CBS has squeezed The Trials of Rosie O’Neill into its Thursday night lineup this fall opposite NBC’s powerhouse, Cheers. Sharon Gless, who plays the title character and who is married to Rosie’s producer, Barney Rosenzweig, notes the second-season pickup is only for 13 episodes rather than the expected 22. “The network wanted major changes,” says Gless, 48. “Rosie [a public defender] would have gone into a private practice with a hunk if the network had its way. If we did that, CBS would guarantee us an order for 22 up front. But it would have been a cop-out. Barney said to [CBS], ‘I’m not a whore in this point of my career. If you want Moonlighting, you’ve come to the wrong guy.’ ” The compromise? Edward Asner, more of a chunk than a hunk, joins the series this season as an investigator.
Tennis ace Monica Seles is hitting back at former tennis great Chris Evert after Evert served up some powerful comments about Seles in a recent New York Times interview. In the Times, Evert accused Seles of staging her now-infamous withdrawal from last June’s Wimbledon tournament as a publicity ploy, although Seles has said she was injured. “Being non-American,” said Evert, “[Seles] knows you’re not going to get as much press. She’s seeing Jennifer [Capriati] getting the endorsements and the publicity. She’s a smart girl.” Seles, who happens to be endorsing No Excuses jeans, returns Chris’s volley. “I think Chris was always a critic of mine,” says Seles, 17. “What she says about me doesn’t hurt me. There are worse things in life that could happen. [Getting attention] is the worst reason I could think of for [pulling out of Wimbledon]. I got plenty of attention having been a No. 1 player [Seles is currently No. 2]. But bad press is part of the game. It must have been the same for [Evert] when she was going through her divorce [from John Lloyd]. Good players deal with stuff like that.”
Like Arnold and Sly, flavor-of-the-month action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme, 30, comes from the grammar school of hard knocks. “I’ve got to improve my grammar, ’cause I never learn English in school, says Double Impact’s Van Damme, who grew up speaking French in Belgium but now grunts in English onscreen. “I learn English on the street. But I have a better tone than Arnold. Arnold is very cold. Very good, I mean, the guy is No. 1, but what I’m saying is, I’ve got a better…I’m only here for six, seven years. He’s here since 22, 23 years. So I know in three more years, I’ll be okay with the English. Especially if I learn.”
“Although I personally never had an evil sister, nor was I ever an evil sister, I do love playing one,” says Teri Garr, who comes to ABC this fall on Good and Evil, a new comedy about two sisters, one good (Margaret Whitton), the other a schemer (Garr). “Actually, I’m sweet as apple pie—with knives inside. I get into shape for the role by tearing the wings off insects in my yard,” jokes Garr, 41, adding, “For contrast, when I finish this role, I just may have to play the lead in The Mother Teresa Story.”