There’s trouble on the set of ABC’s Hart to Hart, which in the past two years usually ranked in the top 20 among prime-time network shows but in recent weeks has plummeted to its all-time low, 60th place. As a result the series’ star and co-owner Robert Wagner and its co-creator Leonard Goldberg have decided not to renew the contracts of any of the producers, directors or writers if Hart is picked up for a sixth season. According to one insider, Wagner and his TV wife, Stefanie Powers, “have become increasingly unhappy with the scripts over the last two seasons. Shooting has sometimes been delayed for four hours while R.J. [Wagner], Stefanie and the writers rewrite completely. That has led to shouting matches.” Although they’re not shouting at each other, the source says, “Stefanie and R.J. are sweating whether the series will be back next season. It might be too late to save it.”
Lionel Richie, besides writing music for Pepsi commercials that will air next year, is talking with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company about composing a ballet to be staged by Michael Peters, choreographer of Richie’s Running With the Night video and one of Michael Jackson’s Pepsi commercials. Meanwhile, Peters and videomeister Bob Giraldi, who directed Running and both of Jackson’s commercials, are eyeing the big screen: They hope to do a musical based on Jerzy Kosinski’s bestseller Pinball.
Oscar nominee Glenn Close, who’s appearing on Broadway with Jeremy Irons in The Real Thing, won’t trust her naturally curly tresses to just any stylist when she goes to the Academy Awards next month. Up for best supporting actress for Columbia Pictures’ The Big Chill, Close is taking along her hairdresser, Harry Balderstone of Richard Stein Haircutters in Manhattan. “Her hair will be somewhat in the usual ilk. She doesn’t like drastic changes. She wants to wear a romantic-looking dress, so I plan a romantic-looking ‘do,” says Balderstone, who will stay at the swank Beverly Hills Hotel at Columbia’s expense during his two-night visit. Harry also gets to go to the awards ceremony but, he says, “I won’t be sitting with Glenn. I’ll probably be off in the corner somewhere.” That’s the way the curlers tumble.
Director Steven Spielberg didn’t take home an Oscar for E.T. last year, but his take-home pay for the film will keep him in buttered popcorn for epochs to come. Spielberg has received a personal check from Universal Pictures, E.T.’s distributor, for $93 million. That’s in addition to an estimated $16 million he has already received from the studio, as well as his lucrative income from E.T ‘s spin-off projects. Spielberg will pick up additional change with the reissue next year of E.T. and the opening on May 23 of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which Spielberg directed. The Raiders of the Lost Ark sequel, starring Harrison Ford and Kate (A Little Sex) Capshaw, ranks first on a long list of summer movies expected to be popular hits. That’s not entirely good news: Reportedly, some theater owners are looking to cash in on the bonanza by raising ticket prices to $6 in major markets.
For his next project, Harrison Ford will team with director Peter (The Year of Living Dangerously) Weir on a Paramount film tentatively titled Called Home, about a cop who falls in love with an Amish woman. Filming is set to start in Lancaster, Pa. next month, but Ford and Weir still haven’t settled on the female lead or the title. So Paramount has offered a $400 bonus to any studio employee who can come up with a better title. So far, no winners. One of the losers: The Year of Living Amishly.