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MORNING REPORT

October 12, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

POP/ROCK

MTV Goes Interactive: Cable's MTV on Tuesday announced plans to expand into interactive products, including CD-ROM, video games, on-line services and interactive television. The products will be produced through the new entity MTV Interactive, which will collaborate with Viacom Interactive Media in creating "cutting-edge, content-rich, MTV-branded new media products and experiences." According to MTV executive Van Toffler, the venture will "focus on new media applications for music" with the aim of making MTV "synonymous with interactive music just as it is with music television." MTV already has several products in development with Viacom New Media including "Beavis & Butt-head" video games and the first MTV CD-ROM, an adventure game called Club Dead due out by the end of the year.

MOVIES

'Clerks' Rating Overturned: Miramax Films won a victory Tuesday when the Motion Picture Assn. of America overturned an earlier decision and awarded an R rating to the movie "Clerks," a film about two boys who work at a New Jersey convenience store. The MPAA earlier had given the film an NC-17 rating because of "sexual language and content," but Miramax said that amounted to censorship. The company also said no further editing was made to the film, which opens in Los Angeles and New York on Oct. 19.

TELEVISION

Stand-Up Special: "Grace Under Fire" star Brett Butler returns to her stand-up roots on Nov. 12 with "Brett Butler: 'Sold Out,' " a comedy special airing on cable's Showtime. The program will also poke fun at Butler's new celebrity status, in an opening vignette showing the Georgia-raised Butler "selling out" by doing a diet cola commercial in full Southern belle regalia. She then calls her agent, says she is tired of Hollywood and asks to be booked in stand-up gigs across the country. The special was taped this summer at Portland's Intermediate Theater.

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'Cosmic' Cable: "Cosmic Slop," a three-part anthology series hosted by funk musician George Clinton and described as a "multicultural 'Twilight Zone,' " premieres Nov. 8 on cable's HBO. Produced by Reginald and Warrington Hudlin, whose feature films include "Boomerang" and "House Party," the show combines science-fiction fantasy with social themes.

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Another Road Trip: Jay Leno is preparing to hit the road again. "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," which last month did a stand in Vegas, will visit New York City during Thanksgiving week, Nov. 21-25. The show previously traveled to New York last May, the same week David Letterman brought his "Late Show" to L.A.

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Telling History: Longtime network newsman Roger Mudd will host a nightly one-hour program on cable's new History Channel, which A&E will launch Jan. 1. Mudd's program, called "History Alive," will cover subjects including Winston Churchill and White House history. Mudd will also continue as a special correspondent on PBS' "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour."

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For 'X-Files' Fans: Fox will air "The Best of the X-Files," featuring episodes from the series' first season, on four consecutive Sundays starting Nov. 6 with the series' pilot. All programs will air at 7 p.m., preempting another otherworldly series, "Encounters: The Hidden Truth."

LEGAL FILE

Brown Sued: Singer Bobby Brown, his manager-brother Tommy Brown and International Creative Management have been sued in New York for more than $1 million by a 60-year-old Brooklyn fan who claims she was "duped out of her life savings by the false promise of a Bobby Brown concert." Althea Durant, a native of Trinidad, alleges that she paid ICM $30,000 in 1993 to book a Brown concert in Trinidad, and also paid travel costs for Brown's entourage to inspect the venue, but the concert never took place and she received no refund. The suit's allegations include breach of contract and fraud.

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Another Case for Reynolds: Free-lance photographer Robert Calvert has filed suit in Florida against actor Burt Reynolds and his girlfriend, Pam Seals, alleging the two obstructed Calvert's First Amendment ability to earn a living by filing petitions for protection against him. Last week, a judge dismissed Reynolds' and Seals' petitions, ruling that they failed to prove a case of repeated violence by Calvert, who was earlier barred from contacting Patricia Bowman, the woman who accused William Kennedy Smith of rape in 1991. Smith was acquitted of the charge.

QUICK TAKES

Cirque du Soleil's "Alegria" has been extended until Dec. 4 at the Santa Monica Pier. The production opens in Costa Mesa on Jan. 24. . . . New Line Cinema's "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" has been awarded a Golden Scroll of Outstanding Achievement from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The movie opens in theaters on Friday. . . . Former CNN and NBC News producer Tamara Haddad has been named senior producer of "The Late Late Show With Tom Snyder," which premieres this winter in CBS' post-Letterman slot. . . . Cable's fX will screen what it is billing as Oscar winner Tom Hanks' "surprisingly humble film debut" at 9 a.m. today when it airs a home video of a 13-year-old Hanks performing "Blue Beard" for an eighth-grade Spanish class.

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