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The reclusive Lily Tomlin is about to jump headlong into series television. Perhaps spurred by the success of her involvement in the PBS series Magic School Bus or by personal motivations (or maybe the generous checkbook of CBS executives), Tomlin has agreed to join the cast of Murphy Brown. The beloved funny woman apparently decided to take the role because she felt it was time to get back in front of the public and that this show was a good way to do it. On the long running series, her character will take over as executive producer of the mythical "F.Y.I." in place of the departed Miles Silverberg (played by Grant Shaud since the show's inception). There's a also a fail safe built into the deal, and that had to help her make the decision. When and if Murphy ever goes off the air, according to insiders, Tomlin is guaranteed a star vehicle of her own. Most likely, that pre-approved guarantee made it easier to make her choice.

Most parents are never given the difficult task of choosing one child over another, but that's the scenario being set up for the fall season for the folks of Jonathan and Anthony La Paglia. Now that Jonathan has been picked to star in Fox Television's New York Undercover and Anthony is the new star of ABC's Murder One, the siblings will be going head to head on Thursdays at 9 p.m. Unless schedules change by the start of the new season, that probably will mean the Paglia kin will be watching one and taping the other. The siblings say there is no rivalry involved, but certainly holiday bragging rights probably will be up for grabs. Maybe they should do like most other viewers at that hour and just keep watching Seinfeld.

Chrysler Corporation and Greg Kinnear, currently host of NBC's very late night talk show Later, are parting company. The former host of E! Entertainment Television's Talk Soup, who went on to star in the feature film Sabrina before joining the late night line-up, no longer will be the TV pitchman for Chrysler's Eagle line. It seems that his commercial spots, while well received artistically, didn't work as well as hoped _ Eagle sales are off 42 percent this year! Kinnear, who has been hawking the Eagle two years now, says it works out just fine because it will allow him to further pursue his film film interests.

It looks like Emmy-winner Jonathan Jackson will exit the role of Lucky on General Hospital when his contract expires in November. Jackson's rep describes contract negotiations as "at an impass right now," adding, "ABC has informed us that they are recasting the role when Jonathan's contract is up." Does Jackson wnat to leave? "Jonathan doesn't have a desire to leave. It appears that ABC and General Hospital don't have a desire to keep him," says the rep. GH Executive Producer Wendy Riche strongly contradicts that statement. "Jonathan is a very talented actor who has done well in all his endeavors."

1996 BPI Communications

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