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The 'Seinfeld' e-mail for April 8, 1998

SHOWS TO GO: After Thursday's show airs, we're down to four originals before the end.

ON THIS WEEK: Finally, an all-new show: "The Bookstore." George hopes to meet women at a bookstore where Jerry spots Uncle Leo shoplifting. Elaine schemes to salvage her reputation after another misdeed at a company party. And, Kramer and Newman import a rickshaw, and audition homeless men to pull it.

In an attempt to air as many "Seinfeld" reruns as possible, NBC is showing another oldie but goodie Wednesday (April 8) as well. In "The Slicer," Kramer buys a meat slicer, which solves Elaine's problems with a neighbor; George has a past with his new boss; and Jerry's "revenge date" backfires. It airs at 8:30 p.m. EST.

(In a move akin to weaning junkies from their habit, NBC plans to air repeats of the show throughout the summer, according to a network spokeswoman, because ratings for most sitcoms are strong even in repeats.)

RATINGS: "Seinfeld" took Nielsens' second place again for the week of March 30. In a week dominated by reruns and midseason replacement series, its 16.4 rating (down from last week's 18.6 rating, Nielsen Media Research reported) was not great, but not that far from first. "CBS NCAA Basketball Championship: Kentucky vs. Utah," took that honor (17.8 rating). "Friends," at 14.9, rounded out the top three.

THEY'RE SAYING NOTHING 'BOUT NOTHING: Secrecy is shrouding taping of the one-hour series finale for "Seinfeld," which wraps up filming Wednesday night. Members of the public and press have been barred from the taping, being held behind closed doors on its Los Angeles set with only FOJs (Friends of Jerry) present, Castle Rock publicist Elizabeth Clark told the New York Daily News. Even some of the supporting cast members haven't been told how it will turn out. They're being given their lines at the last minute.

NBC Entertainment President Warren Littlefield said Seinfeld is demanding written vows of silence from those watching the taping, including from Littlefield. "This is a very tightly kept secret," the NBC Entertainment boss said. "Even the people who work for me, who know more than I do, have said to me, 'I'd like to discuss it with you, Warren, but I can't.'"

FINALE FESTIVITIES: New York institutions from Yankee Stadium to Radio City Music Hall are hustling to get in on celebrations of the finale of "Seinfeld." It was suggested that the city shut down Times Square, a la New Year's Eve, for a street party and mass viewing of the show -- a suggestion Mayor Rudy Giuliani's office rejected as too disruptive. Then Yankee Stadium said it wanted to broadcast the finale after that night's game, but NBC said the team couldn't screen the show for a paying audience.

Other plans are still alive: Radio City Music Hall has volunteered to host a farewell party ... the man who inspired the "Seinfeld" character Cosmo Kramer said Tuesday he's been deluged with May 14 party invitations ... some radio stations are giving away trips to New York and tickets to Kenny Kramer's tour as part of "Seinfeld" farewell promotions ... and Maxim magazine issued a statement this week bragging that it had rented Tom's -- the restaurant used for exterior shots of the gang's hangout, Monk's -- for May 14.

BEST QUOTE: "Our relationship has got to be about something fast, or I am in serious and strange trouble" -- George, to his new girlfriend after he realizes that she looks like Jerry. "Gum! Our relationship is about gum!"

COMING UP NEXT: As the cast of "Cheers" did when its show ended in 1993, Jerry Seinfeld will be appearing on NBC's "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno on May 14. It will be his first visit to the show since May, when he was there for Leno's fifth anniversary at the helm.

Is Jason Alexander preparing for a career on the game show circuit? After competing in a "Celebrity Jeopardy" tournament this weekend with the likes of Dan Cortese, who once guest-starred on "Seinfeld," and Carol Burnett (it airs the week of April 27), the actor quipped, "In a very short amount of time, I'm going to be unemployed, and I'm thinking of doing the game show circuit just as a way to make money. So I'm going to try this, 'Wheel of Fortune,' you know, maybe 'The Love Connection,' anything I can do to make a buck." It was Alexander's second turn in Celebrity Jeopardy; he first appeared in 1994.

Michael Richards, the only "Seinfeld" TV cast member so far to voice regret that the series is ending, is reportedly in negotiations to take over Quentin Tarantino's role in Broadway's "Wait Until Dark" this June.

While there's no word on Julia Louis-Dreyfus' future yet, her clothes are getting an extra spin courtesy of the J. Peterman catalog. The verbose catalog, describing its new "Elaine Benes' Suit," (a double-breasted jacket with matching, pleated pants), says: "It stands to reason that a woman working for such an extraordinary company would sport at least the occasional extraordinary outfit." You can take a gander at the online catalog entry at

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