Digest - Centerstage
Comedies, Not Olympics Keep ABC Schedule Hopping
Strangers" among comedies in rotation
the network that for years had been synonymous with coverage of the Olympics,
has made a laughing matter of not showing the Summer Games this year.
Well, so to speak.
network is counterbalancing NBC's coverage of the XXIV Summer Olympiad by
showing, many times per week, its top-rated comedy shows as well as comedy
feature films over the next two weeks.
"Growing Pains" and "Head of the Class," please. Kirk
Cameron of the former and Howard Hesseman of the latter will be seen four nights
this week, while Mark Linn-Baker and Bronson Pinchot will portray mismatched
cousins in "Perfect Strangers" during primetime three nights
throughout the week. "Full House" and "Mr. Belvedere"
get into the comedy series rotation as well.
weeks immediately ahead also feature many of America's top notch comedy talents
such as Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, Steve
Martin, Bill Murray, Garry Shandling, Lily Tomlin, Henry Winkler and Robin
Williams in a variety of feature films and specials.
strategy, while the Olympics are on another network, is quite simply to offer
viewers 'comic relief,' drawn from some of the best ABC comedy programs on the
air," said Brandon Stoddard, president of ABC Entertainment.
"This way viewers will know they can turn to ABC for a laugh or two."
about a laugh or two, how about those two mismatched cousins in "Perfect
Strangers," played by Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker?
The two have been together since the Mediterranean immigrant Balki Bartokomous (Pinchot)
came into Cousin Larry Appleton's (Linn-Baker) Americanized world on March 25,
1986 in the premiere episode.
Balki left his Mediterranean home and headed for the United States, he
precipitated a hilarious culture clash with his unsuspecting distant cousin,
Larry, who didn't know what to make of the naive sheepherder who turned up at
his Chicago apartment.
free-spirited Balki, although having improved his English by taking night
courses, still frustrates his cousin by mixing Old Country ways with New World
who plays Balki, has led a colorful life and had an equally colorful career to
date. From a chance part in an off-Broadway play, Pinchot was spotted by
the director of "Risky Business" and selected to play Tom Cruise's
sidekick. "The Flamingo Kid" and "Hot Resort" soon
followed, and then came his most recognized role as flamboyant Serge in
"Beverly Hills Cop." In between "Cop" and
"Perfect Strangers" was a short-lived NBC series called
he maintains the worst job he ever had was collecting dried pine needles to
scatter upon an outdoor stage of a Shakespearian theater in the Berkshires to
prevent the actors from slipping on the rainsoaked stage.
still get a jolt of acquisitiveness when I see a fallen pine tree with handsful
of luscious dried needles on it," Pinchot says. "I feel like I
should tuck them away for later."