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MORNING REPORT

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

July 22, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW

TELEVISION

2nd Bomb Defused: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is probing the discovery on Tuesday of a parcel bomb addressed to the president of the ABC Television Network Group. It was the second failed bombing attempt against Robert A. Iger in two months. Tuesday's bomb was discovered by an employee at the United Parcel Service in Jackson, Miss., and was defused by police there. A network spokeswoman declined to speculate about any possible motive for the attempted bombings. She said that "appropriate security measures are being taken."

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Ratings Goal: ABC's coverage of the World Cup final showdown Sunday between Brazil and Italy made soccer television history. The match was seen by 32 million viewers and scored a 9.5 rating on ABC, making it the highest-rated soccer game ever on network television (the previous high mark was a 9.3 rating on July 4 in the U.S.-Brazil game). ABC's total World Cup coverage averaged a 5.3 rating. The Univision network also had record ratings for the the final--a 24.8 national Nielsen Hispanic household rating, equivalent to more than 1.6 million Spanish-language homes.

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Tributes to Songwriters: CNN's "Larry King Weekend" kicks off an eight-part series on Saturday paying tribute to great American songwriters, including Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hammerstein. The series, which airs Saturdays at 6 p.m. through Sept. 10, features guests including Michael Feinstein, Cleo Laine, Bobby Short, George Shearing, Florence Henderson and family members of the songwriters.

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Eyeing the Media: Journalists Catherine Crier (ABC's "20/20"), Fred Barnes (the New Republic), Margaret Carlson (Time magazine), Tom Rosenstiel (the Los Angeles Times), Jeffrey Toobin (the New Yorker) and Mike Walker (the National Enquirer) are among 10 panelists scheduled for tonight's "Viewpoint," an ABC News special focusing on media coverage of the O.J. Simpson case. Ted Koppel will moderate the 11:35 p.m. program.

RADIO

New KUSC Programs: In an effort to "broaden" its programming "to mirror a region whose population is the most diversified in America," classical radio station KUSC-FM (91.5) on Thursday announced plans for seven new shows, ranging from acoustic and world music to a program on cutting-edge science and technology. The new shows, which include several National Public Radio shows such as a weekly Latino journal and an environmental program, debut Aug. 1. The station will also have a new morning host starting Aug. 17: Tom Crann, KUSC's afternoon host in 1991-92, will return to the station as host-producer of the 6-10 a.m. "Morning Program," where he will feature a "wake-up mix of music, anecdotes and high spirits." All program changes will also be in effect on KUSC's FM affiliates in Ventura County (91.1), Santa Barbara (88.7) and Palm Springs (88.5).

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Rapper's Weekly Gig: Rapper and N.W.A. founder Eazy-E will debut his own weekly program, "Ruthless Radio Show," this Saturday on radio station KKBT-FM (92.3). The hip-hop show, co-hosted by Eazy-E and KKBT deejay Jesse Collins, will air live every Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

POP/ROCK

Alice Breaks Tour Chains: The Seattle rock band Alice in Chains has announced it is dropping out of the Metallica tour, which begins Sunday at the Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion. AIC was scheduled to open for Metallica through late August. The band's appearance in next month's Woodstock show has also been canceled. The official statement from management cites health problems within the band, but doesn't specify any further. That raises speculation about the condition of lead singer Layne Staley, whose drug problems have been well documented. Reports have surfaced that Alice in Chains may be splitting up, but management says the band plans to record this fall.

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Ticketmaster's New Legal Tack: Striking back at a consumer uprising launched by the rock group Pearl Jam, Ticketmaster filed a $306.8-million defamation lawsuit against three attorneys on Wednesday in New York. The giant ticket broker said its business practices were unfairly portrayed by false and defamatory statements made in numerous lawsuits filed by the attorneys that accuse it of violating antitrust laws and charging exorbitant fees.

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Early Lennon Tape: A tape of John Lennon's first band--the Quarry Men Skiffle Group--will be auctioned by Sotheby's in London Sept. 15. The reel, the earliest-known recording of Lennon, includes two songs performed at a Liverpool church in 1957, when the soon-to-be Beatle was 16. Sotheby's estimates the tape will bring in $155,000 to $230,000 at auction.

MOVIES

Verdict for 'The Client': Warner Bros.' film adaptation of John Grisham's novel "The Client" opened Wednesday to a strong $3.1 million in first-day ticket sales. But while the Susan Sarandon-Tommy Lee Jones film was the new kid on the movie block, it was "Forrest Gump," starring Tom Hanks, that was in first place for the day, with a Wednesday gross of $3.7 million. ("Gump" also opened on a Wednesday, July 6, when it brought in a gross of $4 million. In comparison, last summer's Grisham novel-turned-movie, "The Firm," pulled in $7.2 million in its Wednesday opening.) "Gump," which has grossed $83.5 million in its first 15 days, is poised to cross the $100-million mark this weekend.

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