TV's Legends Named: Eight new honorees have been picked for induction into TV's Hall of Fame, it was announced Thursday. They include on-screen personalities Edward Asner, Charles Kuralt and Angela Lansbury and behind-the-scenes creators and executives Steven Bochco, Aaron Spelling, Lew R. Wasserman and the producing team of Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner. They will be inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame in North Hollywood and a similar facility at Disney-MGM Studios near Orlando, Fla., where the announcement was made. The 12th annual Hall of Fame ceremony will take place Oct. 5 in Florida and will be shown on the Disney Channel during the 1996-97 season.
Shedding Stereotypes: MTV has announced plans for a variety series starring "Singled Out" co-host Jenny McCarthy as well as a weekly show featuring the Chicago Bulls' Dennis Rodman. At a press conference Wednesday, McCarthy--who is also developing a prime-time sitcom--said it's "really hard to break the stereotype" of being a Playboy playmate, while Rodman promised his show is "going to be something totally different," which, given the NBA star's flamboyant fashion sense, isn't hard to believe.
Double Dare: A Nickelodeon executive has challenged the broadcast networks to provide more educational children's programming "without being legislated, regulated or shamed." Herb Scannell, president of the cable channel, suggested the networks start by developing a news program for kids. He also repeated charges that the networks have "abandoned" children at 8 p.m. by scheduling shows like "Mad About You" and "Melrose Place" in that hour. Because Nickelodeon is a cable network and not a broadcaster, it wouldn't be subject to any of the children's programming guidelines being discussed by the Federal Communications Commission.
End of 'Line'?: Philippine censors have prohibited distribution of "Antonia's Line"--the fifth Academy Award-winning movie banned in the Philippines in the last three years. The movie, a comedy about the life of a rural Dutch woman and her female descendants, won an Oscar this year as best foreign language film. The Philippine movie review board gave the film an X-rating--effectively banning it from public showing--because of numerous "objectionable sex scenes." The movie, written and directed by Dutch filmmaker Marleen Gorris, depicts a lesbian relationship between the lead character's daughter and a schoolteacher.
Alas, Poor Audience: A lonely rain cloud dumped its load on an outdoor Westside production of "Othello, the Moor of Venice" Wednesday night, sending 700 theater-goers scurrying and forcing cancellation of the play about 45 minutes after it began. The audience included 500 local students who had been bused to the Japanese Gardens of the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration as guests under Shakespeare Festival/LA's "Will Power to Schools" program. Artistic Director Ben Donenberg vowed to bring the youngsters back for another performance--the festival officially opens Saturday--but first must raise $3,000 to cover the transportation costs.
New Theater: Alumni of the 112-year-old American Academy of Dramatic Arts are launching a professional theater company at the 73-seat Michael Thoma Theatre on the academy's Pasadena campus. The first production will be William Blinn's "Walking Peoria," a loosely autobiographical comedy about Blinn's ("Brian's Song," "Roots," "Fame") experiences as a TV writer and producer, playing July 19-Aug. 25.
No Jewel in Their Crown: Alaska State Fair officials said Thursday they were shocked to learn that singing sensation Jewel had canceled plans to appear at the fair. The 22-year-old singer, who was known as Jewel Kilcher when she started out in Homer as a 6-year-old yodeler, would have been the biggest name ever to play the fair, which features livestock shows, giant cabbages and mounds of fried foods. Fair officials in Anchorage said they had wasted $10,000 in publicity efforts and now were scrambling for a new headliner.
In an unusual move, ABC will air six episodes of the Jim Henson Productions series "Aliens in the Family"--which was pulled from prime time after just two telecasts in March--in its Saturday morning lineup beginning July 27. The live-action show, mixing puppets with real actors, performed well with children but didn't attract many adults as one of ABC's Friday night comedies. . . . In another Henson development, Jim Henson Pictures announced Thursday that it has contracted with illusionist-actor-author Ricky Jay to develop a feature film. As to the subject of the film, Jay was keeping that up his sleeve. . . . The Grammy-winning Chieftains taped an episode of ABC's "One Life to Live" in a scene set in a pub. The Irish band played two tunes for the show, which will air July 30. . . . Alison LaPlaca, who played Catherine Merrick on NBC's "The John Larroquette Show" for the last two seasons, will be leaving the show after at least one more episode that will explain her character's departure. LaPlaca, who portrayed Larroquette's love interest for a time, is looking for her own television vehicle, a spokesman said. . . . MGM/UA Home Entertainment announced that it has secured the Emmy Award-winning children's television series "Pee-wee's Playhouse" from Herman World Inc., and will begin releasing videos later this year. Paul Reubens co-wrote, directed, executive produced and starred as Pee-wee Herman in the series from 1986 to 1991.