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'Today's Super Rich' -- innocuous, so-so summer viewing

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This is the season when nonselective TV viewers in the let's-see-what's-on-TV-tonight category receive the almost inevitable answer: "Nothing worth watching."

Occasionally you may find a fairly interesting special on PBS (usually a show that somebody believed had limited national interest), and you may also find some fine documentaries on the commercial networks (after all, summer is documentary dumping time -- when the ratings don't count so much.)

NBC is airing a typical summer show this week. It falls into the worth-watching-if-you have-nothing-better-to-do category: "Rona Barrett Looks At Today's Super Rich" (Friday, NBC, 10-11 p.m., check local listings).

Miss Barret has become NBC's problem star -- they can't decide whether she is "news" or entertainment. According to "Miss Rona," she is definitely news, and this is one of the shows she has done to prove it.

Well, I think NBC still has the problem.

"Super Rich" is a Barbara Walters-type personality interview show with a theme. The theme is: What do nouveau-rich people have in common? Rona tries to find out by asking them innocently ingenuous questions, and they respond with slyly ingenuous answers. If you hope to find a clue as to how to become superrich, you are doomed to disappointment. After all, if you were a billionaire, would you tell all your secrets?

The rich people are Donald Trump, New York City real estate tycoon; Trammel Crow, Texas real estate tycoon; John Johnson, publisher of Ebony and Negro Digest; Diane Von Furstenburg, fashion and cosmetics tycoon; Clement stone, Chicago insurance tycoon; Harry Helmsley, real estate tycoon. That's a lot of tycoons -- members of the most exclusive club in America: self-made millionaires.

The millionaires flew by so fast that I had trouble keeping up with their moneymaking tips. But in my notes I find: killer instinct, enjoy work, love family (but don't spend too much time with them), invest in real estate and never sell, refinance, read Horatio Alger Jr., make it a game, gamble, have supportive family, unlimited credit at the bank.

But I came away from the hour convinced that the last tip is the one that really counts. The only problem is, nobody told how to get unlimited credit at the bank.


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