The Virginian-Pilot
                             THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT 
              Copyright (c) 1996, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: Tuesday, August 20, 1996              TAG: 9608200059
                                            LENGTH:   83 lines


LOCAL TV NEWS and views to consider while you wait for Scotty of ``Star Trek'' (James Doohan) to join the cast of the new UPN sitcom, ``Homeboys in Outer Space'':

Smile. You're on cable TV - Who's the dude with the black 10-gallon hat strolling the Oceanfront while holding a spinning, mirrored dance-hall ball from the disco era?

It's country singer David Ball, who recently visited Virginia Beach to tape a segment for his ``Starlite Lounge'' special on Country Music Television. It's been airing this month.

Where have you gone, John Miller? - I've heard from readers who miss seeing John Miller co-anchoring WVEC's morning news strip. They wonder what's become of Miller.

He left Channel 13 when the station's bosses brought in Carol Hoffman to pump up the numbers on the lowest-rated local wake-up news. Don't cry for Miller, because he's landed on his feet as the new vice president for university relations at Christopher Newport U. on the Peninsula.

He's working for university president Paul Trible. Again. Miller was Trible's news secretary when Trible was a senator. Miller leaves behind 18 years in TV news as reporter, anchor and news director.

Another question from the readers concerning WVEC: Why wasn't Jim Kincaid on camera a few weeks ago for Cynthia Lima's tearful farewell? They co-anchored the 6 p.m. news before Kincaid retired and Lima headed to Hawaii for life as an admiral's wife.

Lima and Kincaid had a private farewell, said Marty Haag, who's acting as news director until the station finds a permanent successor for David Cassidy. Haag said he'll leave the job of replacing Lima to the new newsroom boss.

Will that be one lump or two? - If you know who John Inman is, you're likely hooked on ``Are You Being Served?'' The PBS sitcom is about life in Gentleman's Ready to Wear at a London department store (Grace Brothers).

The show has a cult following on the Internet to rival that of ``The X-Files.'' Grace Brothers will come to us on Sept. 2 to 4 when Inman (he plays Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries) visits Norfolk and Newport News for tea and scones parties to boost WHRO's August membership drive.

On Sept. 3, Inman will appear at the Wells Theater in Norfolk at 7:30 p.m. Call 627-1234 for reservations. He'll also schmooze with the Channel 15 staff on the air when it's time to rattle the tin cup for pledges.

Wait until she's 8! - Maisha Whitehurst of Portsmouth, who is only 7, is back home after taping a segment for the syndicated ``It's Showtime at the Apollo'' series. The singer was among 85 acts who taped 12 shows in three days at the famous New York City theater. Whew!

She'll likely appear on the show, carried Sunday nights at 10 by WTVZ, early in September.

Did they see the same movie? - Remember a while back when I asked if anyone had seen former WAVY anchor Diana Morgan in the new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, ``Eraser''? She gave up a good job anchoring the news in Miami a year ago to start at the bottom of the ladder in the acting profession.

I heard from about a dozen readers who said they did, indeed, see Morgan playing a TV reporter in ``Eraser.'' No stretch there. The readers disagree on how long she was on screen.

Rodney J. Van Houten in Virginia Beach says it was about 90 seconds. ``I picked her out right away. She looked great.'' Rick Murray in Virginia Beach says Morgan had all of 2.5 seconds on the screen. Charles Johnson in Norfolk put the figure at 15 seconds.

I'll settle this. I'll take a stopwatch to a screening. Stay tuned.

Let's get nostalgic - When WTKR executives announced they were refurbishing the station's theater to use as a studio for a new locally produced morning show starting Sept. 9, that brought to mind Jeff Dane.

Dane, who for 17 years hosted an outdoorsy show called ``Tackle Box'' on Channel 3, told me from his home in Naples, Fla., that he originated many music and variety shows from that theater in the 1950s.

``It has great acoustics,'' said Dane, who's had heart problems of late and had to undergo a triple bypass. Dane says he's recovered nicely.

It's back to Southfork - Some of the readers who've called me on Infoline (640-5555, press 2486, or 3333 if you want the day's TV highlight) asked when the ``Dallas'' reruns start on The Nashville Network.

TNN begins with episode No. 1 on Sept. 30 at 11 a.m., repeating the drama at 4 and 11 p.m. TNN will stick with it through episode No. 356. Look for Norfolk's very own Debbie Shelton to pop up as J.R. Ewing's bed buddy. ILLUSTRATION: Color photo


Look for David Ball, and his hat, on Country Music Television by CNB