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MORNING REPORT

August 24, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

TELEVISION

Babs Grabs Viewers: HBO scored a ratings victory Sunday night with "Barbra Streisand: The Concert," a cable presentation taped at the final stop in Anaheim of Streisand's much-publicized concert tour. The program became the highest-rated special in HBO's history, drawing an estimated 11.2 million people, according to figures supplied by the Nielsen ratings.

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'The Poorman' Returns: Former longtime KROQ-FM (106.7) deejay Jim (The Poorman) Trenton premieres "The Lovechannel," a late-night TV program described as " 'Loveline' Meets 'Wayne's World,' " Monday on Orange County's KDOC-TV Channel 56. Trenton will be joined on the show by a medical doctor, two criminal defense attorneys and guest celebrity "Love Doctors," all of whom will give their opinions on love and sex problems called in by viewers. The program will air live, Monday through Friday nights from midnight to 1 a.m. Trenton was the original host of KROQ's long-running advice show "Loveline."

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From 'Melrose' to 'Models': Fox's "Models Inc." is turning to a former cast member of its mother-show, "Melrose Place," to shore up its sagging ratings. James Wilder, who played Reed Carter, the boyfriend killed by "Melrose's" Jo (Daphne Zuniga) in one of last season's leading story lines, joins "Models" on Sept. 14. He plays a self-made millionaire and nightclub owner with a tragic past.

MOVIES

'Traumatic' Depiction: Indian film director Shekhar Kapur drew a packed house at Scotland's Edinburgh Film Festival on Tuesday to introduce his controversial new film about India's brutal exploitation of women. " 'The Bandit Queen' is a traumatic movie," Kapur said of the true story of Phoolan Devi, a low-caste woman whose cruel mistreatment by men turned her into an outlaw of almost mythical status among India's dispossessed. "If you decide to walk out, it is understandable." Nobody walked out, but many movie-goers expressed shock, with one viewer calling the film "stomach-churning." The film, commissioned by Britain's Channel 4, gives an unflinching portrait of a world in which pre-pubescent girls are sold into marriage and forced sexual degradation. It has not yet been approved by Indian censors.

STAGE

Alex Schedule: Glendale's Alex Regional Theatre Board has booked a touring production of "Dreamgirls" as the second production of the Alex season that was interrupted when the financially troubled Theatre Corp. of America withdrew as the series producer. The "Dreamgirls" tour is produced by Barry Singer of New York and New Jersey. It doesn't use a contract with Actors' Equity, the stage actors' union, and an Equity official said that any non-union substitute for the union shows that had earlier been sold as the subscription season will probably result in informational picket lines in front of the theater. "Dreamgirls"--scheduled for Sept. 24-Oct. 9--and the third, yet-to-be-selected show of the current season are expected to be financed with a $600,000 loan from the Glendale Redevelopment Agency.

POP/ROCK

Elvis Watch: Leading Florida pathologist Joseph Davis arrived in Memphis on Tuesday to ascertain whether the medical examiner who signed Elvis Presley's death certificate knowingly lied about the cause of death. Medical examiner Jerry Francisco, who said that the singer died of heart disease, has long been accused of suppressing the role that drugs played in Presley's death. Davis, brought in by the Tennessee Department of Health, said he will report his findings within two weeks. . . . Meanwhile, about 40 Presley fans finally got refunds Monday for the king of rock 'n' roll's Aug. 22, 1977, concert at New Jersey's Nassau Coliseum. Presley died six days before the scheduled show. In all, about 150 fans gathered to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the concert that never was.

QUICK TAKES

The U.S. Postal Service will issue a Bing Crosby stamp Sept. 1 and honor the crooner with a ceremony that day at his alma mater, Spokane's Gonzaga University. The stamp will be sold alongside those honoring four other singers: Al Jolson, Nat King Cole, Ethel Waters and Ethel Merman. . . . Entertainer Jerry Lewis has been sued in Los Angeles by two men who claim Lewis owes them $1 million for work they did on a proposed sequel to the film "The Nutty Professor." . . . Talk-show host Jay Leno shared poignant memories of his father with his "Tonight Show" audience Monday night, shedding a tear as he promised, "We'll fight the good fight, Pop." Angelo Leno died last week at the age of 83.

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