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July 26, 1993|BETH KLEID | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press


* Vamping it Up: It's official: Tom Cruise will play a vampire in Geffen Pictures' gothic thriller "Interview With The Vampire." Cruise will star as the vampire Lestat opposite Brad Pitt as Louis in the adaptation of Anne Rice's novel. Neil Jordan ("The Crying Game") directs the movie, which also stars Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea and River Phoenix. Jordan wrote the film's screenplay with Rice. Filming is set to begin Oct. 18 in New Orleans and London. The movie, produced by Stephen Woolley and David Geffen, will be distributed by Warner Bros.

* Baby Kidman Cruise: Speaking of Cruise, the actor will be playing dad to another baby daughter. Cruise and his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, adopted a second baby daughter Friday at the Palm Beach County courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla. The couple was outraged in January when tabloids reported the adoption of their first baby girl in Miami. Friday's hearing was kept secret.

* Writer/Directoria: Blake Edwards is being honored for both his writing and directing skills. The Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America have announced that Edwards is the winner of the WGA/DGA Preston Sturges Award, which recognizes filmmakers who are distinguished in both fields. Edwards, known for the Pink Panther series, "Victor/Victoria" and other noted movies, will receive the award on Oct. 24 after a retrospective of his films at the WGA and DGA theaters.

* Boxing NC-17: "Boxing Helena," starring Julian Sands and Sherilyn Fenn, will keep most of its graphic sex scenes but will not keep its NC-17 rating. The story of a surgeon who cuts off the limbs of a woman with whom he is obsessed was given the adults-only NC-17 for explicit sex by the Motion Picture Assn. of America in January. A few scenes were changed this month but the rating remained. Main Line Pictures then appealed, and the film was given an R rating without further changes. It's set for a Sept. 3 release.


* Two Live Blue: "NYPD Blue" creator Steven Bochco has agreed to cut 15 seconds out of a controversial love scene in the pilot of the ABC series premiering this fall. However, Bochco insisted at a news conference Sunday before television critics that none of the nudity in the scene, which had caused concern among network affiliates and officials, will be snipped. "We did not eliminate any nudity," Bochco said. "This is the only adjustment we've made. We have not made or will not make any other adjustments in language or other content." The series, which is about two New York Police Department detectives, has been targeted by advocate groups who say it will be an R-rated series.

* From NBC to ABC: ABC News is hiring two of the producers who lost their jobs at NBC News in the wake of the investigation into the rigging of a car crash on "Dateline NBC." David Rummel, who was a senior producer on the NBC News program, is being hired to be a producer on ABC News' upcoming newsmagazine, "Turning Point." Jeff Diamond, the executive producer on "Dateline NBC" at the time of the car-crash story, is said to be coming to ABC News as a senior producer in long-form programming. Both are former producers at ABC News.

* Happy Anniversary: ABC will present a two-hour special this coming season celebrating its 40th anniversary. "ABC's 40th Anniversary Special" will highlight many of the network's stars, programs and milestones. Cast reunions are also planned.


* KABC Shake-up: KABC-AM's Steve Edwards is leaving his regular afternoon slot starting today Edwards announced Friday that he is pursuing several unspecified television projects, but will return occasionally to the talk-radio station. Dennis Prager, who had hosted a nightly program from 9 p.m. to midnight, will replace Edwards starting this week from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Joel Roberts, who hosted a weekend show, will replace Prager at 9 p.m. starting today. Also, attorney Gloria Allred, who has been filling in since April 12 for departed host David Viscott from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., will become the slot's permanent host.


* Tickets at Sunset: Tickets for the U.S. premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Sunset Boulevard" will go on sale around sunset (6 p.m.) Sunday at the Shubert Theatre. The box office will be open until midnight that night at which time phone lines will open. The L.A. production, starring Glenn Close, opens Dec. 2. The London production opened July 12 with a record $8 million in advance ticket sales.

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