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L.A. Government Access Channel to Expand : Television: In what is considered a major change, L.A. CityView Channel 35 will include programs about services, activities and history.

December 03, 1993|STEVEN HERBERT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Beginning Monday, L.A. CityView Channel 35, Los Angeles' local government access cable channel, will expand its menu to include original and acquired programming related to city services, activities and history.

This marks a major expansion for the service. In its first four years of operation, L.A. CityView Channel 35's programming consisted of City Council meetings, listings of lost cats and dogs at animal shelters, bid listings for products sought by city departments, freeway traffic maps and computer-generated public-service announcements.

The new programming will air weekdays from 3-4 p.m. and 7 p.m.-midnight. The service, carried on Channel 35 in all cable households within the city limits, has a ground rule that all the programming in the expansion must be approved by a city department and be related to that department's mission.

According to a spokeswoman for the Department of Telecommunications, which oversees the non-commercial channel, no more than 2% of the costs of the additional programming is being borne by the city. The rest is covered by franchise fees paid by the 14 cable companies serving Los Angeles.

"With our programming, we hope to give a quality of life to L.A. life," said Susan Herman, general manager of the Department of Telecommunications. "(Viewers) will be able to learn about city services and what's available to them. They will be educated about important public safety issues like domestic violence, fire safety, how they can participate in the planning process, the multicultural events that are occurring."

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L.A. CityView has been able to attract the services of some entertainment-industry professionals to help produce its programming. The Directors Guild of America and actresses Blythe Danner and Marsha Mason have assisted in the production of "Pioneer Women" (airing 10 p.m. Tuesday), which profiles 15 women of achievement.

One of Herman's goals is to provide information in a "lively, interesting format--dare I say fun on occasion." A show she hopes will be a hallmark of the channel is "The Sally Show" (11 p.m. Thursday), an explanation of rent control regulations done in the style of a daytime talk show.

Here is a look at some of the other programming that will be offered, along with the time and date of its initial airing:

* "Your BEST" (3:30 p.m., Monday), a 17-episode series (11 in English and six in Spanish) with dramatic vignettes designed to prevent drug abuse and to be used by teachers from grades two through eight to spark classroom discussions.

* "Portfolio" (7 p.m., Monday), a magazine-type program looking at events and services provided by the Los Angeles Harbor Department.

* "Transit 2000" (7:30 p.m., Monday), hosted by former news anchorman Joseph Benti, discussing transit and environmental issues.

* "Adventures in L.A. With Huell Howser" (8 p.m., Monday), will take tours of various city facilities. The initial show features the rebuilt Central Library. Subsequent visits will be to the zoo, Watts Towers, Japanese Gardens.

* "Los Angeles Arts Mix" (9 p.m., Monday). The first of the quarterly programs will present the Watts Drum Festival, Opera Under the Stars, Care-a-Van, a variety of children's performances in circus-type events and a feature on actress Carmen Zapata.

* Police Department town hall meetings (Tuesday following the replay of that day's City Council session) held throughout the city, with Chief Willie L. Williams and other members of the department's hierarchy fielding questions from residents.

* "Valley Crime Watch" (7 p.m. Wednesday) provides crime prevention tips and information on the city's most-wanted suspects.

* "CityView Cinema" (9 p.m., Friday), public-domain movies about or shot in Los Angeles, used as an effort to promote the videocassettes available from the city's libraries.

Future presentations will include programs about family violence, fire safety, bicycle safety, two series geared toward senior citizens, a tour of the city's museums and, on Dec. 20, a performance of "The Nutcracker" starring local children.

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