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Take One

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It seems Madonna can’t count on fraternal love to get her songs played on the radio. Martin Ciccone, 28, a deejay for WDTX-FM in Detroit, says he spins his sis’ discs “sometimes, but there are a lot of other people out there, and I have to be careful not to show favoritism.” As for Madonna‘s next, as-yet-untitled, LP, Martin reports, “She’s using strings. So I asked her, ‘Is this something different for you?’ and she answered, ‘Everything I do is different.’ I said, ‘Well, excuse me!’ ” Now, children.

After years of planning, Dolly Parton has written three songs for a country album she’s getting ready to record with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris….

Tom Cruise, now filming The Hustler sequel, The Color of Money, with Paul Newman, will produce and star in The Chris Lucas Story, about a young New York cop who goes undercover to investigate the Mafia and falls in love with the kingpin’s granddaughter….

Country singer Mel Tillis will produce and star in a six-hour TV miniseries called Take This Land, about real estate speculators in Florida in the 1920s. Tillis hopes to shoot on location in his hometown, Pahokee, Fla. on Lake Okeechobee, where modern-day speculators are supplanting fishing camps with condos….

Errol Flynn look-alike Rod (Harper Valley PTA) McCary lost the lead role in last season’s Flynn TV biopic My Wicked, Wicked Ways to Duncan Regehr. So McCary has changed his ways. He’ll produce a remake of Flynn’s 1942 film Gentleman Jim and has already cast himself in the title role of 19th-century prizefighter Jim Corbett. Tough Cookies, a CBS replacement series scheduled to begin airing in March, stars Robbie Benson as a rookie cop and Lainie Kazan as the owner of the policemen’s favorite bar….

Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy, who played a drug dealer on NBC’s Miami Vice, portrays a corrupt bureaucrat in the Jan. 25 episode of CBS’ Air-wolf. Of the typecasting, Liddy says, “People who play villains get a lot of work since they kill them off every week. I don’t take it personally.”

Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann is capitalizing on his broken leg. On an Amoco commercial scheduled for showing in March, Theismann drives into a station with former teammate Tom Milanovich and asks the attendant to fill’er up. Enjoying the service, Theismann notes, “This sure is painless.” Milanovich says, “Ah, give me a break,” to which Theismann replies, “Please, never say break.”

If you’re a college-bound minority student from the New York area in need of financial aid, you might apply for the Eddie Murphy Scholarship at the College of Willam & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. The endowment was established by Murphy’s manager Robert Wachs, a 1961 grad, in honor of Eddie, who has yet to get any degree.

When it came to federal spending, former Office of Management and Budget Director David Stockman was known as a hatchet man. Now putting the final touches on his memoirs, The Triumph of Politics, for which he received a $2 million advance, Stockman is facing the editor’s ax. Insiders say the manuscript is so long that his publisher, Harper & Row, may have trouble whittling down the bureaucratic saga to a planned 320 pages.

At an NBC press dinner to promote its new miniseries Peter the Great, starring Maximilian Schell and Vanessa Redgrave, co-star Omar Sharif entertained the guests by doing an impromptu shimmy with an exotic belly dancer. After returning to his seat, the dashing Sharif, 53, received a sobering note of praise from British actor Jeremy Kemp, who plays Gen. Gordon in the mini. The note read: “Well done, Grandpa!”