All together now: "Noooooorm!"
It looks like "Frasier" is sending Dr. Frasier Crane back to Boston for a visit to "Cheers." That's Cheers the bar and Cheers the cast, as the NBC sitcom reunites its star with his pals, including bartender Woody (Woody Harrelson), postman Cliff Claven (John Ratzenberger) and Norm Peterson (George Wendt).
According to a source at NBC, the reunion show is close to being a done deal. Even Ted Danson, now starring on CBS's "Becker," has said he might be up for another turn behind the bar as Sam Malone, just for an hour of grins.
And ratings. The "Frasier" special is sure to air during sweeps.
(Elaine Liner, Toledo Blade)
PROGRAMMING ABOUT GAYS: This month, it's gay and lesbian issues. Next month, education.
WQED is scheduling a block of related programs on the last Sunday of the month. Tomorrow at 3 p.m., WQED/WQEX will air "Before Stonewall." At 4:30 p.m., it will broadcast "After Stonewall: From the Riots to the Millennium." At 6 p.m., it will show "Our House: A Very Real Documentary About Kids of Gay and Lesbian Parents."
Issues in education will be the focus from 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 27 on WQED/WQEX.
In other WQED news, "On Q" will be represented at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions by reporter Michael Bartley and a robot called Adam 40-80 that can play back video. Bartley will be filing stories with a local angle, especially those with a high- technology connection. That also will be the thrust of taped pieces on display by Adam 40-80, a high-performance robot that will play Pittsburgh segments produced for "On Q."
Look for Bartley's next story Friday, before the "fearsome foursome" segment of the half-hour show.
THEY NEED A MAN: In a shift from matrimony to manhunt, the television network that brought viewers the Darva Conger-Rick Rockwell wedding is now on the prowl for the country's most appealing single man.
"The Sexiest Bachelor in America," a two-hour special, is scheduled to air Oct. 2 on Fox. It will feature 50 men -- one from each state -- and will be broadcast from the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Las Vegas. All of the judges will be women.
The network has established a Web site, www.sexiestbachelor.com, for people interested in entering the pageant. Any male U.S. resident who is single and 21 or older may enter. (Associated Press)
LATIN BEAT: This season, Nickelodeon's "Brothers Garcia" and Showtime's weekly drama "Resurrection Blvd.," are the only Latino-themed prime-time TV shows. "Resurrection Blvd." is a boxing drama that follows a Mexican-American family in East Los Angeles while "Brothers Garcia" is about a family with three boys and a girl. And the pull between the past and the future is an overarching theme.
Both the Nickelodeon and Showtime projects underscore that Hollywood's most progressively diverse shows are not yet available to general audiences. In America, diverse entertainment still tends to come at price.
At a conference earlier this month in San Diego, the National Council of La Raza met to discuss, among other things, its next step in getting the broadcast networks to follow the cable channels.
"Cable is leading the way. They're willing to take risks because they're able to break away from the pack," said La Raza spokeswoman Lisa Navarette.
NOW THIS: Judy Muller has written a book.
You probably don't know her name, but you likely know her face and her voice. As an ABC correspondent, she contributes to "Nightline," "20/20," "Good Morning America," "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" and National Public Radio's "Morning Edition." She covered the two O.J. Simpson trials and the Columbine shootings. And while she was doing that, she raised two daughters, one now a producer for "60 Minutes."
In what she calls "Erma-Noir" style, Muller tells her tale in "Now This: Radio, Television . . . and the Real World" (G.P. Putnam's Sons).
Asked about the title, Muller said, "It's what radio reporters say before a commercial, and it became a kind of Buddhist mantra for me. When I was at CBS Radio, my boss called me in. I was sure he was going to compliment me, and instead he said he'd like me to work on my 'now this.'
"How many ways can you say it? I practiced an authoritative 'now this,' a provocative 'now this.' I finally hit on a small pause between the 'now' and the 'this,' and he liked that. So, for me, 'now this' represents the trivial things that can trip you up when everything is going smoothly: 'Now I have to deal with this.' "
(Cheryl Lavin, Chicago Tribune)