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ABC ASSUMES ROSEANNE WILL DO A THIRD SEASON

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Roseanne Barr's threat to leave her top-rated "Roseanne" doesn't worry ABC's programs chief, who said Tuesday he assumes she'll do a third season of the television comedy series.

Robert A. Iger wsaid he hasn't discussed the matter with Barr, but just "took a wait-and-see attitude. I'm not that worried.""I'm outta there," Barr said earlier this month on NBC's "Today" show when asked what she'd do with her television career if her movie "She-Devil" was a hit. If the movie flopped, she said, "I'm going to leave TV anyway."

"I've spoken with her since that quote. ... I didn't address that comment at all," Iger said. "I just let it go.

"She has a contract to do the program and I assume she'll be back."

Iger, ABC Entertainment president, spoke at a news conference where he also said:

- ABC has ordered eight episodes of "Elvis," a new half-hour dramatic series about rock idol Elvis Presley's early years in the mid-'50s. The new show may premiere in February, rather than March, whe ABC's other mid-season replacement series will begin.

- James L. Brooks, writer of such TV comedy hits as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Taxi," and "The Tracy Ullman Show," has signed an exclusive ABC deal to develop comedies for the network.

- He's "not aware of any backlash" from ABC affiliates over the network's unusual decision earlier this year to try selling programs to its network rivals, including NBC, with whom ABC is working on a development deal.

Conceding that ABC's decision "raises eyebrows," Iger said it was necessary if Brandon Stoddard, president of ABC Productions, is to attract top creative talent for the netowrk's production division.

Top talent might balk if limited to just one potential buyer, he said, and that's why ABC made its decision "to allow him to sell in multiple directions, including another network."

He said there has been talk of NBC offering ABC a "potential movie ... but to my knowledge that's not in the present development." - Jay Sharbutt, Associated Press

- Angela Lansbury has made sure she'll be on CBS-TV for years to come, signing for another season as Jessica Fletcher on "Murder, She Wrote." As part of the deal, CBS agreed to buy at least 13 episodes of a half-hour series produced by and starring Lansubry the year after "Murder" ends its network run. - Scripps Howard News Service.

- Larry Hagman says he's only worked once with his mother, legendary musical star Mary Martin - in a London production of "South Pacific." "I was in the chorus," he recalls on the CBS-TV special, "The Kennedy Center Honors," to air Dec. 29. "She treated me exactly the way she did every other member of the cast - with love, concern and respect. It made me understand why everybody who's ever worked with her feels the way they do about her." - Scripps Howard News Service