The Business

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Just Say No: Does the world need a stage musical of Rocky? (Did it need Rocky, period?) Elton John is mulling over the challenge of transferring Sly Stallone's boxing breakthrough to Broadway, via fax communication with the man himself, who's eager to see an all-singing, all-dancing version of his creation hit the boards, rather than hit the deck. And just think of the sequel potential... Meanwhile, Andrew Lloyd Webber is reportedly talking to Warner Brothers about taking A Star Is Born from screen to stage, hoping to replicate the smash status of Sunset Boulevard; a lousy idea you might think, but just stop and imagine, say, Bernadette Peters repeating the legendary line, "This is Mrs Norman Maine."

Stallone Again: Presumably Danny Cannon's agent had a loud word with his client. What else can explain the British director's sudden change of tune concerning his Judge Dredd star, Sylvester Stallone? Only weeks ago Cannon was telling the press how the muscle-bound one had to be kept away from the script, to save it from his "incoherent" ideas, and, hey presto, there's Cannon on The Little Picture Show, telling the world how it was all worth it, what a sweetie the guy was on the set, how Sly knew "how to do it". Danny obviously knows how to do it, too.

When You're Hot: American TV shows featuring lesbian and gay characters are now legion. Northern Exposure, Melrose Place, Hope and Gloria, Sisters, Roseanne (supposedly there's a "DJ comes out" episode on the way), Hell, Friends and Muscle - all have regular or semi-regular gay roles, which may explain the fact that Fox TV is close to commissioning an all-gay sitcom, long-touted but never picked up, from the pen of Torch Song Trilogy writer and star Harvey Fierstein, last seen on US TV playing, you guessed it, Rebecca's gay ex in Cheers.

London's Carlton Television receives plenty of (mostly deserved) stick. So this would be a good time to point out that Carlton is the only ITV station committed - and consistent - in its support of new writing talent, a commitment highlighted by yet another five-week run of Capital Lives. This may now be the only spot in an increasingly ratings-driven British TV specifically commissioned with an eye to encouraging tiros and surrounding them with top-notch production talent (the one and only Verity Lambert produces). So tuning in on Thursday 17 August should at least guarantee the rare sight of a good deed in a naughty world.

Tell Me Why: Sammy Davis Jr lived high and died low, owing the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) a bundle. Which is why the American government now owns the rights to the Davis likeness and name, to exploit as it sees fit, despite protests from the entertainer's widow, Altovise.

Perhaps the IRS knows of some totally unexpected - and definitely unwanted - revival that's on the way. Nah...

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