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October 17, 1994|BETH KLEID | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press


Happy Birthday, Phil: Actor Michael York will sub for Gregory Peck as master of ceremonies at the Los Angeles Philharmonic 75th birthday concert on Oct. 24 at the Music Center Pavilion. Peck had to withdraw because of foot surgery. At the concert, L.A. Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen and former music director Zubin Mehta will conduct the same four works that were played at the Philharmonic's inaugural concert at the Trinity Auditorium on Oct. 24, 1919. The program begins with Dvorak's "New World" symphony conducted by Mehta. Salonen will conduct works by Liszt, Weber and Chabrier.


From L.A. to Cicely: Actress Teri Polo has joined the cast of CBS' "Northern Exposure" as journalist Michelle Schowdoski-Capra, wife of Dr. Phillip Capra, played by another recently announced cast member, Paul Provenza. On the show, Polo's character will have some trouble adjusting to the rustic life in Cicely, Alaska, after she and her husband move there to escape the hectic life in Los Angeles. Polo starred in NBC's adaptation of "The Phantom of the Opera" and she appeared as Meryl Streep's daughter in the film "The House of the Spirits." Polo and Provenza will make their "Northern Exposure" debuts on the episode airing Nov. 28.

Outside 'Edition': Bill O'Reilly, the anchor of the syndicated tabloid show "Inside Edition," will leave the program when his contract expires in May. O'Reilly, who began working for the show just after it premiered in January, 1989, said in a statement that it's time for him to move on.

Out of This World?: Tired of daytime talk shows? Intrigued by the likes of "The X-Files" and "Sightings"? NBC hopes so. The network has axed Jane Whitney's talk show and today introduces "The Other Side," a program that NBC says will explore such "diverse topics as alternative medicine, dreams, near-death experiences and romantic ghost stories"--subjects that, in the view of NBC daytime chief Susan Lee, are "incredibly relevant to today's daytime audience." The program, hosted by Will Miller, will air locally weekdays at 9 a.m. on KNBC-TV Channel 4. "Marilu," which had been seen at 9, moves to Whitney's old slot at 11 a.m.

Hiring Forum: The California Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will conduct a forum on minority and female employment in the broadcast industry Thursday and Friday at the Pasadena Center. Michael C. Carney, chairperson of the federal advisory body, said in a statement, "The Advisory Committee is very concerned with equal access and opportunity for positions in the entertainment industry." Employees at KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KNBC-TV Channel 4 have complained during the last year about what they feel are discriminatory hiring and promotion practices in the newsrooms. Philip Montez, regional director of the commission, said the forum will be the first in a series on hiring being sponsored by the commission.

Morning News in Spanish: Starting today, the Spanish-language Telemundo network is replacing "Primera Hora" weekday newsmagazine with "Noticiero Telemundo," an hourlong newscast beginning at 7 a.m. The program, which will air locally on KVEA-TV Channel 52, will be anchored by Denisse Oller and Jose Gray.


An 'R' for 'The Wild Bunch': A restored director's cut of Sam Peckinpah's violent Western "The Wild Bunch" won back its original R-rating last week when the MPAA dropped its decision to give the film a new rating of NC-17. The latest move came after the MPAA met with officials of Warner Bros., who had found documentary evidence that the director's cut contained no more scenes than the version rated R for the movie's 1969 debut. "What happened was that everyone had a chance to really flesh out what versions we were all discussing and it ended up being the same version," said Warner Bros. publicity chief Rob Friedman. "It was all a big misunderstanding." The flap started in March, 1993, when Warner Bros. resubmitted a restored director's cut for release on the 25th anniversary of the controversial classic. The director's cut included 10 character scenes that weren't violent--Warner Bros. had snipped them to speed up the film. The confusion came because the studio made the cuts after the film was originally rated but before it was released. The studio plans to re-release the film in L.A. and New York in February or March, then spread out to other cities.


KCAL-TV Channel 9 juggles its programming schedule beginning today--"Best of Maury Povich" will be added to the lineup at 5 p.m. (first-run Povich shows will continue to air at 1 p.m.), "Jerry Springer" moves to 11 p.m., "Susan Powter" will take Springer's former 11 a.m. time slot and "Jones & Jury" will follow at 11:30 a.m. . . . Tom Petty will preview his new album "Wildflowers" in the Warner Bros. Records forums on America Online, CompuServe and the Internet's Worldwide Web beginning today. Users will be able to download a sound clip from the first single, "You Don't Know How it Feels." . . . In a bid to gain new viewers for its low-rated teen-oriented show, Fox will air an episode of its new Monday night series "Party of Five" at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, following the hit "Beverly Hills, 90210."

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