Beefier CNN:Looking to beef up its election coverage, CNN...

In short

May 14, 1991

Beefier CNN:

Looking to beef up its election coverage, CNN has signed heavyweight columnists David S. Broder of the Washington Post and the Baltimore Evening Sun's Jack W. Germond as political analysts, the cable network said yesterday. The Broder-Germond team will appear at least 70 times through May '93. No debut date. The CNN deal means an end to the duo's 11-year relationship with NBC News' "Today" show, where they had appeared monthly. Their NBC finale was April 19. The deal will not affect Broder's and Germond's individual TV work, says a CNN spokesman. Broder will continue as a semi-regular panelist on NBC's "Meet the Press," Germond as a regular on PBS' "The McLaughlin Group."

Madonna scores:

NBC's "Saturday Night Live," featuring Madonna in a naughty "Wayne's World" bit, scored a 9.4 rating/27 percent audience share in the 25-market Nielsen overnights -- one of "SNL's" highest numbers this season. (Each overnight rating point equals 446,215 homes.)

Actor's disturbed brother:

Michael Caine learned last week that he has a mentally disturbed brother who was secretly institutionalized by his mother for almost 50 years. The actor is quoted in weekend London newspapers as saying he was "flabbergasted" to find out about David, 66, who he said was born out of wedlock but could have had the same father as he. Caine, 58, said he knew that his mother, Ellen Maria Burchell, who died in 1989, visited a confined relative but that she said it was a cousin and wouldn't let him come on the visits. He added that the brother's existence explains why his mother refused to move to a better neighborhood when he offered to relocate her. "It was obviously because it was easy for her to get the bus to the hospital from there," he said. He added: "It's a Victorian type of attitude, isn't it? But my mum was a very Victorian lady." Caine said he's prepared to care for his brother. Said he: "I have the money. . . . What can I do? Whatever is possible." ABC has renewed Peter Falk's "Columbo" for two more seasons. The rare two-season pickup calls for up to eight "Columbo" movies. The series debuted in '71. . . . To celebrate Dennis Hopper's 55th birthday Friday, cable's Cinemax will offer an all-Hopper night. The lineup: "Hoosiers" at 6, a Hopper profile on "Crazy About the Movies" at 8, "Easy Rider" at 9 and "Chattahoochee" at 10:45.

The movie shuffle:

Paramount's "Regarding Henry" (Harrison Ford) was originally set for release June 5, and then June 21, and it's now coming out July 12, the same weekend that Paramount's sleeper blockbuster "Ghost" was released last year. Paramount executives are hoping lightning strikes twice. So far, no major studio is releasing a movie against "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" -- apparently out of fear of the title's name recognition and the film's popular, Oscar-winning star, Kevin Costner. "That's what we hear," chortled Robert G. Friedman, Warners' president of theatrical advertising and publicity, "and we're happy to accept it."

Branded as offensive:

It's hard to miss the billboards of showgirls dressed in skintight cowhide outside Broadway's Palace Theater, where "The Will Rogers Follies" is playing. For many women who work in the theater, those billboards are also hard to take. The problem, the women say, is that the showgirls are branded with Will Rogers' initials on their buttocks. In a letter sent to the show's producers last week, they wrote: "We find public displays of branding and subjugation offensive advertising. . . . It is especially callous to present such a retrograde image at a time when assault and violence against women are on the rise. If these characters were children or minorities, there would have been enough awareness of the offending nature of the material that this would never have been created." The letter, a collaborative effort organized by Lynda Sturner, the president of the League of Professional Theater Women, was signed by 38 people, including Jane Alexander, Gretchen Cryer, Julia Miles, Estelle Parsons, Gloria Steinem and Peter Stone, who wrote the show's book.

Pop for Wembley:

Sunday's international pop concert organized by novelist Jeffrey Archer raised $1.7 million in ticket sales at London's Wembley Arena and more than $2.5 million in telephoned pledges. Organizers said that before the appeal closes May 25 they expect to match the $17 million donated by the British government with funds collected in other nations.

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