Nothing official, but Mary Tyler Moore is ditching the newspaper business.
Translation: Moore is leaving CBS’s freshman ensemble drama, “New York News,” according to network insiders. Moore plays Louise “the Dragon” Felcott, tough-as-nails publisher of a struggling Manhattan tabloid.
Word on the “News” set is that Moore is unhappy with her character as well as her lack of screen time. During one taping, she ripped up the script on the set, sources say. In addition, sources say she is on less-than-friendly terms with co-star Madeline Kahn, who plays the newspaper’s gossip diva.
Nielsen-wise, “News” is struggling, too. Airing at 9 p.m. Thursdays against NBC’s “Seinfeld,” it ranks 84th among 100 series after six of 13 ordered episodes. Moore’s displeasure reportedly was news to “News” chief Ian Sander, who insists the two are still “in discussion.”
No word on who will replace Moore. (Every newspaper needs a publisher, doesn’t it?) CBS’ comment: No comment.
Net site for president election
ABC News and the Washington Post Co. are teaming up to produce a World Wide Web site on the Internet devoted to in-depth coverage of the 1996 presidential election.
The site, called ElectionLine, will combine the resources of ABC News, the Washington Post and the Post Co.’s Newsweek magazine. The site will be advertiser-supported and will even carry political ads. Revenues will be shared by ABC and the Post Co., which will operate the site as 50-50 joint venture, according to Bill Abrams, vice president of marketing and business development for ABC News.
The site will debut in January.
The endeavor is the first on the World Wide Web for ABC. The network has an area on America Online and recently signed a long-term agreement with the computer on-line service.
ElectionLine will carry complete coverage of daily events on the 1996 campaign trail, a library of information on candidates and issues, and real time results on key primary nights and Election Day. Users will also be able to download video of news reports on the campaign and archival footage of past political moments.
Abrams said politics made sense as the first commercial Web site for ABC. “Every single candidate has a Web site,” he said. “People who have political products to sell are pretty Web-savvy.”
CBS renews 3 new series
CBS said it has renewed for the remainder of the season “Bless This House,” “Almost Perfect” and “American Gothic,” and is expected to renew Monday night’s “Can’t Hurry Love,” its only new hit. “The Bonnie Hunt Show,” the Friday-night improvisational comedy produced by David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production outfit, has also been renewed, even though it’s now on hiatus after an atrocious first few weeks.
Notably, CBS has also renewed “Central Park West” - prime time’s biggest new-season flop. But it’s overhauling the show, with star Mariel Hemingway leaving at year’s end. She reportedly exercised an option to exit the Wednesday night series after being told her role was to be reduced.
CBS series veteran Gerald McRaney essentially replaces her; as Adam Brock, he’ll take over Communique magazine, which is now edited by Hemingway’s Stephanie Wells character. The addition of McRaney, who hit for CBS in “Major Dad” and “Simon and Simon,” signals that the network wants to skew the series to an older audience, despite the original intention to make “CPW” the cornerstone of the network’s plan to appeal to younger audiences. Brock will be romancing Linda Fairchild Rush, played by Lauren Hutton, who thus far has had little to do on the show.
‘X-Files’ book coming
Longest book title of the month? It belongs to “The Unofficial X-Files Companion: An X-Phile’s Guide to the Mysteries, Conspiracies, and Really Strange Truths Behind the Show” (Crown, $14), due out at the end of November.
A perfect idea for anyone on your “Trust No One” gift list.