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Phylicia Rashad, who plays Mom Huxtable on "The Cosby...

June 18, 1989|LEE MARGULIES

Phylicia Rashad, who plays Mom Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," will be directed by her sister, Debbie Allen, in "Polly," a two-hour musical special for NBC. Joining Rashad from "The Cosby Show" cast will be little Keshia Knight Pulliam. Only she'll play Rashad's niece, not her daughter. The show also will boast the talents of Brock Peters, Butterfly McQueen, Celeste Holm, Dorian Harewood, Larry Riley, Ken Page, Barbara Montgomery, Brandon Adams, T.K. Carter and Vanessa Bell Calloway.

Showtime has a bevy of comedy specials in the works, including the 11th from Gallagher, which will be taped in Lake Tahoe. Other comedians preparing shows for the pay-cable channel include Jeff Altman, Louise Duart, Richard Jeni and Carol Leifer. . . . Meanwhile, Showtime has ordered 25 new episodes of its "Super Dave" comedy series, starring Bob Einstein, and is launching a new comedy series July 8 called "The Boys," with Norman Fell, Norm Crosby, Lionel Stander and Jackie Gayle.

Jean Stapleton of "All in the Family" fame will star in an episode of "Trying Times" when the KCET Channel 28 comedy series returns next season. She plays a senior citizen who is forced to go to work at a fast food restaurant, where her boss (played by Corey Feldman) is all of 19 years old. . . . Another installment has Robert Klein starring as a man who decides to deal with the pressures in his life by resuming smoking.

Former "Hotel" star Connie Sellecca is making a TV movie for NBC about a woman who kills her cheating husband on New Year's Eve, wishes she had a chance to make things right and suddenly finds herself reliving the previous year. David Dukes plays the husband. Also starring in "Repeat Performance" are Dina Merrill, Gene Barry, Jere Burns and Wendy Kilbourne.

Talk about breaking out of a rut: Mel Harris, who plays Hope, the usually contented wife of mild-mannered Michael on "thirtysomething," will portray a woman who tragically falls in love with the Grand Dragon of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan in "Cross of Fire," a four-hour TV movie that NBC will broadcast next season. John Heard plays the man of her affections, who ultimately attacks her; David Morse and Lloyd Bridges co-star as the attorneys who battle the resulting legal case in court.

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