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MORNING REPORT

March 30, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

TELEVISION

'American Playhouse,' PBS Split: "American Playhouse" has confirmed it will leave PBS next year, after producing nearly 200 dramas for public television over the last 14 years. The move follows a decline in Public Broadcasting Service funding for the productions, which has dropped from a high of $10 million a year to the current $6.6 million, with projections for 1997 falling to less than $1 million. Instead, the nonprofit company will form a new venture, Playhouse Pictures, in partnership with the Samuel Goldwyn Co. Plans call for the production of 15 commercial features over the next three years, at a cost of $70 million. More than 40 of "American Playhouse's" previous productions, including "Longtime Companion" and "Stand and Deliver," were first released in theaters. Under the new agreement, PBS will still get the broadcast rights to the productions, but only after they are offered to theaters, home video and cable.

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Classic Movies' Starting Lineup: The new commercial-free cable network Turner Classic Movies will launch at noon on April 14, marking the centennial of the first public presentation of motion pictures at New York's Times Square. Programming will begin with a 24-hour movie marathon, starting with the complete road-show version of "Gone With the Wind"--including the original overture, intermission and exit music, plus rare footage from the 1964 Civil War centennial reissue in Atlanta. Other titles in the opening marathon include "Singin' in the Rain," "It Happened One Night," "Citizen Kane" and "The Asphalt Jungle." The network, which promises to screen nearly 400 movies a month, also plans a series of monthlong tributes focusing on such legends as Greta Garbo, George Cukor and MGM's 70th anniversary.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday April 1, 1994 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 4 Column 4 Entertainment Desk 2 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
Turner's illness-- Actress Lana Turner's recent hospitalization was for pneumonia, not throat cancer treatments, as was reported in Wednesday's Morning Report. Turner had throat cancer two years ago, and current X-rays show no recurrence of the disease.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday April 1, 1994 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 4 Column 4 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
"Playhouse" plans-- A Morning Report item on Wednesday reported that "American Playhouse" productions would be leaving public television next year. In fact, nine productions are planned for the 1995-96 year, a PBS spokesman says.

MOVIES

New Date, Distributor: Martin Lawrence's solo concert movie, "You So Crazy," which was given a restrictive NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, will now be released with no rating on April 27 by the Samuel Goldwyn Co. Goldwyn picked up the film after Lawrence disagreed with the original distributor, Miramax Films, about cutting the movie to make it qualify for an R rating. Miramax co-chairman Bob Weinstein said Tuesday that as a Walt Disney Co. subsidiary, his company is bound by MPAA ratings. Miramax agreed that the film would be "adversely impacted" if it were released with the NC-17 designation, which would effectively bar it from mainstream movie theaters or from being advertised on television and in major publications. As an independent company, however, Goldwyn is free to release the film into theaters as Lawrence wanted, uncut and unrated. That leaves the decision of whether to book the film up to individual theaters, which are also not bound by the MPAA's restrictions.

THE ARTS

Citywide Soccer Murals: Five new murals will be erected on the route between Los Angeles International Airport and Pasadena to celebrate the World Cup soccer finals at the Rose Bowl this summer. The murals, which are expected to be completed by June 1, will be painted by artists Willie Herron, Johanna Poethig, Roberto Salas, Olivia Gude and the team of Michael Schnorr, Susan Yamagata and Todd Stands, as part of the World Cup's ARTS94 program. Administered by Venice's Social and Public Art Resource Center, the program will create murals on a parking structure at LAX and on the 405 Freeway just south of Manchester. The other three will be painted along the 110 Freeway--one just south of the 7th Street overpass, one on a nearby building between 8th and 9th streets, and another near Avenue 26.

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New Doolittle Record: David Shiner and Bill Irwin's critically noted play, "Fool Moon," set a new Ahmanson-at-the-Doolittle weekly box-office record in its final week, with a gross of $299,461. The previous weekly top gross was set last year by Neil Simon's "Jake's Women," with brought in $292,972 in its final week.

QUICK TAKES

Five people were injured and four arrested after riot police were called in to a Pearl Jam concert in Miami Monday night. Trouble broke out when more than 10,000 fans showed up for the outdoor concert, which could accommodate only 8,000 ticket holders. The rest tried to push their way in, downing chain-link fences and hurling bottles and rocks. . . . Republican Sen. Bob Packwood will take calls from viewers about the ongoing Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct on today's "Larry King Live." The program airs at 6 p.m. on cable's CNN. . . . Composer Henry Mancini, 69, was back in a Los Angeles recording studio Monday after a recent cancer diagnosis and treatment at two L.A. hospitals for blood clots. . . . Actress Lana Turner, 74, who was hospitalized for throat cancer treatments late last week, was scheduled to be released from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Tuesday. A hospital spokesman said she was in "very good spirits" and "seems to be in good shape."

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Quotable: "They didn't realize how badly I wanted to hit somebody. Oh boy, I've been wanting to hit somebody so bad. There was a lot of hostility stored up . . . but how did they know? I just saw 'two lawyers.' "--Actor Burt Reynolds, on an upcoming "Vicki!" show, describing how he recently fought back against would-be muggers at a Ventura Boulevard bookstore.

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