Short Takes

Comedy Central’s “Alan King: Inside the Comedy Mind” kicks off its fourth season Feb. 28 with a special one-hour interview with Robin Williams.

Fox Broadcasting Co. has received more than 250,000 phone calls in its 900 -number poll regarding an interactive story arc on the sitcom “Martin.” The three-part story line ends tonight and has resulted in best-yet household ratings on consecutive weeks for the HBO Independent Prods. show.

Jigsaw Prods. has acquired rights to David Halberstam’s upcoming book “The ‘ 50s,” with plans to produce the study of that decade as an eight-hour documentary series. Jigsaw previously produced the PBS documentary “The Pacific Century.” Pre-production has begun, with Alex Gibney and Tracy Dahlby as exec producers.

Chicago-based Jeff McClusky & Associates, one of radio’s biggest marketing and promotion companies, has opened a Nashville office. Ed Mascolo, the company’s senior VP of promotion, and Bobby Young, VP of promotion, will head the Nashville division.

“E! Stand-Up/Sit-Down Comedy,” hosted by comedian Robert Klein, has been renewed for 13 additional episodes, the first of which airs Saturday, March 6, at 9:30 p.m.

Mike Schneider, most recently anchor of ABC’s “World News This Morning,” is joining NBC News to become one of the anchors on the network’s new prime time program set to launch later this year. Schneider will join Faith Daniels, previously announced as a co-anchor on the program.

Great Entertainment Merchandise will relocate its Great Southern Co. base from Los Angeles to New York, parent company Polygram announced. The move will be completed this month and was intended to centralize all of Great Entertainment Merchandise’s production and marketing functions at Polygram Diversified Entertainment, the division that controls Great Southern.

A filmed version of Danielle Steel’s novel, “Fine Things,” starring D.W. Moffett, Tracy Pollan and Cloris Leachman, will be released via Worldvision Home Video April 7.

Rapper Hammer, actress Mariel Hemingway and comic Elayne Boosler have been added to list of participants in the first annual “American Sports Awards: The ESPYs,” scheduled for March 4 at the Paramount Theatre in N.Y. and telecast live on ESPN. Comedian Dennis Miller will host the event.

K-tel Intl. has launched Era Records, a reissues label with a focus on “best of” packages. First releases will be from Fever Tree and rock/R&B act Crow.

The late Dizzy Gillespie and composer/conductor Witold Lutoslawski have been named winners of the 1993 Polar Music Prize, granted for artistic achievement. Awards will be presented by the King of Sweden in Stockholm May 18.

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