Picks and Pans Review: Book Buzz

updated 01/20/1997 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/20/1997 01:00AM

>ONE MORE FOR THE GIFFORD Singer/talk show host/clothier/cruise line pitchwoman and mother of two Kathie Lee Gifford, 43, just signed a five-figure deal with Random House Children's Publishing to pen five kiddie books based on her Rock and Tots videos. What's next, a cabinet post?

DEAN OF DEALS

A high-price free agent jumps ship and signs a juicy contract with a rival team. Shaq? Gretzky? No, bestselling horror novelist Dean Koontz (Intensity). After turning in the final manuscript in a three-book deal with Knopf (Sole Survivor, due next month) the author signed what he called "the best deal I've ever had"—better than his $18½ million Knopf deal—with Bantam, which impressed Koontz with its marketing savvy. "The business of publishing," he reasoned, "is becoming more and more like the business of films." And sports.

ONE L OF A SHOW

Can't get enough of affidavits and orders to show cause? Prepare yourself for One-L, a dramatic series—due on NBC later this year—based on Scott Turow's classic 1975 account of a year at Harvard Law School. "As my wife puts it, it's the legal E.R.," says Turow, the show's executive consultant. "I think the best things on TV are better than most feature films."

BUY GEORGE Bill Clinton wasn't the only big winner in last fall's election. Policy wonk George Stephanopolous, 35, who recently quit as one of Clinton's senior advisers to enlist with NBC as a commentator, now has a deal with Little, Brown to write a personal account of his time in D.C., reportedly for $2.75 million. That's more than 10 times his former boss's annual salary.

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