Just channel-hopping . . .
- IS JOHNNY CARSON going to run from his new late-night competition? Heck, no. He announced to his Tonight Show television audience last Wednesday that he will be returning for at least one more year.And why not? After a strong opening by CBS and The Pat Sajak Show, Carson and "The Tonight Show" have returned to dominate the late-night time period, nearly doubling Sajak's audience during the recent February ratings sweeps period.
Still, Carson was willing to joke about his return. "I told (NBC Entertainment President Brandon Tartikoff) that I would do another year when it snows in Malibu," he said. "It snowed in Malibu, so here we are."
- OH-OH. We're about to get Barr-ed again. Columnist Marilyn Beck is reporting that Roseanne Barr has written an autobiography for Harper and Row called "Stand Up: My Life as a Woman," in which she makes startling "disclosures" about her life as "a Jewish outcast in a Mormon community in Utah." Aren't we all grateful that Utah and Mormonism can serve as such a handy scapegoat for Barr to blame all her personal inadequacies on? I mean, we wouldn't want a superstar like that to have to take responsibility for her own life, would we?
- DIFF'RENT STROKES kid stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges have been finding the going pretty tough in the real world. Coleman, now 21, is in the process of suing his parents and his former business adviser, claiming that they got too much profit from his financial success. And Bridges, 23, is cooling his heels in a California jail on charges of attempted murder in a drug-related assault. (Gee - too bad Coleman and Bridges never lived in Utah. Then they'd have scapegoats for all their problems, too.)
- IN OUR RECENT PROFILE of her, we mentioned that new KTVX News anchor Kimberly Perkins was a cheerleader in high school. But did we also mention that she is a graduate of prestigious Cornell University? Well, we did mention that in early January when we first reported on her then-impending arrival in Salt Lake. But we didn't say it in the profile. And we should mention it, shouldn't we? I mean, we don't want to give the impression that we're talking about an empty-minded anchorette here, do we?
- GOINGS: In case you've been wondering why David Frost hasn't been hosting Inside Edition (Weeknights at 11:05 p.m., Ch. 4) for the past several week's it's because he's left the show. Permanently. Ditto Robin Young of USA Today on TV (Weekdays at 6:30 p.m., Ch. 5). Frost didn't like the idea of being busted from his show's anchor to "special correspondent," and Young didn't want to move from Washington to Los Angeles. So they're both gone. No word yet on permanent replacements in either case.
Also, Linda Gray, who has played Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas for 11 years, has decided to hang up the ol' hankie. "It's time to do other things," she said in announcing her decision to leave the show after this season. "The character has done everything it's possible to do." And then some.
- COMINGS: Baseball great Tom Seaver will be Vin Scully's new sidekick when NBC begins it's last season of "Game of the Week" baseball telecasts on April 8. Seaver replaces Joe Gargiola, who quit after last season because he didn't think NBC appreciated his talents enough (in other words, they wouldn't pay him any more money).
And you can look for NBC's Connie Chung to return to CBS sometime soon, either as anchor for a new, updated version of West 57th, or maybe as Diane Sawyer's replacement on 60 Minutes.
- BELIEVE IT OR NOT, the networks do think some subjects are too hot for prime time television. According to MGM-UA president Norman Horowitz, all three networks have passed on broadcast rights to The Manchurian Candidate, John Frankenheimer's 1962 thriller about an American GI who is turned into a political assassin by the Communists.
"They (the networks) didn't feel it was appropriate for prime time," Horowitz said. Not that he's complaining. "I consider it a compliment to the movie," he said, "because (that means) it still holds up after all these years."
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Gerald McRaney on his suddenly plump sweetheart, Delta Burke: "There's an odd morality in the entertainment business that says you can't be overweight, but you can do anything else you want to and that's OK. God bless her, Delta isn't one of those people who can remain very thin. And still she's absolutely ravishing. But then, who am I to judge? I'm hopelessly in love with her."
Cue up the audio track: "Awww."