In the middle of all the controversy over The Last Temptation of Christ, an ironic financial windfall has come MCA/Universal’s way. Because of the 25,000 people who came to Universal City to protest the film’s opening at its theater there, an additional $5,000 was rung up—not in ticket sales, of course—but at Universal’s parking lot….
More Temptation: One of the evangelical groups opposing Martin Scorsese’s film accidentally sent the director a form letter requesting a tax-free donation to help block the movie. His publicist claims Scorsese was “amused.”
…And, at a San Francisco theater showing the movie, a counterprotester dressed as a lion carried a sign reading Christians, Breakfast of Champions.
Comedian and would-be chanteuse Sandra Bernhard and the M.C.E.G. production company will begin shooting her current one-woman off-Broadway show, Without You I’m Nothing, next month for a theatrical film. It will also have taped interviews with family and friends, including new best pal Madonna and, in the more-than-we-need-to-know category, with her gynecologist.
At season’s end on ABC’s Hooperman, Susan (Debrah Farentino) was pregnant with Hooperman’s (John Ritter’s) child, and it seemed that the marriage knot would soon be tied. But when the show kicks off this fall, Susan will have a miscarriage and then abandon Hooperman, leaving Farentino without a part. “Unfortunately, Debrah was playing a character we’re no longer happy with,” says Hooperman writer-producer Rick Kellard. “We felt it would open the series up if we didn’t have a permanent relationship. Hooperman won’t be out dating, because we have to handle the ’80s kind of responsibility, but he’ll be a single man again.” No comment from Farentino. Musicals make strange bedfellows—how else to explain the teaming of sci-fi legend Ray Bradbury and songwriter Jimmy (Wichita Lineman) Webb? “Ray came bopping into my office in New York and asked me if I wanted to write a musical with him,” says Webb. “It took me a while to get my mouth in gear because I had been reading him since I was a kid in Elk City, Okla. But I must say we’ve had the sweetest collaboration.” The show, based on Dandelion Wine, the 1957 Bradbury novel about an adolescent boy, will be performed in workshop this fall in New York, and the pair hopes the play will land on Broadway in 1989.
Can Prince William, 6, tell time? Buckingham Palace isn’t saying, but England’s future king has been spotted wearing a Flik Flak wristwatch. The big hand (minutes) is Flik, a boy character, and the little hand (hours) is Flak, a girl.
In CBS’ upcoming sitcom Murphy Brown, Candice Bergen plays a sophisticated TV reporter (tagged by the executive producer as “Mike Wallace in a dress”) back on the beat after a sobering session at the Betty Ford Center. Bergen says the premise is realistic. “I know very few people at this point who haven’t been [to Betty Ford],” she says. “I think I’m something of a rarity, actually, because I’ve never gone.”