Date and Issue: May 29 - June 4, 1977.
Pages: 3 pages.

Pictures: 1 b&w photo.

Article: Wonder Woman switching networks.

Author: Morton Moss.
Country: USA.

Lynda Carter, "Wonder Woman," will be performing her wonders for CBS next season, Friday nights at 8 o'clock.

     You are perhaps wondering how this transition from ABC to CBS came about. It may strike you as a feat worthy of Wonder Woman herself. The word seems to have got around that Freddie Silverman of ABC decided to cancel "Wonder Woman," and that CBS picked it up out of the No. 1I primetime network's 'wastebasket. A little longer, the. gossip went, and it would have been too late. "Wonder Woman" would have gone through the cruelties of the shredding machine and been no more.

     We ran into a guy who waxed awfully irate over this description of the circumstances that led to the CBS acquisition of "Wonder Woman." He's Ron Samuels, the personal manager of Carter, whose depiction of the bizarre comic strip heroine born in the '40's, a symbolic forerunner of women's lib, performed Nielsen wonders for ABC
     No doubt, his anger rose a few degrees higher since lie and Carter are to marry by the end of May.
     "Wonder Woman' was not a canceled' show, "Samuels said. "ABC offered a, proposal of 11 onehour shows and , two two-hour shows.' Silverman wanted to run them as specials. Warner's, which makes 'Wonder Woman,' wasn't satisfied with that. The studio wanted a series.
     "While neogtiations were still going on, CBS expressed interest in doing it as a series. That's why `Wonder Woman' will be on another network next season. CBS agreed to a full season - 22 shows. The point is that ABC didn't cancel CBS made a better offer."
     We recall talking to Bud Grant, CBS programmer, some weeks ago in Las Vegas where we saw a preview of the Howard Hughes picture in the MGM Grand. Grant remarked, then, during a chat that much of ABC's command of the ratings was the result. of shows that appealed to kids who brought their parents. to the set with them. This sufficiently motivates the CBS yen for "Wonder Woman."
     Samuel's stable of illies includes three young women with the greatest appeal in television, if you evaluate by the numbers. In addition to Carter, he does the. career strategizing for Lindsay Wagner, the . Bionic Woman, and Jaclyn Smith, one of "Charlie's Angels." ABC had all three series.
     "Charlie's Angels". will stay put on ABC, With or without Farrah Fawcett-Majors. But "The Bionic Woman" was canceled in spite of frequency with which it landed in the top 10. But NBC, having experienced a drastic' shortage of top 10 shows this past season, wooed: and won Tho Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner, and her' prodigies for '77-`78.
     "When Silverman decided to drop `The Bionic Woman,"' said Samuels, "I was astonished. Anybody in his right mind doesn't drop shows in, the first 10.1E he does that, you feel he's on the brink. He spoke to me for about an hour, told me he's after something new - variety -comedy.
     He's anxious for Lindsay to do some specials for ABC. ABC already has a special with 'her. 'Lindsay Wagner: Another Side of Me.," He suggested another series for her. He left an open kind of door. I gotta be honest with you. I manage three of the four hottest women on television - Lynda, Lindsay and Jaclyn. The other one Js Farrah-Fawcett Majors."
     Samuels, you see, isn't prone to underestimate the actors under his management. He expresses himself é in superlatives with all the modesty of a manager expounding the virtues of his fighter. But the fact is that he has them up there challenging for the numbers championship.
     "I don't believe in going for the fast buck with my clients," Samuels said. "That's what has happened to Farrah Fawcett. She's bg ing exploited. She has been overexposed. If you give people too much candy, you can get them sick to, their stomach.
     "You have to take care of talent. I think in terms of a long-range process. I don't think of a guy or girl being hot now and getting all I can out of it. Then, when they cool off, getting myself somebody else. You have to consider longevity, a whole career, a lifetime.'
     We remarked that, regardless of ratings, no one would accuse Carter, Wagner or Smith Of any contribution to the art' of acting in their respective shows. Then, we docked. wasn't really necessary because Samuels didn't take umbrage. He just took off.
     "That's the problem on once side of the coin" he said, "but on the other side there's visibility that leads to success. I keep hearing that television stars can't be movie stars. But I keep 'remembering Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen and George C. Scott.
     "There used to be some stigma among actors attached to being a television star. But that's not true anymore. Now, if you're a television star, you're a major star. They can act; but you don't realize it on account of the type of shows they're in.
     Carter, he assured us, çan; and will have an exceptional career as a singer. Lynda, who has been in a theatrical item entitled "Bobbie Jo and The Outlaw," is on the verge of signing for Las Vegas engagement as a singer according to her manager. He informed us that Paul Anka would be co-writer with her on 'her next record.
     "Lynda," he spoke with a freewheeling eclat,. "isn't dumb. She's highly, ifitehigent. She has opinions and objections. In fact, it's ironical that Lynda, with a borderling genius IQ, is playing a character who - who well, with a limited education. When she interrupts me and says, `Hey, what about that, Ronnie?' you can bet I listen.
     "Lynda has done 13 or 14 'Wonder Woman' shows over two seasons. It's like any other business. After a while, you know what will work and what won't work. That's an advantage for next season. There has also been a lot of discussion about updating the character from the '40's to the '70's. That's the direction."
     This means there will be some change in the substance of the stories to lend it the durability for the series route. Definitely, the production values are to be improved. CBS desires it to have the look of a production about which some care has been taken.
     Samuels' enthusiasm fed on itself until it reached the apex of ecstasy. "What you have to realize," he said, earnestly, "is that Linda, Lindsay and Jaclyn are classic types - like Lauren Bacall and Rita Hayworth. Their visibility in television will get them the movie parts that will prove they're fine actresses."
     He practically shuddered with awe in recalling the appeal that Lynda manifested when she took to the national highways on promotional tours. "Everybody is anxious to see her. She has an extremely wide audience. It includes the fathers as well as the kids. She has qualities larger than life."
     The fathers like to look at her and wonder and the kids like to look at her magic wonders.
© 1977 by Los Angeles Herald-Examiner TV Weekly.
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