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TODAY'S NEWS, TOMORROW'S TELEVISION : Movie Channel rewards Andy Hardy fans: rock across Times Square and Cafe Vertigo on the Eve.

December 23, 1990|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Movies

TNT presents a "Herc-a-thon" New Year's Eve with five vintage Hercules flicks. Kirk Morris plays the muscle-bound hero in "Hercules, Sampson and Ulysses" at 5 p.m. Dan Vadis is Herc in "Triumph of Hercules" at 7 p.m. Mickey Hargitay, a former Mr. Universe, and his then-wife, Jayne Mansfield, star in "Hercules vs. the Hydra" at 9 p.m. Mark Forest stars in "Hercules vs. the Sons of the Sun" at 11 p.m. And Gordon Scott, who also played Tarzan, is the toga-clad Herc in "Hercules vs. the Molloch."

Good news for Mickey Rooney fans from the Movie Channel. Beginning Jan. 3 at 8 p.m., the cable network will present "The Andy Hardy Marathon," featuring five installments of the classic MGM movie series in which Rooney portrayed the 1930s and '40s vision of the American teen. The marathon includes: "Love Finds Andy Hardy" at 8 p.m.; "Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever" at 9:30 p.m.; "Andy Hardy Meets a Debutante" at 11 p.m.; "Life Begins for Andy Hardy" at 12:30 a.m., and "Andy Hardy's Private Secretary" at 2:10 a.m.

Emmy- and Tony-winning actress Tyne Daly has completed the ABC movie "The Last to Go," set for broadcast Jan. 21. Daly plays a woman whose life changes when her husband and adult children leave the family home. Terry O'Quinn and Annabeth Gish also star.

Stephanie Zimbalist and Tony Bill star in Lifetime Television's fifth world-premiere movie, "Soul Thief," set to air in April. Zimbalist plays a police sergeant haunted by an event she witnessed 20 years before-the murder of a young woman. Bill plays a veteran reporter who became famous for his coverage of the murder.

Series

ABC's series "The Wonder Years" and "Life Goes On" and the network's Saturday morning program, "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" and the "ABC Afterschool Specials" have won Gold Seals in the 1990 Parents' Choice Awards competition. Parents' Choice Magazine, a nonprofit children's media review, sponsors the annual awards program.

Novelist Kurt Vonnegut will host Showtime's newest anthology series, "Kurt Vonnegut's Monkey House," set to premiere early next year. The three half-hour programs are inspired by Vonnegut's short stories.

Marshall Herskovitz, co-creator and executive producer of ABC's "thirtysomething," is set to direct the feature film "Jack the Bear," starring Danny DeVito. Scheduled to go into production in March, "Jack the Bear" finds DeVito portraying a recent widower and father of two sons who becomes the host of a late-night television horror show.

PBS' Thirteen/WNET in New York and The Childhood Project Inc. are in production on "Childhood," a new series of six one-hour programs that aims to offer the first comprehensive television portrait showing how parents and societies have raised children throughout history and cultures. The series is scheduled to premiere on PBS in the fall.

TNT will present the U.S. premiere of a six-part BBC documentary series "The Trials of Life," beginning June 2. Written and hosted by naturalist Sir David Attenborough, "Trials of Life" examines the mysteries which exist in the animal kingdom.

SPECIALS

Production has been completed on "Love You to Death," a four-hour NBC miniseries set to premiere in February. It is based on a true 1985 story about a bizarre family murder plot in Orange County involving two teen-age girls persuaded to kill the one person they loved and trusted most in the world. Clancy Brown, John Ashton, Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer of "Twin Peaks") and Moira Kelly star.

American Movie Classics premieres the two-hour documentary, "The Republic Pictures Story," March 15 at 5 p.m. The documentary offers a behind-the-scenes-look at the movie studio that produced John Wayne and Roy Rogers Westerns and such serials as Spy Smasher, Captain Marvel and Zorro. Included will be interviews with Republic stars Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Linda Stirling.

"General Hospital's" Jack Wagner and Nina Blackwood will host ABC's "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve '91," Dec. 31 at 11:30 p.m. Dick Clark will count down the seconds in New York's Times Square. Wagner and Blackwood will host the musical festivities from Hollywood's Cafe Vertigo. The Beach Boys, Bell Biv Devoe, The Kentucky Headhunters, The O'Jays and Sweet Sensation are the scheduled guests.

Over on CBS, Melissa Manchester will host and perform on CBS' "Happy New Year America-1991." The 12th annual celebration will be broadcast from Times Square, the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, New York City nightclubs and Billy Bob's Texas in Forth Worth. Eddie Rabbitt, Lorrie Morgan, James Ingram and Kid Creole and the Coconuts are set to perform.

Emmy Award-winning actor James Woods will host the 12th Annual Ace Awards, set to air Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. on eight cable networks. James Earl Jones and several sports figures will participate in a tribute to boxing. The Ace Awards honors the finest in cable programming.

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