TELEVISION - Feb. 21, 1994

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Roseanne Stays With ABC: Despite a rift last year between Roseanne Arnold and ABC that resulted in the star saying she would take her highly rated series to another network at the end of this season, “Roseanne” will continue to air on ABC for at least the next three years. The comedian; her husband, Tom Arnold; Carsey-Werner Co., the show’s producer; and ABC announced the new agreement Friday, but information regarding the dollar amount of the deal was not available. Roseanne Arnold last year threatened to take her show elsewhere because she was fed up with ABC’s indecision over whether to renew husband Tom’s “The Jackie Thomas Show,” which was subsequently canceled. The new agreement comes even as the Arnolds and the network are engaged in another scuffle over Roseanne kissing a woman on an upcoming program. The Arnolds claim ABC has balked in showing the kiss in the March 1 episode.

* Stuff About Pufnstuf: H.R. Pufnstuf, the lovable TV dragon that ‘70s kids will remember, may be making a comeback. A spokesman for TV producers Sid and Marty Krofft, also known for the Saturday morning shows “Land of the Lost” and “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters,” said the pair has a ‘90s version of their show about H. R. Pufnstuf in the works. Spokesman Roger Neal says big names are expected to play the characters of the show’s villain, Witchiepoo, and the young boy who is lost on Living Island, where H. R. is mayor. The original show, which began on NBC in 1969 and aired on ABC in 1972, starred Jack Wild (the Artful Dodger in the movie “Oliver”). It has been seen around the world in syndication since the end of its run.

* CBS Going for the Gold: CBS’ Winter Olympics coverage is not only on a pace to set a prime-time Olympics record (winter or summer) but is also helping the network set records and rank first in other time periods as well. Its morning coverage averaged a 5.7 rating for the first week, marking the first time CBS has beaten both ABC and NBC in the morning (7-9 a.m.) time period, according to figures released by the A.C. Nielsen Co. “Late Show With David Letterman,” which has included reports from Lillehammer, Norway, by Letterman’s mom, averaged a 9.1 rating last week, the show’s highest weekly average. Its previous best was 8.9 during its premiere week. And the late-night Olympics wrap-up averaged a 4.5 rating, as opposed to 1.6 for NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.”


* Daytime at Night: For the first time in its nearly 21-year history, “The Young and the Restless,” the top-rated daytime soap opera for the past five years, will air in prime time. The one-hour installment that will air at 10 p.m. March 3 was not written for the nighttime date; it is an episode that normally would have aired during the day. William J. Bell, the soap’s co-creator and senior executive producer, says the outing is “a showcase for the nighttime audience, so they can see the stories we tell, the excellent actors we have, the ensemble feeling, the live-on-tape production.”


Hail to Jack: Jack Nicholson will be honored by his peers on “The American Film Institute Salute to Jack Nicholson,” a special celebrating his extensive film career, which airs March 10 on CBS. At the event, the two-time Academy Award winner will be joined by Candice Bergen, Danny DeVito, Michael Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Jessica Lange, Mike Nichols, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sean Penn, among others. The tribute marks AFI’s 22nd annual salute to a major figure in the film world. Past honorees include Orson Welles, Henry Fonda, Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, John Huston, Sidney Poitier and Elizabeth Taylor.

* The People Speak: The presenters for the 20th annual People’s Choice Awards will include Tim Allen, Carol Burnett, Michael Douglas, Anthony Hopkins, Angela Lansbury, Walter Matthau and Janine Turner. Paul Reiser will host the show, which airs at 9 p.m. on March 8 from Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City. The show presents awards to top vote-getters in the categories of TV, film and music.


Jay Leno and the NBC “Tonight Show” crew will be at the Hollywood sign this afternoon to shoot a segment for the show in which Leno and Charlie Sheen throw baseballs through one of the sign’s letters. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has given the throw-ahead for the spot, which airs on Leno’s program tonight. . . . Leonard Slatkin, conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony for 14 years, announced he will step down after the 1995-96 season. He’ll continue as conductor laureate from 1996 through 2000. . . . Lyricist Marilyn Bergman was elected president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The Academy Award-, Grammy- and Emmy-winner has written such songs as “The Way We Were” and “It Might Be You,” from “Tootsie,” with husband Alan Bergman.--BETH KLEID