Steele, who leads the trash/pash romance league in socko sales and readership, serves up here another fantasyland drama--this one tailor-made for TV soap addicts. What could be more titillating than the notion of gorgeously-gowned and cleft-chinned soap stars who not only suffer excitingly off camera because of disasters and secrets in their real-life paths, but also pair off sexually, even maritally! Here six actors are each in a way reborn as they are hired, rehearse and film for the new ""glamourous, important and expensive"" TV series Manhattan--prime time, and produced by Mel Wechsler, 54, white-maned, blue eyes icy, who still grieves for his family killed in a plane crash. (Mel's the actors' Big Daddy--the juveniles call him ""Sir"".) Mel's lead, who stirs him sexually, is Sabina Quarles, a movie star of 45, currently jobless, who ""on a good day looked thirty-five, on a great day thirty-one.' Sabina has worked hard to get where she is (there's that buried porn period), and within that ""spectacular"" bud beats a heart of iron, it seems--but what explains her mysterious errands to a small house in California? Also with a shape that makes strong men weep is 39-year-old abused housewife, red-headed Jane Adams, married to sadistic Jack and mother of three hostile kids, who never knew Jane had done a ten-year stint on an afternoon soap--in a black wig yet. Then there's the little ingenue Gabrielle, who Mel senses is not all she seems. And what about Sabina's costar Zack Taylor, polite, charming. . .and gay? Jane's not so sure. Champ of all the suffering is the juvenile Bill Warwick, haunted by the marriage he's kept secret--to Sandy, a waiflike drug addict. Will Bill survive a death, jail, and a trial for homicide? Will he ever forget that Gabrielle reminds him of Sandy? Will Mel uncover Sabina's pathetic secret? And what about the sexual impasse of Zack and Jane? Tune in. With all the glittery duds, caviar bashes in Hollywood and New York, and poolside sex--unbeatable fare for the Tab-and-Fritos crowd.