Television digest

June 27, 1991|By Knight-Ridder

Television digest

CNN confirms that it's talking to disgruntled NBC News anchor Mary Alice Williams about returning to her former shop, where she had served as vice president and anchor. Williams, who joined NBC two years ago on the day that Connie Chung left NBC for CBS, hasn't had much to do since the network canceled her short-lived "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow."

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Hungry for the "adrenaline kick" of live TV, "Hard Copy" co-host Alan Frio confirmed Wednesday that he's leaving the syndicated show to be an anchor at KXTV-TV in Sacramento, Calif.

"I miss being on the air live," says Frio, 44, whose "Hard Copy" finale is tentatively set for Wednesday. "To a certain degree, I like doing a taped show, but your adrenaline doesn't kick in because you know you're not really up against the gun. It's not as much fun."

Frio, with "Copy" since its September '89 launch, joined the L.A.-based Paramount series after five years as a news co-anchor at Philadelphia's WCAU-TV. He and Paramount are working out the dissolution of his three-year contract, worth about $500,000 per.

No start date yet for Frio at KXTV, where he anchored in the early '80s. Live TV isn't the only thing calling him to Sacramento. His wife, Colleen, 43, and their son Alex, 17, live there. Frio crashes in a rented condo in Malibu during the week, then flies home on weekends.

"We looked for a house in L.A., but the prices were so prohibitive," Frio says. (What do you expect for half a mil, Alan? Indoor plumbing?) "We laid low for a while, renting. Then we decided to go back to our house in Sacramento, which we had never given up. We like the city, and our son (Troy) had been going to college there."

Troy, 24, by the way, is now an 11 p.m. anchor in Eureka, Calif. "My wife is sick about it," Frio says. "She tried to dissuade him from getting into the business." The couple's third child, Dana, 18, attends Dade County (Fla.) Junior College.

No decision on a replacement for Frio on "Hard Copy," says Paramount. He co-anchors with Terry Murphy.

Comics Rich Hall and Brad Garrett will guest-host ABC's "Into the Night" after host Rick Dees leaves on or about July 15, the network says. Late-night chief Phil Beuth says he also hopes to sign "Coach's" Jerry Van Dyke and Tony Danza of "Who's the Boss?" as hosts.

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Short stuff:

"Sweating Bullets," one of CBS' "Crime Time After Prime Time" late-night entries, will get a month-long tryout starting July 12. "Bullets," starring Rob Stewart as a former DEA agent-turned-private-investigator in the Florida Keys, will air at 10 p.m. Fridays. "Bullets" will retain its regular 11:30 p.m. Monday slot.

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