"Seinfeld" will become even more like Seinfeld this season.
The hit NBC sitcom, which stars droll stand-up Jerry Seinfeld as himself, will feature an ongoing storyline in which he negotiates with NBC for his own series, the comedian told TV critics in Los Angeles yesterday.
The plot will begin with the Aug. 12 third-season opener and continue through at least five episodes. It could run the entire 22 segments, says Mr. Seinfeld, also the show's producer. "We don't know where it's going, but as long as it can live, we'll do it."
Jason Alexander, who plays sad-sack George, takes over Mr. Seinfeld's negotiations without telling him. During the process, he gets the hots for an NBC executive. She'll be played by an actress, but real-life NBC executives Warren Littlefield and Rick Ludwin will pop up, using fictitious names.
In other "Seinfeld" tidbits, look for "Murphy Brown" star Candice Bergen to stroll into an episode. In the season finale of "Seinfeld," fledgling actor Kramer appeared on CBS's "Murphy Brown" as the latest in Murphy's unending line of psycho
Scott Simon, respected star of NPR's "Weekend Edition," had a lawyer family friend, not an agent, handle his negotiations to be co-anchor of NBC's Saturday and Sunday editions of "Today," he said yesterday. To boot, Mr. Simon accepted NBC's first salary offer.
"NBC offered me more money than I've ever been offered in my life," says Mr. Simon, 40, who will remain based in Washington. "Maybe it's naive, but it didn't occur to me to say, 'Come on, guys. You can dobetter than that.' "
Turning its attention to what programming executive Bridget Potter acknowledged was a neglected area, HBO will roll out two new family series this fall.
With "Shakespeare: The Animated Tales," the premium cable channel has not discovered some lost cartoons written by the bard 400 years ago. But it will take some of his plays and make them into a series of a sort of Classics Illustrated for television.
"Lifestories: Families in Crisis," a series of half-hour "re-creations, rather than dramatizations," Ms. Potter said, will tell stories about teen suicide, date rape, drunken driving, eating disorders, AIDS and abortion. A new episode will air each month.
Ms. Potter also announced Wednesday that HBO had ordered 26 new episodes of its quirky sitcom "Dream On."