Having recently read Roseanne Arnold's "My Lives," I find myself ready to agree with her on one count.
In her own inimitable style, Arnold rants on and on about how she hates Matt Williams, the original executive producer of her show and the man credited with creating it. (Also a man she eventually had fired.)"I always assumed that the show would be created by Matt Williams and Roseanne Barr," Arnold wrote. "After I had rewritten all those scenes and we had filmed the pilot, I was invited to see it. When the credits rolled, it said, `Created by Matt Williams.' And that was all. I felt robbed and began to wail.
"Someone recently asked me how such a thing could happen. The answer is simple because it can and it does every day in Hollywood."
Arnold even says she warned Tim Allen about letting Arnold grab credit for creating his show, "Home Improvement," too.
" `There'll come a day when you'll be really (ticked) that you let that go,' I told Tim Allen a few years ago," Roseanne wrote. "The same thing had happened to him with his show, which was literally based on his comedy act. Who got creative credit for Tim Allen's show? Matt Williams."
Roseanne is right when she says that both "Roseanne" and "Home Improvement" are based on the stand-up comedy acts of their stars. And she correctly points out that Williams' other big success, as a writer for "The Cosby Show," was a show of similar origins.
Most observers - including this one - had long given Williams the benefit of the doubt about his nasty public fight with Arnold. And giving him most of the credit for the show's success, at least initially.
But the recent debut of another Williams-created series, "Thunder Alley," has changed my mind. In this case, Williams didn't have somebody's stand-up act to go on, and the show is just awful.
Add to that the fact that "Roseanne" is actually a better show since Arnold took control and . . . Roseanne just may have been right.
HOW'S THAT? In the accompanying story about "Thunder Alley," Rick Leed, the president of the company that produces the show, dismisses critical brickbats and is quoted as saying, "The reviews for `Home Improvement' were just as bad." Actually, there were a lot of good reviews for "Home Improvement" when it debuted - including one from your local TV editor.
To compare "Thunder" with "Home" does a major disservice to the latter.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: KSTU is making a move to bolster its early evening lineup.
Ch. 13 will begin double-running the popular off-network sitcom "Full House" next week. It will continue to be seen weeknights at 5 p.m., and will also air at 6 p.m.
In February, "Full House" pulled a strong 10 rating at 5 p.m., nearly matching time period leader "ABC World News Tonight" and showing particular strength in women's demographics.
"Cheers" did about half that rating for Ch. 13 at 6 p.m., and was a weak fourth in its time slot.
But back when KSTU aired "Full House" at 6 p.m., did about 10 ratings in that time slot as well.
"Cheers" will continue to be seen weeknights at 11 p.m.
ANIMATED MANIA: Here's a look at the new cartoons the networks have scheduled for the fall.
- Fox, the leader in kids' programming, has a slew of new shows. A pair of superheroes will join Fox's Saturday morning lineup - "Spiderman" is an entirely new version of the classic, and "The Tick" is a decidedly offbeat 400-pound crime-fighting arachnid.
And, during the week, "Fox's Clubhouse" includes three new shows designed to entertain and educate preschoolers. "Jim Henson's Nature Series" (which will be seen Mondays and Fridays); "Johnson and Friends" (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and "Rimba's Island" (Wednesdays).
Fox also plans three animated miniseries - "Life With Louie," based on the imagination of comedian Louis Anderson; "Red Planet," based on Robert A. Heinlein's science fiction book; and "Planet of the Apes," based on Pierre Boulle's book.
- ABC has four new half-hours. "Free Willy," based on the whale movie; "Reboot," which goes inside the world of computers; and "Bump in the Night," a claymation adventure featuring three toys that come to life; will all debut in September.
A fourth series, "Fudge," which is based on Judy Blume's books about everyday family life, will premiere at midseason.
ABC will also debut a quarterly, 90-minute movie for children under the banner "The Saturday Morning Matinee." The first entry, an animated version of "The Secret Garden," will air in November.
- CBS has three new animated shows, all based on movies - "Walt Disney's Aladdin," "Beethoven" (the dog, not the composer) and "The Mask," based on an upcoming Jim Carrey movie.
When exactly those shows will be seen locally is unclear, as KSL airs its own news on Saturday mornings and shifts CBS cartoons around, some to Sunday mornings.