Barbara Eden, the former star of "I Dream of Jeannie," teams with Josh Taylor of "The Hogan Family" in "Happily Ever After," a new TV movie being made for NBC. Eden plays a grocery-store checker who accidentally stumbles into high-society circles and decides to keep her charade going. But problems develop when she falls in love with a rich man (Taylor) who doesn't know her true identity.
The networks' fall season will be starting late this year, but PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" will kick off its new season early--on Aug. 28, with the premiere of "By the Sword Divided II." The seven-part miniseries continues the saga of the 17th-Century British family whose loyalties are divided by the Civil War. The series stars Timothy Bentinck, Rob Edwards, Sharon Mughan and Peter Jeffrey (as Oliver Cromwell) and is overseen by John Hawkesworth, creator of "Upstairs, Downstairs."
The "Designing Women" episode dealing with AIDS, which won wide praise when it was first broadcast last October, will be repeated at 9:30 p.m. June 27. In the CBS comedy, Tony Goldwyn plays the AIDS victim who asks the show's stars to plan a funeral for him.
People: Melvin Van Peebles gets a guest shot on his son Mario's TV series Friday in a repeat of "Sonny Spoon," on NBC. His role: Sonny's father, naturally. . . . The musical duo of Ashford and Simpson has signed to star in an hourlong special for cable's Disney Channel. It'll be broadcast this fall, with Patti LaBelle guesting.
Ed Begley Jr. and Linda Purl play husband and wife in "Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs," a comedy about espionage that will be broadcast on CBS next season. The two-hour TV movie also stars Harry Anderson of "Night Court," with Wendy Crewson as his ex-wife.