'Rosie' meets 'Cagney' in a casting gimmick



* How many television trivia fans appreciated the cute casting in last night's scheduled episode of "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill?" Guest star Meg Foster, cast as the prosecutor opposing Rosie (Sharon Gless), was the original Chris Cagney in the initial spring 1982 run of "Cagney & Lacey." Gless, of course, took over the role (and earned several Emmys for it) when the series made it to the fall schedule.

* The MTV rock video service might have found Madonna's new "Justify My Love" too steamy to screen, and NBC's "Saturday Night Live" played only expurgated portions over the weekend (in a moderately funny 'Wayne's World" sketch). But on cable's The Jukebox Channel, available locally as a basic service of United Cable of Baltimore (Channel 37), the undeniably sexual Madonna video is running frequently in its entirety. The service allows subscribers to request videos with a phone call.

* How's this for trial by TV? On last Thursday's "Donahue," Bill Pentland was arguing his case against former wife Roseanne Barr. With the help of celebrity divorce attorney Marvin Mitchelson (also on "Donahue"), the spurned spouse is contending that some of the financial rewards from Barr's Tuesday series and other successes are rightfully his, stemming from his early promotion of her career and his involvement in creating the show. Click! At the same hour a turn of the channel to "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" revealed Barr and current husband Tom Arnold crowing over their success. Nary a mention of husband number one, of course.

* Media Monitor is grateful to reader Edwin E. Sundt of Bethesda for offering credit where credit is due regarding the original HBO movie "Descending Angel." In a recent Saturday review column, we quoted a character from the George C. Scott film as referring to rocket scientist Wernher von Braun by saying, "I aim for ze stars, but sometimes I hit London." Sundt notes that caustic comedian Mort Sahl used the exact sentiment in his stage act of the 1950s and early 1960s to decry America's easy acceptance of former German scientists after the war. And Sahl's line was a play on von Braun's book, "I Aim for the Stars." "Perhaps the writers of 'Angel' should be, like the United States, a bit ashamed of themselves for being equally inclined to steal others' material and use it for their own purposes," writes Sundt.

* And speaking of correspondence, here's a reminder that one of this column's occasional informal fun surveys is under way. We're asking readers to reveal their favorite female performers from TV shows past and present, and why. So far, Mary Tyler Moore is leading the pack, but going back to the 1950s, Peggy ("I Remember Mama") Wood is a surprising second place. Write your nominations (no limit on the number) to: Media Monitor/Steve McKerrow, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or fax to 332-6666.

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