Farrah Fawcett-Majors has notified the producers of the hit series "Charlie's Angels" that she is quitting the show and will not be back next season.
The producers are saying, in effect, oh yes she will.
Jay Bernstein, personal manager of the frosty-haired actress, yesterday confirmed rumors that she is leaving the program and going into partnership with her actor-husband Lee Majors, star of "The $6 Million Man," to produce films.
"Charlie's Angels," the semi-comic adventures of three female detectives, premiered on ABC last fall and became the highest-rated weekly series to be introduced in the '76-'77 season. Recent Nielsen ratings ranked it the fifth most popular show on the air.
The program also star Kate Jackson and Jacyln Smith as the other two detecting angels, but sources at Spelling-Goldberg productions, which owns the series, say that Fawcett-Majors received by far the biggest share of "the vast amount" of fan mail and has received the most media attention as well. A poster-photograph of the actress in a wet bathing suit has become the biggest selling personality poster in history.
Neither of the program's executive producers, Aaron Spelling or Leonard Goldberg, would respond to inquiries yesterday. Marvin Katz, business manager for the company, said that Fawcett-Majors has the standard five-year television series contract - one year plus options for four more.
"We will exercise that option," Katz said. "We expect she will return." He said he had not heard reports that she had notified Spelling-Goldberg of her intention to leave.
Rumors circulated last week that Fawcett-Majors was holding out for a raise - to as much as $75,000 per episode. She got $5,000 an episode this year and Spelling-Goldberg planned to double that for next year.
But Bernstein insisted yesterday that money was not the object. "She has not asked for anything," he said. "She is asking to leave. And she feels that she does not have legal grounds to leave or it would not be honorable."
Fawcett-Majors herself could not be reached for comment. An ABC spokesman in Los Angeles said the network has not yet formulated a response.
Fawcett-Majors Production, the new company formed by the married team, already has a film project underway for NBC, Bernstein said, though Majors will appear in it and his wife will not. The working title is "A Matter of Inconvenience."
Fawcett-Majors was not exactly a household name when "Charlie's Angels" premiered last fall, but her face was extremely familiar to TV viewers as a result of the more than 100 commercials in which she had appeared. She also had small parts in such films as "Myra Breckinridge" and "Logan's Run."
Barney Rosenzweig, producer of ther series, who is also quitting the show, said recently, "The concept of the show is a hit concept and I predicted it would be a hit. But I never predicted Farrah's rise to stardom." Rosenzweig said he is quitting the show because of personally conflicts with executive producer Goldberg.
One of the key indicators of Fawcett-Major's popularity, in addition to her appearance on the covers of innumerable magazines and weekly newspapers, was the spectacular success of "Farrah" a poster produced by the Pro-Arts company of Media, Ohio.
A spokesman for the firm said yesterday that sales have now reached about 6 million, making it "probably the biggest-selling poster in the history of poster." The company has been busy trying to eliminate counterfeit versions of the poster in Canada, the spokesman said, and producing two new Fawcett-Majors posters including one, "Super Farrah," that is "twice as big as the first one was."