CBS chief high on Snyder for late slot

TURNED ON IN L.A.

July 22, 1994|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

LOS ANGELES -- There's still no deal, but CBS management made its first official comment yesterday on numerous reports that Tom Snyder is about to join the network as host of a late-night show following "Late Show With David Letterman."

"We haven't made the deal yet," CBS President Howard Stringer said. Then he launched into a spiel about how compatible Snyder and Letterman are, that sounded as if it was a done deal -- at least in the minds of CBS, Letterman and Snyder.

"Tom Snyder cuts across generations effectively, and he can talk to almost anybody. I like the idea of a dramatic contrast to comedy, and that people can listen to Tom Snyder talk to everybody from comedians and rock stars to politicians," he said.

Stringer said the negotiations are dragging on because they involve CBS getting affiliates to clear the late-late time period and carry Snyder's show. Anyone who followed the Letterman move to CBS last year knows how complicated that can be.

*

Dudley Moore is supposed to be the star. But Harvey Fierstein steals the show in CBS' "Daddy's Girls."

Fierstein plays an openly gay character in the sitcom, and talked frankly about his role at a press conference to promote the show.

Asked if his character would be able to have a sex life, unlike Matt Fielding on "Melrose Place," Fierstein said, "We're still sort of deciding whether he has a long-term relationship or whether he'll be a slut. But I am holding auditions the first week for the role of my lover, and we'll decide after that."

Fierstein's character is a high-strung fashion designer. He was asked if he thought there was a danger some would see that as a gay stereotype.

"I have a great problem of people talking about stereotypes that don't understand that in the gay male world -- forget about the lesbian world -- there's every kind of gay man. There are flamboyant gay men, there are gay Republicans. . . . So, no one can represent all gay people. As an actor, I have to play a specific character," he said.

Asked if his character would be allowed a gay kiss, Fierstein said his character was going to do something so far beyond kissing, it can't even be suggested in this newspaper.

*

Hot on the heels of his return to the big screen in "Maverick," James Garner met with critics here to announce he's bringing "The Rockford Files" back to TV.

Like Peter Falk and his "Columbo" movies, Garner has signed with CBS to make six Rockford movies in the next two years. The first will air in November.

The networks have been after Garner for years to bring back the popular private eye. So, why now?

"Money," Garner says. "I think I'm being funny. No, you want the real truth? I'm of an age where I don't know if I could do this three or four years down the line. And I want to do it. And, if I'm going to do it, I should do it now. It's a wonderful character to do."

Everyone from the original cast will return, Garner says, except Noah Berry, who played Rockford's dad, Rocky. He has had several strokes and, said Garner, "I just don't think he's up to it."

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