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`LONESOME DOVE' DEDICATION REVEALS A BUFFALO CONNECTION

`LONESOME DOVE' DEDICATION REVEALS A BUFFALO CONNECTION

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What DO Diane Keaton, Cybill Shepherd and Maureen Orth all have in common?

All three have had books dedicated to them by best-selling novelist Larry McMurtry. His Pulitzer Prize-winning western novel "Lonesome Dove" is being made into an eight-hour CBS miniseries that will air starting at 9 p.m. Sunday on CBS.

Shepherd, who starred in the movie version of McMurtry's "The Last Picture Show," and Keaton are well-known actresses.

Wondering who Orth is?

She is an accomplished free-lance writer with a Buffalo connection. She is married to Tim Russert, who now is running the Washington Bureau for NBC News.

McMurtry dedicated "Lonesome Dove" to "Maureen Orth and in memory of the nine McMurtry boys."

Orth said she has been a friend of McMurtry's for close to 20 years after meeting him in his book store in Washington. The Texas author owns book stores in Washington, San Francisco and Dallas.

"He dedicates his books to different friends," said Orth. "Before 'Lonesome Dove,' he told me, 'My next book is a western and it is for you.' I lucked out. I got the masterpiece."

"Larry is a truly wonderful human being and he's known for his female characters," said Orth.

"Lonesome Dove" also is a TV masterpiece. More on it later in the week.

What do Francis Ford Coppola, Anthony Perkins and Patrick Hasburgh all have in common?

All three are developing projects for the Fox Broadcasting Network, which will begin programming Monday nights for affiliates like Channel 29 next fall. Hasburgh is the Amherst native who created "21 Jump Street" for Fox. He just began his new Hasburgh Productions Company and is developing a new time-machine series "Wurlitzer" for Fox. The series idea was originally rejected by Fox officials, who reconsidered. Hasburgh said that a character plays a tune on a jukebox and then is transported into the time the song was a hit.

ABC also has signed Hasburgh to create a series. Hasburgh recently scouted Austin, Texas, as the possible location for the pilot of his upcoming ABC show "The Kids Are All Right." He was unable to film it here because he needed to be assured of good weather. There still is a chance he will film future episodes here.

Coppola's Fox project is a possible series based on the 1983 movie "The Outsiders," which starred Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Ralph Macchio before they became big names.

Perkins is involved in a horror series, "Ghost Writer."

What do "Marcus Welby, M.D." and ABC's "thirtysomething" have in common?

They are the only two ABC series to win best drama Emmys in the last 18 years.

That bit of trivia drew considerable laughter in Los Angeles prior to a press conference with the cast of "thirtysomething."

"I was baby-sitting then," said Tim Busfield, who stars as Elliot in the show.

More "thirtysomething" trivia.

Polly Draper, who plays Ellyn on the show, is the wife of Broadway playwright Kevin Wade. Wade wrote "Working Girl," the hit film starring Melanie Griffith and Siguorney Weaver. He wrote Weaver's role for Draper but she had to pass when she was hired as a regular on "thirtysomething."

I bet you also didn't know that Peter Horton, who plays Gary on the series, used to be married to actress Michelle ("Witches of Eastwick") Pfeiffer.

The marital history of the "thirtysomething" cast probably provides a lot of material for the show. ABC's publicists can't keep up with it, either.

Busfield is described in the latest release as divorced, and the father of a 7-year-old son. Since he was wearing a wedding ring, I found this peculiar. It turns out he married a second time in September.

Then there's Mel Harris, who plays Hope on the show. Last year, ABC told us she was the wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist David Hume Kennerly. This year, ABC's bio only said: "Mel, and her son, Byron, make their home in Los Angeles." She married Cotter Smith about two months ago.

Speaking of marriage, ABC is bringing back the old series "Get Smart" with "Well, since Barbara and I haven't seen each other in 18 years, the marriage is terrific," cracked Adams.

"Our twins are in college now, and 99 is writing her memoirs," added Feldon.

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