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MORNING REPORT

July 21, 1993|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

TELEVISION

Early 'Hopes': Fox won't be the only network to start premiering its new shows in August. CBS plans to start two new Wednesday night sitcoms Aug. 25: "The Trouble With Larry" and "Tall Hopes." "Larry" stars Bronson Pinchot as an adventurer, missing and presumed dead for 10 years, who resurfaces and moves in with his former wife, her new husband and the daughter he never knew he had. "Tall Hopes" is about two brothers, one aiming for an NBA contract and the other wanting to be the next Spike Lee. Its cast includes George Wallace, Anna Maria Horsford, Kenny Blank, Karla Green and Terrence Dashon Howard.

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Expanded Offerings: Bravo cable network plans to expand its service to 24 hours in early 1994. Bravo currently runs 10 hours of programming each weeknight and 13 hours on the weekends. In the first of several to-be-announced new programs, Bravo will add reruns of the defunct ABC Matt Frewer series "Max Headroom" to its "TV Too Good For TV" showcase of failed network series. . . . Meanwhile, Lifetime cable network will expand its programming to Sundays beginning Aug. 1.

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Reading Time: BookNet, a new cable channel about the literary world, will be launched in mid-1994. Author E. L. Doctorow will oversee the editorial content of the channel, which will cover books, authors and the publishing business. . . . The Learning Channel is also getting into the literary act. Donald Sutherland will narrate works including Sir Thomas Malory's "Morte D'Arthur," Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species" on "Great Books," a new series by Walter Cronkite's production company. The program begins Sept. 8.

MOVIES

Women's 'Erotique': Four women film directors from four countries will unite to direct "Erotique," a feature portrayal of "uninhibited erotica of the 1990s" as envisioned by each of the directors in their respective countries. American director Lizzie Borden ("Working Girls," "Love Crimes") will tell the story of a young Latina actress who works in a phone sex office to pay her bills. The project's other directors are Hong Kong's Clara Law, Brazil's Ana Maria Magalhaes and Germany's Monika Treut. Each director will assemble her own cast and production crews. "This is the first film that deals with the erotic fantasies of women done by women, with no holds barred," said producer Brandon Chase.

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Half-Price Sale: As part of an overall effort to "keep the film industry here," the cash-strapped Los Angeles Unified School District has heeded a request from the mayor's office to immediately slash the price to use schools for filming locations from $3,000 to $1,500 per day. The city had received complaints about the district's fees, which reportedly discouraged filmmakers from using the facilities. By comparison, the nearby Burbank Unified School District charges filmmakers $750 to $1,200 per day. The LAUSD received about $425,000 in location revenues last year.

POP/ROCK

Jamming the Flood: Rocker John Mellencamp and the group Blind Melon will come to the aid of flood victims with three benefit concerts July 28, 29 and 31 in Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis, respectively. Tickets are $10, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross. Concert attendees will also be asked to bring donations of food, clothing or water. MTV, which is sponsoring the concerts along with Pepsi, will set up a special 800 number for viewer donations.

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Country Festival: Alabama, George Jones, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tammy Wynette, Trisha Yearwood, Lorrie Morgan and Tanya Tucker are among the country stars to be featured in "Nashville on Stage," a new five-month music festival featuring 150 consecutive nights of concerts beginning May 6, 1994 at Nashville's Opryland USA resort. The festival will feature four concerts in three theaters each night, for a total of 600 shows. Alabama and Jones have been termed the resident host artists of "Nashville on Stage," with both acts committing to more than 100 dates each.

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