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March 16, 1986|LEE MARGULIES

NBC has chosen "Return to Mayberry," a TV movie reuniting the cast of the old "Andy Griffith Show," to compete for viewers April 13 against the opening installment of the CBS miniseries "Dream West." "Return to Mayberry" will star Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts, Jim Nabors and George Lindsey. . . . "Dream West" is a seven-hour historical drama starring Richard Chamberlain as adventurer John Charles Fremont.

Coming on cable: Elliott Gould stars in a new production of "Casey at the Bat" for the Showtime pay channel. Also starring in the show, which premieres Friday, are Carol Kane, Rae Dawn Chong, Bill Macy, Bob Uecker and Howard Cosell. . . . "The Tale of the Bunny Picnic," an hourlong special starring a new set of Muppets from Jim Henson and company, debuts March 26 on Home Box Office. . . . Home Box Office also has taped a concert in Australia featuring Bob Dylan, backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, for future airing.

Martin Sheen will be seen as Mitch Snyder, the former advertising agency executive who now lobbies on behalf of the homeless, in "Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story." Also featured prominently in the TV movie for CBS is Cicely Tyson, who plays a woman living off the streets.

Morgan Freeman and C.C.H. Pounder portray the parents of a soldier killed in Vietnam in "Resting Place," a drama that will be presented on CBS under the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" banner. The story centers on their efforts to have their black son buried in what has traditionally been a cemetery for whites only. John Lithgow portrays an Army major assigned to assist them.

Briefly noted: William (The Refrigerator) Perry of the Chicago Bears is due to play himself in the March 25 episode of "The A-Team" on NBC. . . . Tommy Chong, of the comedy team Cheech & Chong, has signed on with Embassy Television to create TV series. . . . NBC plans to develop a seven-hour miniseries from two Jackie Collins novels, "Chances" and "Lucky."

CBS has set April 6 as the telecast date for "Nobody's Child," a TV movie in which Marlo Thomas plays a woman who spent 20 years in a mental institution, then got out and went on to earn a master's degree at Harvard. The film was directed by Lee Grant and co-stars Blanche Baker and Ray Baker.

Susan Sarandon and Kristy McNichol will portray Americans who were interned on Bataan during World War II in "Women of Valor." It's a TV movie for CBS about a group of U.S. Army nurses who spent three years in a Japanese prison camp.

Lee Remick will star in "Of Pure Blood," a TV movie for CBS. It's about a woman who travels to Germany to investigate the death of her son and discovers a Neo-Nazi plan to engineer a master race. The film will be shot on location in Munich and Budapest.

The ad hoc Operation Prime Time network is planning a sequel to its 1984 movie "A Woman of Substance." Jenny Seagrove, who played the young Emma Harte in the earlier drama, will return as Paula McGill Fairley, Harte's granddaughter, in "Hold the Dream." The four-hour adaptation of Barbara Taylor Bradford's novel will be filmed in London, Yorkshire, the Swiss Alps, New York and Connecticut.

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