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UPDATE

October 06, 1985

Valerie Bertinelli will star Oct. 14 in "Silent Witness," a TV movie on NBC about a woman who sees her brother-in-law rape a woman and then must decide whether to testify against him or remain silent to protect the family. John Savage co-stars as her husband. . . . Bertinelli, meanwhile, is already at work on another TV movie for CBS, "Rockabye." In it she plays a mother whose baby is kidnaped, plunging her into a frantic search.

Peter Ustinov will portray Agatha Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot in "13 at Dinner," a murder mystery TV movie that will be broadcast Oct 18 on CBS. Faye Dunaway stars as the story's prime suspect, the widow of the slain man.

Bruce Weitz of "Hill Street Blues" will take viewers on a trip to Los Angeles' Skid Row in "The Open-Air Asylum," an hourlong documentary set to air Oct. 20 on KHJ-TV Channel 9. The show's title stems from the fact that thousands of the inhabitants of Skid Row are mentally ill.

Three generations of the Robert Mitchum family will portray three generations of the fictional Jack Palmer family in "Promises to Keep," a TV movie airing on CBS Oct. 15. The eldest Mitchum plays Palmer, a drifter who shows up in Santa Barbara to see the wife and son he hasn't contacted in 30 years. Mitchum's real-life son, Christopher, plays Palmer's son, and Mitchum's real-life grandson, Bentley, plays Palmer's grandson.

David Hasselhoff and Catherine Hickland will host "The Soap Opera Awards," a two-hour special that will air Saturday at 8 p.m. and repeat next Sunday at 4 p.m. on KHJ-TV Channel 9. The awards, honoring both daytime and prime-time serials, are based on a poll of readers of Soap Opera Digest magazine.

NBC News reports that it is working on four "White Paper" documentaries. No air dates have been announced, but the subjects include teachers, apartheid in South Africa, how Japan is coping with the technological revolution and the effect of divorce on the adults and children involved.

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