Jon Lovitz to Replace Hartman on 'NewsRadio'?

By Joal Ryan

Will it be a "Saturday Night Live" alum to step in for a fallen funnyman comrade?

Jon Lovitz is the top choice of producers to replace the late Phil Hartman in the cast of NBC sitcom "NewsRadio," reports say.

Today, a Lovitz spokeswoman called such casting talk "way too premature."

Lovitz and Hartman worked together on "SNL" for four seasons in the late 1980s.

Lovitz is said to be undecided as to whether to take the "NewsRadio" gig. He reportedly has wrestled with the idea of taking a job created by the death of a friend. Hartman was murdered at the hands of his wife last month. He was 49.

No word on what character Lovitz (or whoever) would play on the critically acclaimed, but ratings-challenged, series. Hartman played pompous news anchor Bill McNeal.

"USA Today" says actor Patrick Warburton is also on the short list to sub for Hartman.

Warburton is best known for a recurring role on "Seinfeld." He played David Puddy, Elaine's auto-mechanic beau.

Lovitz, 40, is perhaps best known for smooth-talking, flim-flam man Tommy Flanagan, the liar character he created for "SNL."

His post-"SNL" career has faltered--plagued by failed movies ("High School High," "Trapped in Paradise," etc.) and a failed TV series, the animated comedy series, "The Critic."

Earlier this month, "NewsRadio" producers huddled and decided that the "show must go on," despite the Hartman tragedy.

[Editor's Note: "USA Today" also reports that another former "SNL" cast member, Rob Schneider, is also being considered as Hartman's "NewsRadio" successor.]

Source: E! Online

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