The re-arranging of local afternoon programming continues, with KTVX announcing Thursday that beginning April 3 Night Court will be replaced in the 4:30 p.m. weekday slot by Benson. Ch. 4 will also be adding Magnum reruns to the afternoon schedule from 3-4 p.m.
The "Night Court" move comes as a surprise, since the sitcom has been No. 1 in the time period ever since it premiered last fall. But Ch. 4 programmer Gordon Acker said he never intended to continue double-playing the show (it also runs weeknights at 10:35 p.m.). By limiting "Night Court" to only one showing a day Acker feels he is able to conserve episodes and perhaps extend the life of the show at 10:30.But wasn't KTVX also persuaded by viewers who have complained about the content of the bawdy sitcom during an hour when many school children are home? "Not at all," Acker said Thursday. "We don't think it's any less appropriate than `M*A*S*H,' which has been playing in pretty much the same time period (5 o'clock) for years."
OK, so maybe Ch. 4 isn't exactly contrite. With KTVX and KSL both moving family-oriented sitcoms into the hour, at least 4-5 p.m. is looking a little less frightening to families.
-SO I'M SITTING THERE at my desk talking on the phone to LaToya Jackson, famous sister, pop music star and magazine covergirl, when suddenly I begin to wonder how I'm going to write about this.
I mean, I guess we could talk about what it was like to appear on Bob Hope's Easter Special, which airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on Ch. 2 ("I've always wanted to do a Bob Hope special, but this was the first time I ever met him. He was just wonderful - a very kind guy. I really had a good time."). Or we could talk about her plans for the future ("I want to make motion pictures while I continue to write and record music").
But let's be honest. How do you write about LaToya today without at least mentioning her pictorial in . . . that magazine ("I'd never even seen a Playboy until they talked to me about posing") and how her family has reacted to it ("They're outraged. All except Michael. He thought it was wonderful")?
You can't - especially since Hope admitted that the pictorial was the reason LaToya was invited to be on his show in the first place. So I think we'll just skip it. Completely. We won't even bring it up. Next subject.
-CONFIDENTIAL to families that have been impacted by divorce: Don't miss Tender Places (Saturday at 5 p.m., Ch. 4), a moving 30-minute drama that was written by a 10-year-old child who was trying to share his feelings as a child of divorce. Presented as part of KTVX's noble "For Kids' Sake" campaign, "Tender Places" is remarkably effective in its storytelling from the youngster's perspective. Kids who have been through this kind of family trauma may find it comforting to watch and realize that others have gone through what they're going through and have felt what they feel.
-RATINGS HIGHLIGHTS: "Roseanne" beats "Cosby" - again! "The Women of Brewster Place" clobber "The Wizard of Oz," which in turn clobbers "Return of the Jedi"! NBC is the No. 1 network for the 39th week in a row, just one week short of CBS's all-time record!
So what else is new?
The top 10 programs for the week were: 1. Roseanne (ABC); 2. The Cosby Show (NBC); 3. The Women of Brewster Place, Part 1 (ABC); 4. Different World (NBC); 5. Cheers (NBC); 6. 60 Minutes (CBS); 7. Wonder Years (ABC); 8. Golden Girls (NBC); 9. Who's the Boss (ABC); and 10. Unsolved Mysteries (NBC) and Anything But Love (ABC).
The second 10 included: 12. Empty Nest (NBC); 13. Dear John (NBC); 14. Wizard of Oz (CBS); 15. Hunter (NBC); 16. Growing Pains (ABC); 17. Night Court (NBC); 18. Heat of the Night (NBC); and 19. Matlock (NBC) and Knots Landing (CBS).