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UPDATE

February 15, 1987|Lee Margulies

Bob Hope's next comedy special for NBC is scheduled to air Feb. 23. It was taped in Tahiti and features a supporting cast of Jonathan Winters, John Denver, Howard Keel and Morgan Brittany.

Wil Wheaton from "Stand By Me" is playing "Young Harry Houdini" in a production for "The Disney Sunday Movie." ABC describes the project as "a fictionalized account of an adventure that changed the life of the world's most famous escape artist." Jose Ferrer also stars.

People: LeVar Burton and John Amos, who respectively played the young and grown-up Kunta Kinte in "Roots," are guest stars in the Feb. 22 episode of "Murder, She Wrote" on CBS. . . . Robert Culp, the former star of "I Spy," plays a TV news anchor with a drug problem on the Feb. 25 episode of NBC's "Highway to Heaven". . . . Also on Feb. 25, Mickey Dolenz, one of the original Monkees, appears in "The New Mike Hammer" on CBS.

Armand Assante will play a police detective whose wife is raped in "Hands of a Stranger," a four-hour adaptation of Robert Daley's novel. Also starring in the production for NBC are Beverly D'Angelo as Assante's wife and Blair Brown as his extramarital lover, an assistant district attorney who is charged with investigating the rape case.

Harmony Gold, the company that recently brought the miniseries "Shaka Zulu" to the United States, now is embarking on another miniseries for syndication, "King of the Olympics: The Lives and Loves of Avery Brundage." It is billed as a biography of the late president of the International Olympics Committee, and will be distributed in conjunction with the 1988 Olympics.

Gene Autry and Pat Buttram are teaming up again. They'll be the hosts of "Melody Ranch Theater," a series that will air weekdays on cable's Nashville Network, beginning April 6. Most of the shows will feature one of the Western films that Autry made between 1935 and 1953, but he and Buttram, his longtime sidekick, also will appear on each program to reminisce.

Brooke Adams and Brian Dennehy have been cast in an adventure film for HBO, "The Lion of Africa." They play, respectively, a doctor and a trader who must travel across 300 miles of African terrain to pick up a shipment of medical supplies.

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