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Television

July 10, 1993|STEVEN LINAN | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

The Early Fox Catches . . .: Fox Broadcasting will get a jump on the competition by launching its fall season the week of Aug. 22 with premieres of the comedies "My Girls," starring Queen Latifah, and "The Sinbad Show," plus "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," an action series about a bounty hunter in the Old West. In addition, "Cops," "Martin," "Roc" and "America's Most Wanted" will have their season premieres next month. "By premiering our new shows and moving our returning shows to their new time periods in August, we believe we'll gain a competitive edge over the other networks," noted Sandy Grushow, president of the Fox Entertainment Group.

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Countdown to Dave: The big promotional push for the Aug. 30 CBS premiere of "Late Show With David Letterman" will begin Tuesday. The network's telecast of baseball's All-Star Game will include some of the 80 promos Letterman has taped, "the most ever done for any show," said George F. Schweitzer, CBS' senior vice president for marketing and communications. Most of the ads were written by Letterman's team of writers. Their theme: "Same David. Better Time. New Station." In one of the spots, Letterman refers to his new network's logo and says: "Don't you think that CBS eye thing is kind of, ah, creepy?"

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Morton Moves: Longtime CBS reporter and commentator Bruce Morton is joining Cable News Network. Morton, who has been at CBS for nearly 30 years, will be a national correspondent for CNN in its Washington bureau, beginning in October.

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Our Fair Lady: KCET has set Aug. 11 as the airdate for "Audrey Hepburn Remembered," a tribute to the late actress. The hour will feature film clips, her interviews as an ambassador for UNICEF and the recollections of friends and colleagues. Actor Roger Moore is the host.

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Love Him Tender: "America Comes to Graceland" is the first in a series of syndicated specials to originate from the home of Elvis Presley. Hosted by actress Lisa Hartman Black and singer Mac Davis, the program focuses on the thousands of fans making their annual candlelight pilgrimage to the Presley estate where they will commemorate the anniversary of his death on Aug. 16, 1977. "Graceland" and the two-hour documentary "Elvis: His Life and Times" will be televised in August on KCAL-TV.

ARTS

Personnel File: Willie Middlebrook, formerly director of the Watts Towers Arts Center, no longer holds that job, the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department confirmed Friday. Cultural affairs spokeswoman Jane Kolb said that Middlebrook, who had been in the position for six months, "wasn't fired, but did not make probation" in his new job. Kolb said Middlebrook continues to work for the department, returning to his former slot as a photography instructor. Middlebrook could not be reached for comment. The position has been frozen for budget reasons.

MOVIES

Civil Warhorse: Turner Pictures and New Line Cinema are teaming up on the theatrical release of "Gettysburg," a four-hour saga originally set to air on the TNT cable channel. Based on Michael Shaara's novel "The Killer Angels," the film stars Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen and Sam Elliott. It tells the story of the key battle that began in Gettysburg, Pa., on July 1, 1863.

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Goodby to a View: Owners of the Pensione Quisisana and Ponte Vecchio, the Florence, Italy, hotel made famous when it was used for director James Ivory's Oscar-winning film version of E.M. Forster's "A Room With a View," have decided not to reopen the hotel, which was badly damaged by the May 27 bomb blast that also struck the nearby Uffizi gallery. "To put everything straight would take at least three or four years and we can't hold out that long," the hotel's director said.

PEOPLE WATCH

Growing Up: Sarah Ferguson has learned a lesson. The estranged wife of Britain's Prince Andrew said in a TV interview in London that past scandals had taught her to control the bubbly, spontaneous personality that got her into trouble. She also said she would remain best friends with Queen Elizabeth's second son, even though their separation was formalized last week. The Duchess, whose royal woes last year included tabloid photographs of her lounging topless by a swimming pool with a Texas financier, said the scandal had taught her a lesson. "It's made me much more thoughtful and aware of trying to control my spontaneity a little, so I don't fall into awful great big traps with ramifications too much for me to cope with," she said.

QUICK TAKES

Deejay Mark Goodman has left KROQ-FM to do a morning show in Chicago. . . . Gregory Peck will receive the Legion of Honor from France on Wednesday. . . . Oprah Winfrey is at work on her next project: starring as a determined mother coping with life in a Windy City housing project in the ABC movie based on Alex Kotlowitz's non-fiction bestseller "There Are No Children Here."

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