Hall of Famers: CBS newswoman Diane Sawyer will be honored for "two decades of outstanding journalistic work" when she is inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Television Academy Hall of Fame during ceremonies in November in North Hollywood. Sawyer was among five 1997 inductees announced Tuesday. Others who will receive the honor are longtime NBC executive Grant Tinker, producers James L. Brooks and Garry K. Marshall and the late producer Quinn Martin. Previous inductees include Alan Alda, Edward Asner, Milton Berle, Johnny Carson, Howard Cosell, Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey.
News Coverage: Crime has become the overwhelming favorite topic of the networks' nightly newscasts, with murder alone accounting for one of every 20 stories since 1993, according to a new study by the Washington-based Center for Media and Public Affairs. The study--which tracked 95,765 stories aired from 1990 to 1996 on ABC's "World News Tonight With Peter Jennings," "The CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" and "NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw"--found that crime stories from 1993 on were triple the total of the early '90s, while coverage of homicides jumped more than 700%. The O.J. Simpson case contributed heavily to that tally, accounting for 1,449 stories--if it had been a separate category of coverage, it would have ranked seventh among network news topics--about three times as many stories as on topics including the environment (561) and education (464). The Top 10 categories after 1993, in order: crime (7,448 stories), health (4,055), economy-business (3,956), Yugoslavia-Bosnia (3,026), campaign '96 (1,865), Russia (1,745), Israel-Palestinians (1,434), federal budget (976), entertainment (868) and Haiti (697).
Still Kickin': It's not quite the millennium, but the "2000 Year Old Man" is ready for a comeback. Comedians Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks have reunited for their first recording in 24 years, "The 2000 Year Old Man--In the Year 2000: The Album," due in stores Oct. 14. The Rhino Records release will follow four "2000 Year Old Man" recordings that the duo began making more than three decades ago. In addition, HarperCollins will release "The 2000 Year Old Man--In the Year 2000: The Book (Including How to Not Die and Other Good Tips)" on Oct. 6. In both products, the duo's ancient sage will comment on a wide array of topics including marriage, self-help books, rap music and the Spanish Inquisition.
Not Such a 'Good Life': Sylvester Stallone is on both sides of a court battle over an upcoming movie, "The Good Life," which stars his brother, Frank Stallone. Sylvester Stallone had filed a $20-million breach-of-contract suit in L.A. Superior Court last month, claiming his six-minute cameo in the film was being promoted as a starring role. Then on Tuesday, FM Entertainment and producers Alan and Diane Mehrez filed a $50-million federal court suit, accusing both Stallones of corruption and conspiracy and of trying to "sabotage" the movie. Sylvester Stallone said he was "shocked" by the counter-suit "since I did nothing wrong."
Progress in San Diego: San Diego Mayor Susan Golding announced Monday a "small but very important first step" toward reviving the now-defunct San Diego Symphony. The orchestra, struggling with a debt estimated as high as $5 million, shut down in May 1996, filing for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. That status was converted to Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy early in 1997, and since then a citizen's group and the mayor's office have been working on funding and a business plan to get the music going again. In Monday's "baby step" toward that goal, former orchestra members agreed in principle to terms covering projected 1997-'98 and '98-'99 seasons that include minimum pay of $20,000 for the first season and $25,000 for the second (minimum pay was formerly $32,000, and more performances were scheduled in previous years). Funding to implement the agreement and the two projected seasons is not yet in place, Golding cautioned. However, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that plans call for programming to begin in early October, with Thomas Gerdom, a performing arts consultant from Michigan who has been advising the reorganization effort, to become interim executive director, while former San Diego Symphony associate conductor Jung-Ho Pak would be named music director.
The Rolling Stones will drive over a shut-down Brooklyn Bridge in New York on Monday to draw attention to their forthcoming world tour, "Bridges of Babylon." The bridge will be shut down for several hours for the media event, which will be produced by Merv Griffin Productions--and, one assumes, the NYPD. Tour dates will be announced then. . . . Mike Love of the Beach Boys plans to open an Orange County restaurant and nightclub next spring, in the Stadium Promenade adjacent to the Pond of Anaheim. Recalling a Beach Boys hit, the venue will be called Club Kokomo and will feature a "house band": Love, fellow Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, actor John Stamos and Dean Torrance of Jan & Dean.