TV BABYLON. Jeff Rovin. Signet Books; 1984.
In readable to-the-point prose, Rovin compiles a series of scandals about and warts and all portraits of famous television personalities from Mary Tyler Moore to Cher to Johnny Carson to James Garner. You can read about the rift between Laverne and Shirley, why Suzanne Somers was cut out of Three's Company, the super-bitches of TV and when they deserve the appellation and when they're just fighting for quality, the stars who are deemed difficult due to ego troubles and those who just want control to make sure the quality is consistent and their livelihood isn't threatened. Rovin also looks at accidental deaths and brutal murders in the TV community. Although at times the author tries too hard to mimic Kenneth Anger's callous tone in his tacky Hollywood Babylon volumes, it's clear his sensibility is not the same. Throughout the tome, such as during his write up on actress Barbara Colby, shot to death just as her career was taking off, he makes a tacit but definite case for compassion and intelligence.
Verdict: Good read! ***.