'Dick Van Dyke' veterans turning up on new shows


October 03, 1990|By Steve McKerrow


* In a fun reader's poll earlier this year, Media Monitor discovered that "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-66 on CBS) was the series viewers would most like to see return to the rerun airways. But have you noticed many of that show's veterans are popping up on new shows?

Take "The Fanelli Boys," NBC's sitcom about four grown Italian sons who move back in with momma (at 9 tonight, Channel 2). The mother in question is played by Ann Guilbert, and if she has seemed vaguely familiar it's because she played Millie Helper in "The Dick Van Dyke Show," next door neighbor to Rob and Laura Petrie (Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore).

Monday night on "Murphy Brown," the visiting mom of Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto) was played by Rose Marie, writer Sally Rogers on "DVD." (Did anybody else think the one-time child star has had one face lift too many?)

And ABC's Tuesday series "Coach" co-stars Jerry Van Dykebrother of Dick who did a few guest shots on his sibling's series, as Rob Petrie's less successful banjo-plunking brother. The senior Van Dyke is now slated to make some appearances on "Coach" this season. * (Attention younger readers, cultural note ahead.) Before the Beatles came along, classical music was frequently called "long hair music" in America, because symphony conductors and players were among the few who sometimes let their locks get out of hand without suffering social sanctions.

(Now back to the program.) PBS stations tonight welcome the season premiere of "Live From Lincoln Center," one of TV's most splendid presentations of fine music (at 8, channels 22 and 67). ++ Zubin Mehta leads the New York Symphony Orchestra and pianist Daniel Barenboim in performances of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto.

* Just as yesterday's Media Monitor was asking for examples of franker language and innuendo on TV this fall, the mail brought a stunning example from the public relations realm: an 11-by-13-inch cheesecake pinup of partially clothed actress Clare Wren, a new character on ABC's "The Young Riders" (8 p.m. Saturdays, Channel 13). And a supposedly hand-written note on the back is full of double entendres.

"What's a nice girl like me doing fooling around with a bunch of young hunks?" she asks, urging critics to tune in, ". . . and find out how one girl handles seven guys!"

Whoa, Trigger! No mention, though, of the show's content.

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