05/09/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT
Looks like Laverne & Shirley will become Laverne & Company next fall since Cindy Williams won't be returning to the ABC series. Cindy was written out of the show this past season when her real-life pregnancy resulted in conflicts with Laverne's producer, Paramount-TV, whom she's suing for $20 million for breach of contract. Meanwhile, she and hubby Bill Hudson formed their own production company; Cindy will star in three films—Boomerang (with Keenan Wynn), Cupid's Kisses and The Dots—and is negotiating with NBC to do a family sitcom next winter with Hudson and his comedic brothers, Brett and Mark.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then ex-Saturday Night Live comic Dan Aykroyd had to be reveling in adulation as he cheered on 20 contestants in the Imitation Aykroyd Contest, sponsored by the Aspen Film Society and Universal Pictures. Winner of the $5,000 first prize was cabinetmaker Bob Bond of Davie, Fla., who re-created SNL's Bass-o-matic skit, in which Aykroyd demonstrated a blender by pureeing a bass—and Laraine Newman downed the result. "It was only a strawberry shake," says Aykroyd of the SNL stunt. "This poor guy drank a real bass."
It's been seven years since Cybill Shepherd had a hit movie, but she's riding high with two recently wrapped TV pilots—NBC's The Yellow Rose and ABC's Masquerade. She's also planning to produce and star in a feature called September September, based on Shelby Foote's novel about a racial kidnapping in the 1950s. She'd like to sign Tommy Lee Jones and David Keith as co-stars...
Keith is considering the lead in A Walk on the Moon, about a strung-out Peace Corps worker in Brazil. Being an officer (candidate) and a gentleman got Keith nowhere with pal Diane Keaton, who decided against offering him the part of her suitor in her next film, Modern Bride. Why? "She said I was too young," says Keith, who, at 28, is nine years Diane's junior. Even modern brides cling to some traditions.
When Linda Lavin plays the Palace on ABC's Parade of Stars airing May 22, check out her jewels—$500,000 worth, on loan from gem merchant Harry Winston. Of the 25 security guards hired for the performance, 16 have been assigned to Lavin, who impersonates former Palace singer Nora (Shine On, Harvest Moon) Bayes.
The Reagans are getting ready for their next big bash—the seven-nation economic summit in Colonial Williamsburg, Va. over Memorial Day weekend. The White House expects to shell out nearly $7 million for the conference, has assigned 75 staffers to plan it, and has called in culinary critic Craig Claiborne as menu consultant.
This fall Laurence Olivier and Angela Lansbury will star in a Showtime thriller movie called Talent for Murder, which got scathing reviews during its 1981 Broadway run with Claudette Colbert and Jean-Pierre Aumont.
Video games relentlessly gobble quarters, but later this month vid kids can strike back by munching on a new sweetened cornpuff cereal from General Mills. It consists of colored marsh-mallow bits in the shape of Pac-Man and those treacherous blobs—Winky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. What next, you ask? This summer Ralston Purina will introduce its Donkey Kong cereal.