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MORNING REPORT

March 16, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

TELEVISION

'Cosby Mysteries' to Go Weekly: Bill Cosby is returning to weekly TV. Network sources have confirmed that "The Cosby Mysteries," which were to have aired four times a year in the form of two-hour movies, will become a weekly drama series on NBC next season. The transformation comes at the request of Cosby himself, who is said to prefer an hourlong format. The first "Cosby Mysteries" movie aired in January, and several of its cast members, including James Naughton and Lynn Whitfield, will return for the series.

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Letterman Is Coming to Town: CBS said Tuesday that "Late Show With David Letterman" will set up shop in Los Angeles May 9-13, originating from the network's Television City studios at Beverly and Fairfax. Ticket requests should be sent on postcards to: Tickets, "Late Show" in L.A., 1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. Letterman's visit--his first to Los Angeles since taking his late-night act to CBS--will precede by one week Jay Leno's trip to New York to host "The Tonight Show" there May 16-20.

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New Game Show Predictions: Ray Combs, who is being replaced on "Family Feud" by his predecessor, Richard Dawson, has a new game show coming to the airwaves. The syndicated "relationship show," called "The Love Psychic," premieres March 28, airing locally on KCBS-TV Channel 2. "It goes where no game show has gone before, tapping into everyone's fascination with psychic phenomena," says Combs, whose show promises to "offer the psychic truth about contestants and their responses." And who will conjure up that "truth"? Psychic Linda Georgian, star of the TV infomercial "The Psychic Friends Network."

THE ARTS

Under the Big Tent: Cirque du Soleil will return to the Southland for runs at the Santa Monica Pier beginning Oct. 6 and at Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza starting Jan. 21. The acclaimed international troupe will present "Alegria," a new production combining double synchronized trapeze, tumbling, Russian bar, tightrope, contortionists and clowns. "Alegria," a Spanish word expressing elation, jubilation and exhilaration, will feature a cast of court jesters, hobos, aristocrats and children.

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Charges in Swedish Theft: Three young men were charged in Stockholm Tuesday in connection with Sweden's biggest art heist--the theft from Stockholm's Modern Museum last November of five Picasso paintings, a Picasso bronze sculpture and two works by French cubist Georges Braque. Polish citizen Krystian Marczak, 25, was charged with theft and his 24-year-old brother Erwin, a Swedish citizen, was charged with handling stolen goods. Another Swede, Kenneth Vikstrom, 23, also was charged with theft. Police said they are still trying to determine if others were involved. Thieves sawed a hole in the museum's roof, lowered themselves into the building and escaped with the artworks, valued at more than $60 million. Three lesser-known Picassos were found virtually undamaged in December but the other more famous works are still at large. A Swedish newspaper has reported that the best-known stolen Picasso, the 1921 oil painting "La Source," has been smuggled out of Sweden by a diplomat and sold to a foreign collector for $1.8 million.

POP/ROCK

Violence Hits Home for Rapper: With several rappers charged lately with committing acts of violence, including murder, the New York rap band Wu-Tang Clan was on the receiving end of violence this week. Group member U-God's 2-year-old young son, Dante Hawkins, is in intensive care with a destroyed kidney following a gunshot wound sustained Sunday while playing outdoors in the Staten Island area. The group, which has been criticized by some for its "hard-core" rap, issued a statement Tuesday saying: "Unfortunately, it takes incidents such as this tragedy for people to realize that what we rap about is reality, and if that is HARD then perhaps it is time for this country to wake up. Tragedies like children getting shot while they are playing won't go away until people are ready to make a change."

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