ABC TV has apparently lost interest in its revival of "Omnibus," having dumped the next edition of the occasional series into the 7 p.m. Sunday suicide slot opposite "60 Minutes." It might be cause for complaint if not for the fact that the show is a tedious and laggardly disaster.
On the latest edition, to be seen on Channel 7 here, producer Martin Starger has again mistaken "Omnibus" for "Dumping Ground." The collection of odds and ends has been so haphazardly assembled that the program doesn't even inspire passionate ire -- just lavish disinterest.
The dancers of the Peking Opera are seen briefly and colorfully in the fourth of the show's six segments, but other wise it's all downhill from Ground Zero. David Bowie does two scenes from the Broadway "Elephant Man" speaking in a manner that suggests Ronald Coleman inhaling. Then the producers have the gall to play the same old videotape of Bowie singing "Fashion" that has already circulated to all those terrible rock shows seen in the wee hours on local stations.
Don Meredith talks about instant replay (Do the producers think sports are underrepresented on television?), Beatrice Arthur narrates a pedestrian video essay on rules for women, emcee Hal Holbrook is saddled with an embarrassing monologue on the history of hair, and Larry Hagman talks about the flag, followed by the University of Southern California's marching band's execrably funky rendition of "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
The worst thing about the program is the script, which showers all the acts with the same kind of show-biz hyperbole we can get any night of the week from Merv Griffin or a host of other hosts. It's getting so writers in Hollywood can't write anything but hype; they must think its the new national language.
This new "Omnibus" has nothing to do with the original "omnibus." It has nothing to do with anything.