Arnold gave away networks' open secret



* Surely a tremor must have run through the executive offices of NBC News last week when Arnold Schwarzenegger divulged the truth about the link between the "Today" show (and other morning shows) and the business of selling movies.

In a feature piece on the making of his latest movie, "Kindergarten Cop," the muscled star was talking about promoting the film. He quoted a movie press agent as saying something like, "The first thing to sell a movie is to do a multi-parter on the NBC morning news . . . and here we are."

Everybody knows, of course, that the morning shows are far more promotional than newsy these days. But Arnold, you're not supposed to say so.

* Actress Glenn Close seems such a lady. And that may be the explanation for a surprising moment on Friday's edition of "Donahue," in which a decidedly unladylike word was not bleeped out during her interview.

Asked by host Phil Donahue to talk about the effect of her role in "Fatal Attraction," in which she played the spurned and murderous extra-marital lover of Michael Douglas, Close said that it had "scared the . . . out of husbands" everywhere.

Media Monitor can't use the word Close chose. (Even the liberal late-night "Arsenio Hall Show" has been known to block this common term when guests have resorted to the vernacular.)

"Donahue," which airs here at 9 a.m. weekdays on WMAR-Channel 2, is taped in New York the preceding afternoon. But a Channel 2 spokesperson says the local station, which does not preview the show, received no warning that the offensive word was still in there.

* Back to the perpetual TV sales pitch, you have to grudgingly admire the account executive who arranged a mid-show spot on last week's rerun edition of ABC's "Roseanne." But you must also decry the permeable barrier between ads and entertainment.

The Tuesday show was the one in which Roseanne Barr's screen alter-ego thought she might be pregnant, and the whole family was awaiting the results of a home pregnancy test. (The details were dealt with rather crudely, by the way).

Cut to commercial. A pretty young model is saying, "I might be pregnant . . ." and proceeds to pitch a brand of home pregnancy test. What a tie-in! But you have to wonder which came first, the ad contract or the script?

* Does anybody else think that CBS' "WIOU" had the most shocking eruption of violence so far this season? Although perhaps predictable, Wednesday's restaurant shooting of a banking official incorrectly accused by reporter Kate McNeil of having been indicted was pretty graphic, leaving McNeil's character stunned and spattered with blood.

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