The producers of "Back to the Future" Parts 1, 2 and 3 promised there wouldn't be any more movie sequels. But they didn't promise they wouldn't turn the idea into a Saturday morning cartoon - which is exactly what they've done.
"Back to the Future" as a cartoon will premiere this fall on CBS. It's being produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Productions and Universal.The series will feature the continuing adventures of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and that time machine in a DeLorean.
What's perhaps most surprising is that Fox and Lloyd - as well as Thomas Wilson - will lend their voices to the cartoon series. (Wilson played Biff Tannen and his various villainous relatives in the movies.)
The series will also feature other "wild inventions" from Doc Brown as well as a whole bunch of new characters.HAMMERMAN: Joining Michael J. Fox on Saturday mornings will be rapper M.C. Hammer as that new superhero "Ham-mer-man."
According to ABC, "Our new superhero, Hammerman, is the ultimate champion of children everywhere. . . . "
(I am not making this up.)
The series is set several years ago, as a young Stanley Kirk Burrell (Hammer's real name) "dreams of making the big time as a rap music star, while helping children at the recreation center where he works."
But one day he finds a pair of "Magic Danc-in' Shoes" that transform him into Hammerman, "the high-energy superhero, champion of children and the most formidable foe the criminal world has ever known."
Oh well, I guess M.C. Hammer is a better role model than, say, Roseanne Barr and her "Little Rosey" cartoon series.AND THERE'S MORE: Sports heroes Wayne Gretzky, Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan are also in line to become cartoon characters.
The athletes have agreed to allow their "images, personalities and voices" to be used in Saturday morning animation, although the shows haven't been sold to any of the networks yet.
Apparently, it will be easier to heal Bo the cartoon than Bo the injured athlete.NEW SERIES: ABC will premiere "My Life and Times" on Wednesday, April 24, at 8:30 p.m. (after "Anything But Love" runs out of new episodes).
"Life" stars Tom Irwin as an 85-year-old man in the year 2035 who recalls various stories that have made up his life.
I know, it sounds a little weird. But the first three episodes are excellent - one of the better new series to come along this year.
The big question is whether a half-hour show that's not a comedy can work. Oh, "Life" has its humorous moments, but it's certainly not a sitcom.NOW YOU CAN STAHL: In case you hadn't heard, the latest addition to the "60 Minutes" team is Lesley Stahl.
Stahl's current assignments are as CBS White House correspondent and host of "Face the Nation." (No word on who'll get those spots.)
Harry Reasoner - one of the original "60 Minutes" correspondents - is going into semiretirement and will do only a few stories a year. Meredith Vierra was scheduled to go from part-time to full-time next season, but those plans were scotched when she got pregnant and opted for an extended maternity leave.
So Stahl will be the sole female on the staff.