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MORNING REPORT

September 09, 1993|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

TV/RADIO

Chase, by a Nose: Chevy Chase barely beat out the talk-show competition in his first late-night race on Fox Tuesday night, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co. Although viewing is expected to level out this week, "The Chevy Chase Show" was seen in about 5.4 million households in its premiere, compared to 5.3 million for David Letterman on CBS and 3.1 million for Jay Leno on NBC. Chase's 11 p.m. show has a half-hour head start. During the half hour beginning at 11:35 p.m., when all three shows were on at the same time, Chase finished second to Letterman. (National overnight ratings were not available for ABC's "Nightline.")

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Utley Goes to ABC: Veteran news correspondent Garrick Utley has been named chief foreign correspondent for ABC News, effective immediately. Utley, a 1986 Peabody Award winner, has covered foreign affairs at rival network NBC for the past 30 years and was NBC News' chief foreign correspondent from 1982 to 1987. He most recently anchored NBC's weekend news broadcasts from New York. He will be based in London.

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Shalala Passes on 'Band': At least one top Clinton official passed on Wednesday night's Washington premiere of HBO's "And the Band Played On." Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala turned down an invitation to co-host the Kennedy Center gala, in part because the film portrays the National Institutes of Health's controversial AIDS researcher Robert Gallo (played by Alan Alda) as a conniving egotist. "The fact that Bob Gallo is portrayed as a villain was a problem," says Shalala aide Victor Zonana. "We didn't want HBO to use the secretary to publicize a flawed movie." Zonana says Shalala has no plans to see the show, based on journalist Randy Shilts' best-selling chronicle of the AIDS epidemic. It begins airing on HBO Saturday.

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Double Dose of Emmys: A second night of Emmy coverage is on the way. For the first time, the Creative Arts Emmys, an annual black-tie banquet held prior to the televised Primetime Emmy Awards, will also be broadcast. The two-hour program airs Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. on cable's E! Entertainment Television. Categories include cinematography, editing, music and series guest stars.

MOVIES

Critics Pick 'Kalifornia': "Kalifornia," the debut feature effort by director Dominic Sena starring Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis, captured the international film critics' jury prize at the Montreal Film Festival on Monday. The thriller, which opened here Friday, also won the festival's cinematography prize.

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Universal Gives Up 'River' Battle: Universal Pictures has decided it wasn't worth $250,000 a day to wrangle with environmentalists over filming part of Meryl Streep's new movie "The River Wild" on the Rogue River near Grants Pass, Ore. Rather than risk delays in shooting, the movie company will continue shooting on Montana's Kootenai River. Environmentalists had argued that the equipment and personnel required for filming violated the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

THE ARTS

Kennedy Center Honorees: Dance Theater of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell, conductor Georg Solti, composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and singer Marion Williams have been tapped along with previously announced honoree and former talk-show host Johnny Carson to receive the 16th annual Kennedy Center Honors. Recipients are selected for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts. The awards will be presented at a Dec. 5 gala performance at the Kennedy Center's Opera House, which will be televised on CBS later that month.

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Grants Released, but Trimmed: Good and bad news for the Cultural Affairs Department's $2-million grants pool. The arts grants, which had been "suspended" by Mayor Richard Riordan as part of a citywide budget review, have been given the go-ahead, with artists and groups now assured of being reimbursed for their programs. But on Tuesday, the City Council's budget committee reduced the grants pool by $200,000. "We're going to adjust the figures by taking 9% across the board from each grantee (receiving) over $5,000," said Adolfo V. Nodal, general manager of the department. Meanwhile, the remainder of its current $9.4-million budget is still in limbo, as Nodal is awaiting a decision from Riordan on further citywide cuts. Along with other departments, Cultural Affairs last month was asked to submit plans for an additional 15% budget cut, and that decision is expected "momentarily," Nodal said.

QUICK TAKES

* Garth Brooks' new album, "In Pieces," will enter the U.S. sales charts Saturday at No. 1 after selling nearly 405,000 copies. Mariah Carey's "Music Box" collection will enter at No. 2, but its sales were less than half of Brooks'--just 175,000. . . . Conan O'Brien, who makes his "Late Night" debut on NBC Monday, told Katie Couric on Wednesday night's "Now" that if he does not succeed, "Then, hey, I'm the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question--not bad to say on a first date." . . . "Leonard Bernstein's 75th," a star-studded musical celebration of the composer's 75th birthday, airs at 6 and 10 tonight on cable's A&E. Guests include soprano June Anderson, actresses Lauren Bacall and Tyne Daly, musicians Wynton Marsalis and Isaac Stern and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

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