Fox’s Preschool Fare: The Fox Children’s Network is adding several new programs to its fall lineup, including three weekday educational series aimed at preschoolers. The programming for 2-to-5-year-olds, under the umbrella title “Fox’s Clubhouse,” will include a nature series from Jim Henson Productions and the Survival Anglia wildlife documentary production company, a live-action and puppetry series called “Johnson and Friends” and a music series called “Rimba’s Friends.” Fox Children’s Network president Margaret Loesch said that the preschool programming, which will start at 8 a.m., offers education on the environment, socialization skills and music. Other new programs include two Saturday morning shows: “Life With Louie,” an animated mini-series with comedian Louie Anderson, and an adaptation of science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein’s “Red Planet.”
Lobbyist: In his first public appearance since being hospitalized for chest pains a week ago, Burt Reynolds thanked his friends and fans for their support and used a press conference at CBS studios to lobby for renewal of his TV show “Evening Shade.” The show has done sufficiently well in the ratings, but has been dogged by accounts of Reynolds’ temper-tantrums on the set. “Who knows what CBS is going to do?” Reynolds said. “I certainly don’t, ‘cause they’re not telling me.” A network spokeswoman said the show’s fate would not be announced until next month. Reynolds, who showed reporters the stance he used recently to scare off a would-be mugger, said he had no plans to stop working or alter his lifestyle after last week’s illness. Doctors have said tests for heart disease were negative, and the actor looked to be in good health Tuesday.
Wallace Moves to FX: Jane Wallace, who left CNBC’s “Equal Time” last week after a contract squabble, has been signed by Fox’s new basic cable network, FX, to host a nightly news show to be called “Under Scrutiny With Jane Wallace.” The nascent network described the show as “a topic driven program that will take an in-depth look at single or multiple stories, depending on the day’s events.” Meanwhile, CNBC says it will take its time replacing Wallace as Mary Matalin’s co-host on “Equal Time.”
Deadheads Pepper Sprayed: Police hurled pepper gas grenades after tear gas failed to quell a rock- and bottle-throwing crowd trying to push their way into a sold-out Grateful Dead concert in Orlando, Fla., Monday night. No arrests or serious injuries were reported during the melee, which came a night after the band canceled another Orlando concert because of a family member’s illness. The band starts a three-night stand in Miami Wednesday; police there say no extra security is planned.
Depeche Mode Member Departs: Founding Depeche Mode member Andy Fletcher is temporarily leaving the group in order to attend to some of the band’s business matters. He’ll be replaced by longtime Mode associate Daryl Bamonte for the group’s upcoming Latin American and North American tours, which will include shows May 20 at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre and May 21 at the Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion.
Morrissey, Kravitz Dates Off: Angst-ridden rock singer Morrissey has postponed Friday’s concert at Los Angeles’ Olympic Auditorium and two shows scheduled for next week at New York’s Carnegie Hall, because his band was not rehearsed to his “satisfaction.” The Los Angeles show has been rescheduled for Sept. 30, the New York dates are now Sept. 19 and 20. . . . And rock singer Lenny Kravitz has canceled his 1994 tour. Refunds are being offered for a May 14 date at Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion; Avalon Attractions has not yet announced its plans to accommodate ticket holders for a May 13 Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre.
Curtis Resting After Surgery: Actor Tony Curtis, 68, was resting comfortably Tuesday after undergoing a three-hour heart bypass surgery Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. A hospital spokesman said doctors discovered the blockage when the actor underwent a recent physical. He is scheduled to be released from the hospital this weekend.
Exercising With ‘Uncle Miltie': Milton Berle is putting out a new video for senior citizens--a combination of low-impact exercise and humor to be released this summer. “It’s a safe, healthy workout with laughter and fun,” Berle says on today’s “Entertainment Tonight,” where he hawks the video. “We should live day-by-day and enjoy everyday. . . . You can sustain your life that way and this video is going to do it.”
Downhill skier Tommy Moe has joined the list of Winter Olympians with movie deals. Daily Variety Reports that the double medalist’s Moe Mentum Inc., formed specifically to market the skier, has signed with Dog & Pony Productions for either a TV movie or feature film based on Moe’s life. . . . Country singer Tracy Lawrence, 25, was charged Monday with aggravated assault and possessing a prohibited weapon after allegedly firing a gun to scare teen-agers who made an obscene gesture at him on a Nashville highway.