ABC hot line advises viewers on shows, violence TURNED ON IN L.A -- Fall Preview

July 27, 1993|By David Zurawik

LOS ANGELES -- ABC will launch an advisory hot line Sunday so that viewers can get information about network shows that carry a parental or viewer advisory.

"The ABC advisory hot line is the latest in a series of efforts we are making to show increased sensitivity to concerns about depictions of violence in television programming," said Ted Harbert, president of ABC Entertainment. The number is 1 (800) 213-6ABC.

During weeks when no programming on ABC carries advisories, callers will be advised of programming that has been tailored to children.

'Simpsons' loses on looks?

James L. Brooks, creator of "The Simpsons," says he knows why Homer, Marge and the kids were slighted last week with only two minor Emmy nominations: "It's a clear case of looks-ism, because it can't be just a coincidence that everybody who was nominated is more attractive than the Simpsons."

Devane divines

Don't ask William Devane about Emmy nominations or why "Knot's Landing" never gets any.

"Listen, it's just not an industry show. Real people watched it, so it's real hard to get a nomination when real people watch," Devane says. "But it doesn't concern me. Basically, it's just a lot of out-of-work people voting on things -- kind of like a union."

Devane was on hand to promote "Phenom," a new ABC sitcom about a teen-age tennis prodigy, her coach and her mother.

A sea dog?

Producer Steven Spielberg says his "seaQuest DSV" on NBC this fall is designed to be great family entertainment.

"It's part science, part fiction, and it's complete and pure fantasy, " Spielberg says of the action-adventure series, which stars Roy Scheider as captain of a technologically advanced submarine exploring oceanic frontiers 25 years in the future.

While it might be geared to family viewing, that's no guarantee families are going to tune in. The show is now on its third writer-producer and looks to be in trouble. And at $2 million an episode, "seaQuest" is among the costliest on TV and could be

another (family) dog for Spielberg.

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