The jury is still out on attorney Gerry Spence’s last client, Lee Harvey Oswald. Nearly 23 years after his death, Oswald receives his day in court on Show-time’s two-part miniseries, On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald, airing in November. The verdict will be read on the final episode of the special, which was shot in London. Jackson, Wyoming defense attorney Spence, 57, whose clients have included Karen Silkwood and Kim Pring, a former Miss Wyoming, in her suit against Penthouse, does battle with prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, the L.A. attorney who won a conviction against Charles Manson. The fictitious legal drama features actual witnesses to the Kennedy assassination, Texas jurors selected from a federal court computer list and an authentic Texas judge—all flown over for filming. Spence is prepared for a guilty verdict from the all-Texan jury. “The people in Dallas are absolutely convinced of Oswald’s guilt,” says Spence.
O.J. Simpson will co-star with Erik Estrada in the series K.O. and Kellogg. The pair—in one of those time-honored TV plots—play two wrongly convicted ex-cons out to clear their names…. The sight of foam billowing out of ABC’s Life With Lucyset and into a studio parking lot must have reassured fans that Lucille Ball, at 75, apparently has lost none of her zaniness.
In England, Ronald Reagan’s image has gone to the dogs. Armitage pet products of Britain is selling “Rancid Ronnie” rubber dog toys, based on the satirical puppets appearing on the Spitting Image TV show. The Reagan squeaky doggie treat and a “Meaty Maggie” Margaret Thatcher are selling well in London at $4 each, but so far there are no plans to market the products in the U.S., where Reagan is still top dog. However, you can buy Reagan’s Raiders, a comic book that will depict the President as a sort of rich man’s Rambo. The first issue of the bimonthly is due out next month and has the Raiders—George Bush, George Shultz, Caspar Weinberger, Larry Speakes and Ed Meese—tackling terrorism.
The Sean Penn-Madonna movie Shanghai Surprise was desperately seeking a new home. When MGM balked at director Jim Goddard’s cut, he showed the film to another studio, hoping to find a new distributor. No such luck—advance word has long been that the film is a bowser. So now it’s back to MGM for a regional release date of Aug. 29. However, in a move usually made to deflect negative reviews, the picture won’t open in New York before mid-September, thus keeping the mighty Gotham critics at bay.
Philadelphia may be the City of Brotherly Love, but it failed to be a site for the father-son reunion between ’60s folksinger Donovan, 40, and 18-year-old Donovan Leitch Jr. Since the Mellow Yellow singer and Enid Leitch divorced 15 years ago, Donovan Jr. and sister lone Skye have had almost no contact with their dad. Then, Donovan Jr., an aspiring actor, arrived in Phi My to make his first movie, The In Crowd, about the TV dance shows of the ’60s. Coincidentally his dad flew into town for a concert. But, according to Donovan Jr., neither son’s nor father’s schedule permitted a reunion. “I don’t really know him at all,” says Junior. “I’d be interested in meeting up with him.” Some other decade, maybe.
Even though Pat Booth’s racy Palm Beach wasn’t a blockbuster in hardback (the paper edition is currently on the best-seller list), she is convinced that lust amid the palm trees will be a hit on TV. Booth says Roger Vadim is interested in directing the proposed miniseries, and she hopes to do some filming at the sumptuous beachfront home of real estate mogul Donald Trump. As though literary lovers were not already sick of bare rumps and borrowed Bentleys, Booth is already working on Sisters, a novel loosely based on those Collins girls, Joan and Jackie, and a sequel, Palm Beach 2. Have the real Palm Beachers grown disgusted with the British-born author for these outpourings? “Most of them love it,” Booth insists. “They like to be associated with success.”