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Bette Midler Sitcom On Cbs Next Season

CBS has given Bette Midler’s All Girl Productions a TV series commitment for a sitcom about a difficult diva and her backup singers, the Harlettes, the producers have confirmed.

Midler will appear in the pilot of the sitcom, which will be produced for next season.

In the series, based on Midler’s own campy touring show, she’ll play a diva version of “The Dick Van Dyke’s Show” Alan Brady, as one source said, and will appear sporadically throughout the season.

Midler’s last foray into TV was CBS’ musical “Gypsy,” in which she starred as Mama Rose.

Script sells via cyberspace

Wanna sell a script? Try cyberspace.

While networking on “Writer’s Ink,” a private forum on the Vine (an on-line computer service for the entertainment industry), scribes Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton managed to interest fellow Net surfer James Tugend in their screenplay “Northwest Harbor.”

Tugend then mentioned it to his wife, producer Jennie Lew Tugend (“Free Willy”), who in turn passed it to Warner Bros. executive Jennifer Perini. Twenty-four hours after “Harbor” docked on line, negotiations were under way.

The result? A mid-six-figure sale.

“This is exactly why we started the Vine,” said Tucker Parsons, president of the 16-month-old company, who assures us he won’t be asking for 10 percent of the deal.

Wettig quits ‘Courthouse’

Patricia Wettig is leaving the CBS drama series “Courthouse” because of creative differences, a Columbia Pictures TV representative confirmed.

Sources said Wettig wanted the show to be more of a star vehicle for her rather than the ensemble series it is. She will continue in her role as Justine Parkes, the presiding judge at a big-city courthouse, through the eighth episode.

Rock Hall web site busy

The web site of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a hot click. Since it’s debut on rockhall.com last August, 4.3 million hits have rambled along this electronic walking tour. The site is available to major on-line travelers. The web address is: http://www.rockhall.com

‘Blues Brothers’ sequel

A sequel to “The Blues Brothers,” called “Blues Brothers 2000,” is in the works, starring Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi and John Goodman. The script, by Aykroyd, involves a battle of the bands that will take place in a House of Blues, which is part-owned by Aykroyd. Goodman and Belushi will play new Blues cousins. John Landis, who helmed the original, will direct.

‘Lampoon Vacation’ sequel

Warner Bros. has another “National Lampoon Vacation” movie in the works, this one scripted by Lisa Bell (“Gia”). The premise: Chevy Chase goes to Las Vegas.

Court TV targets kids

Court TV plans to produce three new hourlong series for a Saturday morning program block aimed at children 8 to 15 to help the kiddies understand the U.S. justice system. They’ll debut in March of next year.

“Justice Factory” will be an interactive show that goes on location to discuss kids’ issues such as school locker searches, legalization of drugs, etc.

“Fair or Foul” will summarize real trials and analyze them from a young person’s vantage point, with kids in a studio audience.

“Your Turn” will be an issue-oriented talk show in a town meeting format, hosted by Court TV’s Carol Randolph with kids acting as panelists.


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