several Spanish-language shows for Univision, will explore an array of subjects featuring guests including celebrities and authors, as well as cooking, health, beauty and fitness experts.
Letterman’s Dream: David Letterman, who has racked up his share of speeding tickets, dreams about putting his love for fast cars and the Indianapolis 500 into high gear by bankrolling an Indy car racing team. “It’s a small dream of mine,” Letterman told the Indianapolis News. “I don’t know if it will ever come to fruition, but (racing) is the one area outside of broadcasting in which I have a professional interest.” An Indiana native, Letterman is a lifelong auto racing fan who often jokes about accumulating many traffic tickets.
Three Beatles to Regroup: Paul McCartney has confirmed speculation that he and former Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr will indeed regroup in London in January to work on a documentary called “The Long and Winding Road.” McCartney said the documentary, to include a performance by the three surviving Beatles, will be “like a big 10-part TV series.” . . . Meanwhile, in an interview published Sunday in the Argentine newspaper Clarin, McCartney said that he resents Michael Jackson for buying up the rights to the Beatles’ songs but that he doubts the pop star is guilty of child abuse. “Linda and I are parents, and it’s clear to us that Michael isn’t that kind of person,” said McCartney, a former duet partner of Jackson’s. McCartney called Jackson’s selling of Beatle songs for advertisements “a mistake,” saying: “We were offered millions to do it, but we refused because we didn’t want to hurt songs which are sacred to people. And we always wanted them to keep being so, which is invalidated when you use that music to sell sneakers.”
Pearl Jam Doth Protest: Grunge rockers Pearl Jam pulled out of a sold-out concert at the University of Colorado in Boulder Sunday just hours before show time in a dispute with security forces over how to handle “moshing,” the rowdy, high-contact dancing common at their shows. The band said security forces had treated fans too roughly at their two earlier weekend shows there.
Helsinki Gets Opera House: Finland opens its new opera house with a week of celebrations starting today in what its director is billing as the event of the year for the operatic world. After more than seven decades, the country’s music lovers will finally be able to enjoy opera in a building created for it. Since 1919 the Finnish National Opera has been based in the Alexander Theatre--a former Russian garrison theater in central Helsinki that critics have said offers unsatisfactory acoustics and a too-small stage. The new opera house is a modernistic construction in white with glass-walled foyers overlooking the capital’s Toolonlahti Bay. The main auditorium seats 1,364 people, and a second, smaller hall seats up to 500 people for experimental opera and ballet.
French Prize Honors Collard: French actor Gerard Depardieu presented a $50,000-film prize in Paris Monday to young French directors Laurence Ferreira Barbosa and Pierre Salvador. The two will split the first Cyril Collard Prize, created in May at the Cannes Film Festival by the Franco-German television network Arte to encourage young directors. Collard made his directing and acting debut in the autobiographical “Les Nuits Fauves” (Savage Nights) but died of AIDS last March at age 35. After his death, the film won four Cesar awards, France’s version of the Oscars.