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‘Patty Duke’ doubles the reunion fun

GOOD MORNING: “Reunion” TV specials have been so successful, could a “double reunion” possibly double ratings? CBS has ordered a “Reunion Patty Duke Show.” The series, on ABC from 1963-66, starred Patty as look-alike cousins. In a two-hour reunion, the cousins will have offspring, who are also identical. I got the news out of Vancouver from Jim Green, who with partner Allen Epstein will make this their third venture with Duke. They are currently exec producing USA Network Pictures’ “Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story.” Louganis had just emerged from the U. of British Columbia pool; he did some dives for the pic, in which Mario Lopez plays the Olympic medal’er, but not in diving scenes. Louganis will also appear in the final scene, at his revelatory autobiog book-signing; it’s “a very moving scene,” sez Green. While the film is a strong father-son story (Michael Murphy plays his father), nothing about Louganis’ life is omitted. His relationship with ex-lover “Tom” (played by Jeff Meek) is shown “in-timately” on the screen. Greg reminds, “It was a very abusive relationship.” But he doesn’t blame Tom for his HIV condition. “People may not approve of my sexual orientation,” Greg told me, “but they at least have respect for my honesty.” The TV movie shows how he deals with HIV, a touching scene with his mother, his doctor and friend Meagan. Louganis’ prognosis? He is on considerable medication, trying to find out what will work for him. “I’m still asymptomatic,” he told me. He wants to continue his acting career. “I go on auditions, like every other actor,” he said. “I’m beating the street. But I don’t have an agent. That’s something I don’t understand. I was with the William Morris Agency, with Stan Kamen. He brought me into the agency at the same time as Kevin Costner. He (Kamen) had a lot of faith in both of us. He had me go to school. I still miss him.” (Kamen died of AIDS in 1986.) Does Louganis have a relationship now? “Dating is weird,” he laughed, “if you’re straight or gay.” Mario Lopez says of portraying Louganis in the Steven Stern-directed USA’er, “We have an uncanny resemblance, but it’s challenging. I’ve watched his newsreels, interviews, etc. I’ve done my homework.” But no, he laughed, he can’t dive — not like the four-time gold-winning Olympic champ. But then, who can?

” I FEEL LIKE THE WORLD has been lifted off my shoulders,” Paula Abdul told me after com-pleting three days “in the same bed, in the same bedroom set”– in the same rape scene. Abdul had just wound the most difficult sequence of her dramatic debut, “In the Shadow of Evil,” for Vin Di Bona Prods., directed by James Contner. Adrian Pasdar is Abdul’s assailant — and lover. She said of the sequence, “It’s hard to recover. We both would ask each other, ‘Are you all right?’ and apologize for being so forceful. We shot from every angle with terror and violence in our faces.” But, she admits, this dramatic debut “has been a great experience. I love acting. I always wanted to do a dramatic role. I auditioned while I was in the middle of recording my new album (for Virgin Records). I knew no one would expect me to play this kind of role.” Lloyd Weintraub, who exec produces with Richard Brustein, said, “Once she read for us, we knew we had our star.” ABC’s Maura Dunbar is shepherding the project, which airs Oct. 27, 9-11 p.m., an hour after another Vin Di Bona show –“America’s Funniest Home Videos”! … Abdul told me she, fortunately, has not been a rape victim, but “I do know about it, having consoled a good friend of mine.” She wants to continue her career of acting, singing, choreographing and will direct/choreograph “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” for producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Martin Short, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tracey Ullman are a few who want to be a part of this TV special, she said. Also on her agenda is a “late Novem-ber” wedding to Brad Beckerman, a merchandising and licensing exec … Weintraub and partner Brustein are also prepping “Chicken Soup for the Soul, ” a one-hour ABC version of the book, with motion picture directors and stars doing segments.

“DENNIS THE MENACE II”gets the go-ahead for a director search at WB. Ernie Chambers exec produces the script by Tim McCanlies … WB also gave the proceed order on the feature version of “Have Gun, Will Travel”…”Roseanne” celebrates its 200th seg with a party at the Bistro Garden at Coldwater … Attorney Stephen Weingrad was in L.A. obtaining depositions from photogs suing Rizzoli Books on their “Marilyn Monroe — the Life, the Myth.” The lenser-plaintiffs here in L.A. include Tom Kelley (the nude MM on red velvet), and Phil Stern (a pregnant Marilyn Monroe during her marriage toArthur Miller). The suit was filed in N.Y.’s Southern District … Comedian Marty Allen donated his volumes on the history of the Holocaust to the Nevada Governor’s Advisory Council of Education Relating to the Holocaust so Ne-vada students can broaden their knowledge and educate others on its history. Allen entertained at the 50th anni reunion of Nuremberg Trial interpreters.

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