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Cancel that trip to Europe. Clear your Filofax. This fall you'll want to spend every spare moment reveling in the sizzling sights and sounds of the new season. Not only are there blockbuster movies galore (including sequels to Rocky, The Godfather and The Last Picture Show), but television promises to be fresher and more frenetic. When you're not glued to the screen, you can indulge in the hottest sounds and confessional page-turners (don't miss the First Dog's rug's-eye view of life in the White House). And did we mention the Invasion of the Killer Tomatoes? On the following pages, our guide to the best of the new season.


When a British publisher (Sean Connery) meets a Russian editor (Michelle Pfeiffer) at a Moscow book fair, the romantic antics are enough to thaw the icy remnants of the Cold War. In the film version of John le Carré's The Russia House, Pfeiffer enlists Connery in a spy game. "He loathes all this spy bull," says Roy Scheider, who plays a U.S. agent. "He thinks they're all fools." All except Michelle, that is. (Dec.)

Sylvester Stallone insists that Rocky V will be the last in the series. Broke and broken after his bout with a Soviet fighter, Rocky returns to Philly to train a heavyweight (Tommy Morrison), threatening his bond with Rocky Jr., played by Stallone's real son, Sage, 14. In the original script Rocky died, but Sly now says, "It would have been disastrous. It would be like if James Bond or Superman died." (Nov.)

"I'd like to know who the good guys are in the movie," says Joe Mantegna, a New York City mafioso in The Godfather, Part III. "I guess it all depends how you look at it." Al Pacino (left), as family capo Michael Corleone, tries to reform by giving up his crime empire. But he's pulled back into the underworld, along with hopeful heir Andy Garcia, his brother Sonny's illegitimate son. (Dec.)

As the Terminator, the Running Man and the Predator, Arnold Schwarzenegger has faced his share of bad actors. But none have given him as much flak as the 30 peripatetic pipsqueaks in Kindergarten Cop. Arnold is taught some lessons in life and love when he goes undercover as an Oregon kindergarten teacher. Says director Ivan (Twins) Reitman: "[The movie] gave Arnold a sense of what it's like to relate to people much smaller than he is." (Dec.)

The only ingredients missing from White Hunter, Black Heart, a fictional look at the making of the 1951 film classic The African Queen, are Bogart and Hepburn. Clint Eastwood plays a thinly disguised version of director John Huston, who becomes obsessed with bagging an elephant while on location in Africa. Eastwood didn't harbor similar desires. "Clint's very antihunting, extremely," says Jeff Fahey, who plays the director's confidant. "So for some people this is an antihunting film." (Sept.)

Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep) is a drug-abusive daughter thrown into a too-close-for-comfort reunion with her alcoholic mother (Shirley MacLaine) in the movie adaptation of Carrie Fisher's novel Postcards from the Edge. (Above, from left, Robin Bartlett, Streep, MacLaine and Gloria Crayton take the cake.) In the film, a drug-rehabbed Vale can't land an acting job unless a "responsible party" baby-sits her. Enter Mom with her own emotional baggage. Now, who's sitting whom? (Sept.)

You read the headlines. Now here's the movie. In Reversal of Fortune, Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons portray Sunny and Claus von Bülow in happier times. Now she's in a coma. Is he guilty or innocent? "Once you see the movie, you can no longer say that you're sure he's guilty," says co-producer Elon Dershowitz. (Oct.)

Life for bachelor fathers (left to right) Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg gets lonesome in Three Men and a Little Lady (sequel to 1987's Three Men and a Baby) when Nancy Travis, the mother of their collective daughter (Robin Weisman), moves to England. Unable to recapture the fun of their predad days, they hit on a solution: Get the lass back! (Dec.)

"I never thought we'd do a sequel to The Last Picture Show" says director Peter Bogdanovich. But 19 years later he's back in Texasville. The lustful teenagers are now lustful adults—and class belle Jacy (Cybill Shepherd) returns to complicate the life of high-school hero Duane (Jeff Bridges). (Sept.)

The Bonfire of the Vanities may inflame some readers of the 1988 best-seller. It has a new ending, and a Jewish judge is now a black (Morgan Freeman). Playing by the book are Tom Hanks (left) as Sherman McCoy and Bruce Willis as the hard-nosed journalist. (Dec.)

Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) has a case of cold hands-warm heart, but to Winona Ryder he's a shear delight. Edward "is simple and complicated," says director Tim (Batman) Burton. (Dec.)

"Part of the fun of it is imagining Woody Allen in a mall," says director Paul Mazursky of Scenes from a Mall. The rest comes from Bette Midler and the story of marriage, infidelity and shopping. (Dec.)

In Dances with Wolves, Kevin Costner is a soldier and high-plains drifter who ends up in an Indian tribe. "This is the most pressure I've ever been under," says Costner of his directorial debut. (Nov.)

Wedded 32 years themselves, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman are Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, a long-married Kansas City couple. "We all come from that world," says director James Ivory of the upper-middle-class Bridges. "We were working out of our pasts." (Nov.)

"The kind of love story I like has some kind of clash of philosophies," says director Sydney Pollack who sets his steamy romance, Havana, in Cuba during the last days of the Batista regime in 1958. "In this case it's the story of a woman [Lena Olin] who finds significance in her life by being party to causes that she feels are just and a man [Robert Redford] who doesn't believe in any of that." (Dec.)

It's a girl! And Look Who's Talking Too. When Mikey's new sister, Julie, arrives in the sequel to 1989's Look Who's Talking, the talkative tot doesn't take things quietly. Neither does Julie (voice by Roseanne Barr). Bruce Willis is back as Mikey's voice, but Mom and Dad, Kirstie Alley and John Travolta, still do their own talking. (Dec.)

Who's that lady with Chevy Chase? That's no lady, that's John Candy in one of the two roles he plays in Valkenvania. Chase, a Wall Street type, and his neighbor (Demi Moore) are pulled over for running a stop sign in a tiny burg and end up in the slammer, thanks to the step-out-of-line-and-you're-dead sheriff (Candy) and a 106-year-old judge (Dan Aykroyd). Says writer-director Aykroyd: "It's an American gothic comedy with origins in the distinctive myth of the nightmare speed trap." (Nov.)

Mermaids is not the sequel to Splash. It's the tale of Mrs. Flax (Cher), a quirky single mom who keeps moving until she meets Mr. Right (Bob Hoskins). "The three of them were inseparable," says director Richard Benjamin of Cher and her onscreen daughters Winona Ryder (above) and Christina Ricci. "They'd finish each other's lines." (Dec.)

Bart Battles Cosby, Peaks Still Piques, And A Rapper Hits Bel Air

Can a kid with Ping-Pong balls for eyes and a head that looks like a gardening implement topple the most popular TV show in the last decade? In what may be the brashest programming move ever, the Fox network has pitted Nielsen upstart Bart Simpson (top, with dad Homer) against Bill Cosby (left, with new TV cousin-in-law Erika Alexander). With The Simpsons (No. 26 in the ratings) moving into the same time slot (Thursdays at 8 P.M. ET) as The Cosby Show (No. 3), it's a scenario only a VCR could love. But even though the Simpsons writers say they may take some jabs at Cosby, they admit a ratings upset is slim. "Nobody thinks we're going to knock them off," says executive producer-writer Sam Simon. Still, with half of America wearing Bart Simpson T-shirts, Dr. Huxtable has more to worry about than Theo's grades.

TV's Grand Strategy: Get a Life (Lots of Them)!

A taste of Lucy

Mark Harmon is Dillinger

Suzanne Pleshette as Leona

TV movies are always examining the famous—or infamous. CBS will dish out its view of hotelier Leona Helmsley, The Queen of Mean. CBS also has Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter and Goodnight Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston, about the Charles Stuart case. NBC has The Tai Babilonia Story. ABC airs Dillinger and a Patty Duke bio. On HBO: The Josephine Baker Story.

Will Smith's the name/ rappin's his game/ gonna go far/ a superstar. Got a show/ about to air/ we all call it/ The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Insiders say/ it's a dilly/ the story of/ a kid from Philly/ who moved West/ where he lives/ with his rich/ relatives. Wanna see? It's on NBC.

Combine two Jackie Collins books and you get Lucky/Chances, a six-hour NBC miniseries starring Nicollette Sheridan (far right) as a Vegas casino owner up for murder. If the critics don't kill it, the World Series may. (That's Collins herself seated at the desk.)

If only the plots of ABC's Twin Peaks were as digestible as its pies. Will Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, with Sherilyn Fenn) find Laura's killer? The producers say yes, maybe.

No more "Yes, master," or boi-oiing-ing back into her bottle for I Dream of Jeannie's Barbara Eden. After 20 years, she and former Jeannie co-star Larry (J.R.) Hagman have been reunited on Dallas (here, she's with Patrick Duffy). Eden plays a billionaire bitch named LeeAnn De La Vega who's out to get J.R.'s oil. "She's a real fun part," says Eden of her Southfork persona. "And this time he calls me boss." Boi-oiing!

First, former soap actor John Wesley Shipp heard he had the lead in what may be TV's most expensive series. He plays a superhero crime fighter in CBS's The Flash. Then Shipp wondered what the title really meant when he learned his slot: opposite The Cosby Show and The Simpsons. "I figure this must be some kind of karmic payback," he says. Hey, maybe he can use his super strength to put them both in the ratings hospital.

Missed the Movie? Catch the Sitcom!

Kevin Meany (with Sarah Martineck and Jacob Gelman) stars in CBS's Uncle Buck, which has toned down its language since its pilot.

NBC's Ferris Bueller has Charlie Schlatter (with Ami Dolenz, left, and Jennifer Aniston) in Matthew Broderick's screen role as an ingenious fun lover.

Ed Begley Jr. (with Sheila MacRae, center, and Mary Jackson) steps in for Steve Martin in NBC's Parenthood. FYI: There's no laugh track.

The Rap On Shazzy, A Bangle's New Angle, And George Michael Sells His Soul

Susanna Hoffs, the first Bangle to fly solo, may confound her fans, starting with her new LP's title, When You're a Boy—from the chorus of David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging." "I realized how many emotions and ideas I suppressed because of the group," says Hoffs. "You'll get a little Petula Clark, a little Barbra Streisand, a little Bangle and a little rock and roll." (Jan.)

On The Neighborhood, their first rock LP since By the Light of the Moon in 1987, the "La Bamba" boys, Los Lobos, incorporate basic blues and folk with their both-sides-of-the-border sound. They get a boost from bluesman John Hiatt and Levon Helm, ex-drummer and vocalist with the Band. First single: "Down on the Riverbed." (Sept.)

By George, he's back! In Listen Without Prejudice, a much anticipated follow-up to his critically acclaimed and wildly popular 1987 solo go, Faith, George Michael continues to meld pop and soul, stressing the latter. There's an absence of the power-tech sound that invested Faith and more acoustic guitar and pure voice. But will the Faithful follow Michael down a kinder, gentler path? They followed him from Wham. Likely hit: "Freedom '90." (Sept.)

Twenty-one-year-old, Queens, N.Y.-bred Shazzy makes her bid to join the rarefied ranks of female rappers (Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah) with her debut LP, Attitude: A Hip Hop Rapsody. It's smoother rap, à la De La Soul. (Sept.)

Coming To Bookstores: A Dog's Life, A Stone On A Roll, Queen Kate

In Millie's Book (As Dictated to Barbara Bush), the First Dog barks out a stream of consciousness about life at the White House with "Bar" and the "Prez." Millie, our springiest spaniel, also poses with the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Diane Sawyer and—in a gesture of nonpartisan affection—even Mike Dukakis. (Morrow, Sept.)

The Private World of Katharine Hepburn, by photographer John Bryson, captures Kate today, both at home and at work, at 82 still sublimely regal and "with a face for Mount Rushmore." (Little Brown, Oct.)

In A Path Where No Man Thought (Random House, Oct.), Carl (Cosmos) Sagan (above) and Richard Turco warn how postnuclear climate-cooling could spell global disaster.

Surrender the Pink (Simon and Schuster, Sept.), Carrie Fisher's new roman a clef (her first novel, Postcards from the Edge, opens as a movie this month), boasts a glibber-than-thou heroine obsessed with her ex.

Stone Alone (Viking, Nov.), by Bill Wyman, the Rolling Stones "silent" bassist, draws heavily from his diaries to tell all about the bad boys' early saga—the drugs, sex and scandals, even the sorry events surrounding the drowning of ex-Stone Brian Jones.


Think Gucci, dah-ling. It's the latest status label to make a major comeback. In its '90s incarnation the trademark G's and green-and-red stripes have been toned down or eliminated—as on these $260 loafers with burnished horse bit—by the firm's new creative director, Dawn Mello.

First it was big lips, then big breasts. Now it's just plain big—as seen on Fox's new TV show Babes (left to right, Wendie Jo Sperber, Susan Peretz, Lesley Boone), a boost for large lovelies. Meanwhile, at some Forgotten Woman stores, big gals can now get couture clothes.

Watch out, Barbie—the Russian is coming. He's Gorby, a 10-inch doll version of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, birthmark included. At $25 from Minnesota's Dream Works, Gorby could be the start of peres-TOY-ka.

Miniature satellite dishes are about to invade the nation. In January, Seattle's SkyPix Corporation will roll out a $695 system that'll receive 80 channels. Get ready to sit back, search the skies and microwave the popcorn.

It's the Year of the Tomato, and the juicy fruit gets some saucy PR. We await with tomato breath the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox movie Killer Tomatoes Strike Back and Fox TV's new Attack of the Killer Tomatoes cartoon.