My goodness. Mr. Spud's file of tube notes (or tubers, as he likes to call them) is overflowing.
Let's clean out that computer system by running a few items today.***
GAME SHOW WINNER: Michael Reilly took a rather unusual route to becoming a game show host. The star of ABC's prime time "Monopoly," which debuts Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m., got the job by being - a game show contestant.
Reilly, who describes himself as a "struggling actor," wasn't a winner as a contestant on "Jeopardy!" but the producer of the show was so impressed he asked Reilly to be a contestant on the pilot of "Monopoly."
Enter executive producer Merv Griffin, the man who made Pat Sajak a household name. During taping of the "Monopoly" pilot, Griffin decided he wanted to "get a feel for the show as a contestant." So Reilly offered to act as host . . . and the rest is history.
THE VAMPIRES ARE COMING: Have no fear, Gothic soap opera fans, the Collins family will be returning to television.
"Dark Shadows," which ran as a daytime serial on ABC in the late '60s, has been ordered as a backup series for NBC prime time. In other words, when some other show gets canceled, "Dark Shadows" will get a spot on the schedule.
The cast includes Ben Cross (of "Chariots of Fire" fame) as the 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins.
NBC Entertainment chief Brandon Tartikoff has also ordered new episodes of the Judith Ivey sitcom "Down Home," which had a tryout on the network this spring, as a backup.
ANOTHER GUMBEL: CBS Sports isn't confirming this yet, but it appears Greg Gumbel is going to replace Brent Musburger as the host of "NFL Today" in the fall.
Maybe it's in his genes. Brother Bryant Gumbel used to host NBC's version of the pregame and halftime NFL show before moving on to the "Today" show.
Actually, the word is that CBS is not only replacing Musburger but the whole "NFL Today" team. Will McDonough is moving to NBC, Irv Cross will become a game analyst and Dick Butkus is being dumped, reportedly.
Joining Gumbel as co-host will be former Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who's been doing color commentary on NFL games for CBS. Pat O'Brien will be one of two field reporters.
And it's been reported that Lesley Visser will be the other field reporter --and become the first woman on the team since former Miss America Phyllis George left in 1984 for her ill-fated stint on the "CBS Morning News."
CONTRACTS, CONTRACTS, CONTRACTS: CNN, Fox and NBC have all announced new contracts for talk show hosts recently:
-Larry King signed a five-year pact with CNN at an estimated $1.6 million a year - twice his former salary - to remain as host of "Larry King Live."
-Charlie Rose, host of CBS News' highly acclaimed but little-watched "Nighwatch" is moving to Fox. Beginning is September, Rose will host "Personalities," an interview show set to air on 115 stations. His last day with "Nightwatch," which airs locally at 1:40 a.m. on Ch. 5, is June 15.
-David Letterman and Jay Leno have both signed multiyear contracts and will remain with NBC - Letterman as host of "Late Night" and Leno as permanent guest host on "The Tonight Show." No details of the deals were announced.
-Lorne Michaels (OK, he's not a talk show host) signed a four-year contract to remain as producer of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and to develop prime time programming for the network. The last time he did that was "The New Show," a "SNL" clone that bombed badly, lasting less than three months in 1984.
MY SISTER PAM: Pam Dawber, whose "My Sister Sam" ran on CBS from 1986-88, is returning to the network with a new sitcom.
No title, format or airdate were announced, but Dawber will be one of the executive producers, as she was on "Sam."
She'll also star in several CBS TV movies, the first of which - "The Face of Fear" - is currently in production.
Dawber hit the television scene in 1978 as the semisane counterpart to Robin Williams on ABC's "Mork & Mindy."
KILLER KEN: Ken Olin, who plays yuppie Michael Steadman on "thirtysomething," will star as alleged wife-killer Charles Stewart in a CBS TV movie. (After learning he was a suspect in his pregnant wife's murder, Stewart killed himself.)
Some critics have questioned Olin's casting, what with Michael being such a nice guy. Perhaps they've forgotten him as a cop on "Hill Street Blues" or as a priest who had a brief affair with sexy Melissa on "Falcon Crest."
MORE TALK: Aaauugh! Still another daytime talk show is coming!
And the news gets worse. It will hosted by none other than Maury Povich, host of "A Current Affair." Aaauugh!
Fortunately, we have a chance to brace ourselves for this shock to our television systems. Povich will stay with "Affair" until his contract runs out in May 1991. His talk show will debut in the fall of that year.
The folks at Fox can't be happy. He's not only leaving the network, he's leaving the studio for a deal with rival Paramount.
One question remains unanswered: How many times will Povich and wife Connie Chung appear on each other's shows?
GOOD NEWS: Last weekend's Children's Miracle Network Telethon pulled in $89.4 million in pledges. The proceeds go to local children's hospitals, including Salt Lake's Primary Children's Medical Center.
BAD NEWS: At least it was bad news for Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
The Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., reports that - for the first time - Gorbachev got some bad press from the American networks.
Between May 23 and June 3 on ABC, CBS and NBC's evening newscasts, there were 144 stories about the summit - a total of five hours and six minutes.
Gorbachev was featured in 60 stories, President Bush in 31, Russian Republic President Boris Yeltsin in 14, and U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in 10.
But while he dominated the coverage, just 47 percent of Gorbachev's evaluations were positive, compared with 80 percent for Bush.
Gorbachev's figures are all the more dramatic because CMPA reports he received 100 percent positive ratings at the Malta summit, 75 percent at the Moscow summit and 79 percent during his December 1987 Washington summit.
BENNY BALL: Did you know that there's a Jack Benny High School in Illinois?
And that the mascot for the Benny High athletic teams is . . . the 39ers?
(If you're too young to get it, go ask your parents. Or your grandparents.)