Lonely angel

Having nabbed a 10.5 rating/19 share for its premiere episode Aug. 26, CBS’ “Angel Falls” can no longer keep its little secret hidden. While most dramatic serials rely on a team of writers, producers Koningsberg/Sanitsky has been keeping costs down by having their fellow exec producer Joyce Eliason write all six episodes of the series.

HARVEY, WHAT UP?

Fox star Martin Lawrence, whose hit sitcom seems to be surviving the move to its new Sunday night timeslot, may soon be coming to an art house near you. Miramax reportedly is in discussions with HBO about a theatrical release of the “House Party” star’s upcoming comedy special.

RETRANS RENEGADE

Chuck Dolan, chairman and CEO of the huge Cablevision Systems, has a reputation for refusing to march in lockstep with the rest of the industry. So it’s no surprise that Cablevision is the only top-10 MSO that hasn’t signed a deal with any of the four broadcast networks for the new cable channels they’re creating as bargaining chips to keep their O&Os’ signals carried by cable systems. Those chips are an outgrowth of the 1992 Cable Act, which in part encourages TV stations to ask cable systems for compensation for carriage of their signals. Sources say Dolan doesn’t like the idea of buying a new cable web for any reason other than that the channel is well programmed and will appeal to his subscribers.

ANOTHER RETRANS CHOICE

Speaking of MSOs, Cox Cable has done a few deals with local stations in which , as one substitute for cash, Cox rigs its converter boxes to automatically show that station every time the set is turned on.

NEWSPORT IN SEARCH OF HOME

Newsport, the proposed 24-hours-a-day cable sports news web owned by Cablevision Systems, TCI’s Liberty Media and NBC, decided not to rent studios in the huge Home Shopping Network facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., so it won’t be up and running as planned by October 1993.

FETING THE OPPRESSOR

Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.), whose anti-TV violence schtick has been causing heartburn in Hollywood, will be feted at a Sept. 7 fundraiser thrown by the Wexler Group, a PR firm with ties to the Motion Picture Assn. of America. MPAA has no role in the event, according to Wexler’s Joe Waz. He said the soiree is aimed solely at D.C. communications lawyers. Broadcast attorneys are split on the wisdom of the fundraiser. “The timing is bad,” said one. “It looks like we’re trying to buy him (Simon) off.” Another said the event is appropriate, because Simon has offered “the least unreasonable proposals” to combat TV violence.

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