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MORNING REPORT

March 17, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

TELEVISION

Leaving the CBS Road: Charles Kuralt announced that he is retiring from CBS News after a career that began 37 years ago when he joined the network as a radio writer. Although his retirement won't be official until May 1, his last "Sunday Morning" broadcast will be Easter morning, April 3. In a statement, Kuralt, who has contributed his "On the Road" features to the "CBS Evening News" for 25 years, said, "CBS News has been the best place on Earth to have a career as a reporter and each of my 37 years has been better than the year before. I have done every satisfying thing under the sun in television news and would like to explore some side roads of life while I am still in good health and good spirits. The first of these will be a book about America, which I will embark on now." CBS News President Eric Ober told The Times that a replacement for Kuralt would be named shortly. "With the Olympics behind him, his 60th birthday coming up and a significant book deal, he told me he just felt the timing was right," Ober said. "He's one of the giants of the industry, a great writer, great reporter, and obviously it leaves us with . . . a big hole."

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KCET Tackles 'Great War': KCET has received more than $2 million in funding for its production of "The Great War: And the Shaping of Our Century," an eight-hour series that looks at World War I as "the defining event of the modern age." Produced by Blaine Baggett, KCET's director of public affairs and feature documentaries, the series is expected to premiere in January of 1996. Says Baggett: "One need look no further than Sarajevo to see the war's tragic legacy. To understand what is happening now, we must go back to 1914." Funding raised includes $1.2 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities and an unspecified CPB/PBS Program Challenge Fund Grant.

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'Kids Killing Kids' Special: CBS and Fox will join a nationwide effort spotlighting the growing epidemic of youth violence. Both networks will broadcast the CBS special "Kids Killing Kids," a drama about the consequences of teen-agers using guns to solve their problems and how teen gun violence can be stopped, at 8 p.m. on April 26. The hourlong program, which also includes a short follow-up documentary, "Kids Saving Kids," will be hosted by actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner. The commercial-free special is being billed as the television industry's contribution to "Let's Stop Kids Killing Kids," a weeklong campaign spearheaded by a broad-based coalition of 70 nationwide organizations.

MOVIES

British Film Campaign: Producer David Puttnam, director Stephen Frears and actors Bob Hoskins, Michael Caine and Jeremy Irons were among more than 300 movie professionals who joined forces Wednesday to launch a campaign to bolster Britain's once-flourishing commercial film industry. The campaign aims to improve investment in British films and to reform tax laws to encourage more filming in Britain.

POP/ROCK

New Label for Rapper's Body Count?: Virgin Records is believed to be close to signing a U.S. record contract with rapper Ice-T's metal band Body Count, whose 1992 Warner Bros. recording of "Cop Killer" came under fire from police groups around the country. The criticism continued even after the rapper agreed to drop the song from Body Count's album, and he severed ties early last year with the Time Warner-owned label. At the time, there was widespread industry speculation that no other major label would sign the band, fearing more controversy. Neither Virgin nor Ice-T's manager would comment on the proposed deal.

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Ozzy Judgment: An Orange County Superior Court jury on Wednesday found rocker Ozzy Osborne negligent for inviting the audience to join him on stage at a 1992 concert at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. But the jury ordered Osbourne's insurance company to pay only $60,000 to Kenneth Winkler, a Burbank electrician who sued for damages, saying he was trampled in the ensuing melee. Winkler's attorney, who had asked for about $250,000, called the judgment "really disheartening."

QUICK TAKES

Belgrade-born pianist Ivo Pogorelich has postponed his two Ambassador Auditorium recitals, the second of which was scheduled for tonight, due to an infected thumb. A spokesperson for the Ambassador Foundation, sponsor of the events, said the recitals will be rescheduled. For information, call (800) 266-2378. . . . Production has begun in Los Angeles on "The Tonya & Nancy Story," a two-hour NBC movie about the figure skaters, starring Alexandra Powers as Tonya Harding and Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Kerrigan. . . . Pop group Crowded House, which plays the second of two shows at the Wiltern Theatre tonight, will give a free concert at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard today at 4 p.m. . . . T-Bone, a member of the rap trio Da Lench Mob, pleaded innocent in an Inglewood court Tuesday to murder and attempted murder charges in a shooting at a nearby bowling alley. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 31.

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