Picks and Pans Review: Fall Harvest

UPDATED 06/10/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/10/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

This week we'll take a look at trends in the next season and at the new shows the networks have promised (or threatened us with) for fall. Then comes a review of an ABC news special on nukes that takes over prime-time Thursday.


The networks are resurrecting, recycling and remaking two great old mystery shows from the '60s: CBS' The Twilight Zone and NBC's Alfred Hitchcock. Hitch did well in a tryout last month, beating the panties off Lace II—and NBC better pray that that trend continues, since it's hired Steven Spielberg to create a third fantasy-mystery series, Amazing Stories. NBC committed to an amazing two years and 44 episodes. That's a gamble.

The real trend here is top talent; you will be seeing more of it on TV. The networks are finally learning what they prove every season: There's only so much talent in Hollywood, and they have to grab for all the genius they can. In the case of Spielberg, it took a two-year commitment to get him. Most people of his caliber don't want the drudgery of a full-time TV job but can be persuaded that producing, writing, directing or acting in one show could be a kick. And that's what these three anthology shows—plus George Burns' Comedy Week, produced by Steve Martin—could provide. A chance for big names to play with TV. Spielberg has Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese directing a few of his stories. Twilight Zone has goose bump manufacturers Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison writing. If it keeps up, this trend could be a real blessing.

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