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August 16, 1993|BETH KLEID | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press


Still Running: "The Fugitive" ran away with the No. 1 spot at the nation's box office for the second weekend in a row. According to early estimates, the Warner Bros. film starring Harrison Ford grossed $21.4 million, a hefty take for August, a traditionally slow month for moviegoing. The film's $23.8-million take last week set an August record. There was a big drop to second place this weekend--New Line's newcomer "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" (reviewed on F3) took in $7.5 million. In third: 20th Century Fox's "Rising Sun" with $5.9 million, followed by "In the Line of Fire" from Columbia with $4.4 million. Two new releases, "Heart and Souls" from Universal and "The Secret Garden" from Warner Bros., tied for fifth with $4.3 million. Following them, "Jurassic Park" took in $3.9 million to close in on $300 million.


Garcia to KTTV: David Garcia, veteran TV journalist and reportedly the highest-paid street reporter at KNBC Channel 4, has left the station to take a more lucrative job at KTTV Channel 11. Garcia, who has been at Channel 4 for the past seven years covering environmental issues as well as other breaking news stories, has accepted a four-year, no-cut contract at Fox-owned KTTV that will pay him in excess of $200,000 annually, according to a source. KNBC attempted to retain Garcia with a salary increase over his previous contract, but the station apparently was unwilling to match the KTTV offer.

Heidi Mania: If you haven't had enough, cable's E! network is offering more on the Heidi Fleiss affair with its a one-hour special, "Madam Hollywood: The Heidi Fleiss Story," premiering at 7 p.m. tonight. Panelists on the show include attorney Gloria Allred, former Los Angeles Police Department traffic officer turned prostitute and author Norma Jean Almodovar and Charles Fleming, a media reporter for Newsweek.

Standard Time: Citing pressure from NBC, Sacramento affiliate KCRA is pulling the plug on its two-year experiment with an early prime time, 7 to 10 p.m., for network shows. Beginning Sept. 13, the NBC affiliate will return to 8 to 11 p.m. showings of evening network shows and 11 p.m. local news. The announcement came a week after KRON-TV in San Francisco, another NBC affiliate, said it also will give up early prime time.


The Trials of Dr. Dre: Rap star Dr. Dre--who last week was cleared of racketeering charges by a federal judge--is due back in Los Angeles court today to resolve yet another legal matter. This time, jury selection is scheduled to begin in a Superior Court civil case filed against the Los Angeles rapper by former Fox TV rap talk-show host Denise Barnes, who claims he assaulted her on Jan. 27, 1991. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, pleaded no contest a year ago to criminal battery charges in the case and was fined $2,500 and sentenced to 240 hours of community service plus 24 months' probation. Two months ago, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery in connection with an assault on San Fernando Valley resident Damon Thomas and was fined $10,000 and sentenced to three years' probation in that case.


Protest in Georgia: Some 300 gay activists and arts officials in Marietta, Ga., on Saturday protested new county legislation that calls the "gay lifestyle" incompatible with community standards. The Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved the legislation after two complaints about a production of Terrence McNally's "Lips Together, Teeth Apart," a play set in a gay resort. The board said it intends to cut off funding for arts groups that present programs depicting gay subjects. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the People for the American Way have threatened to sue the county, which is set to act on the measure by Aug. 24.

'Phantom' Disappears: Long Beach Civic Light Opera has substituted a revival of "They're Playing Our Song" for the Arthur Kopit-Maury Yeston "Phantom" in the March slot of the coming season. Producer Barry Brown said he didn't realize, when he selected "Phantom," that two other Los Angeles County organizations will have presented it by next March.


Radio Days: Longtime National Public Radio reporter and anchor Scott Simon, who anchored the weekend "Today" show for NBC last season, goes to Bosnia today for several weeks to report--for NPR. Technically, Simon is using vacation time from NBC for the trip. In May, he was replaced as "Today" anchor by Mike Schneider who was hired away from ABC News. An NPR spokesman says when Simon returns it's "expected" he'll anchor "Weekend Saturday," public radio's morning news magazine.


Mac Davis will make his first appearance in the lead role of "The Will Rogers Follies" at the Pantages Theatre on Aug. 24. Davis is taking over for an ailing Keith Carradine. . . . Wynonna Judd will donate $1 for each U.S. purchase of her album "Tell Me Why" between Sept. 6-12 to the Operation Heartland flood relief fund.

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