The Insider

updated 06/28/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/28/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT


Actress Annie Potts may not be megarich by Hollywood-star standards, but the recent $25,000-plus-per-episode offer she got from CBS to replace Susan Dey in Love & War isn't exactly chopped liver. Apparently, though, the money wasn't enough to please Polls's handlers, who, according to sources, fell the 40-year-old ex-Designing Women star should be getting at least as much as Dey did, which is believed to have been in the $28,000-per-episode range for the sitcom.

The way we hear it, when Love & War executive producer Diane English refused to boost Potts's salary to Dey's level, Potts's reps went to the network and negotiated what one industry source describes as a "phantom TV movie deal." In effect, the deal guarantees Potts an additional $350,000 to $400,000 for a TV movie that may never get made.

"Networks routinely use a TV movie to sweeten a star's series deal," says one source familiar with the Potts situation. Although most such movies appear eventually, in Potts's case, according to the same source, "this one probably won't."

Magic and Cookie Johnson awakened in their Bel Air home at 6 on a recent morning to find that it was pouring outside. Had it been any other day, the Johnsons might have been able to go back to sleep. But this was the day they had invited 250 guests, dinosaur fave Barney, Sesame Street's Ernie and a gaggle of farm animals to an outdoor celebration of the first birthday of their son, Earvin III. No sweat. The Johnsons simply called a rental company and had a tent put up over their tennis court. Whew!

Barbra Streisand's production company, Barwood films, in conjunction with TriStar Pictures, is developing a movie project based on the Hollywood hoax perpetrated by out-of-work actress Carol Ann Francis. Francis created an alter ego, personal manager Ann Hollingsworth, who pushed her way through the corridors of the movie business nailing down work for Francis. Streisand is not expected to direct the movie, tentatively tilled Hooray for Hollingsworth, or to star in it. Francis is 30ish, and not even Streisand, 51, could get away with that. No doubt, Francis herself will get a bit role.

We've heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve, but a movie around your neck? Well, leave it to Ted Turner to find a new merchandising outlet for The Wizard of Oz, Singin' in the Rain, Gone with the Wind, King Kong, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and some of the other 3,000 vintage litles he owns as a result of his 1986 purchase of the MGM film library. Turner Entertainment recently made a deal to license the films to Wemco, a New Orleans-based necktie manufacturer. While it may not be everyone's idea of a fashion statement, these all-silk ties, decorated with scenes from the movies, are now available in department stores across the country for about $28 each.

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