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MORNING REPORT

October 18, 1995|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

PEOPLE WATCH

Back in the Spotlight: Actor Christopher Reeve, joking about his misfortune and thanking those who helped him when life didn't seem worth it, presented an award to fellow actor Robin Williams in New York Monday night in his first public appearance since being paralyzed in a May 27 horseback riding accident. Reeve, 42, spoke in a voice that was strong but not as booming as in his "Superman" days, recalling that Williams visited his hospital room five days after the accident and did a "Russian doctor act." "I saw Robin Williams and I knew my life was going to be OK," the tuxedo-clad Reeve said. Williams, who was being honored by the actors' advocacy group Creative Coalition, received an award shaped like a theatrical spotlight. Looking at the award, he said: "Before we mount this new headlight on Chris' wheelchair. . . ." Interrupted by laughter, Williams then kissed Reeve's forehead.

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Case Closed: Sting's financial adviser was jailed for six years Tuesday for stealing $9.4 million from the British rock star. Keith Moore, 51, was found guilty of embezzling from the 43-year-old singer from 1988 to 1992. Moore handled Sting's money from the star's modest beginnings in the mid-'70s through his success with the Police and as a solo act. During the London trial, it emerged that Sting, whose wealth is estimated at around $110 million, has about 100 bank accounts and had little idea what was happening with his money or how much he earned. In fact, he learned about his losses only through an anonymous letter.

TELEVISION

Schedule Changes: "High Society," a Warner Bros. sitcom starring Jean Smart as a best-selling author, will replace CBS' canceled series "If Not for You" in the strong 9:30 Monday time slot after "Murphy Brown," starting Oct. 30. Mary McDonnell and Faith Prince co-star. . . . And over at ABC, executives confirmed that production has stopped on the poorly rated Thursday dramas "Charlie Grace" and "The Monroes." Each program gets its last airing this week; the network will air Game 5 of the World Series on Oct. 26, followed by movies and specials in the 8 to 10 p.m. time slot throughout the November ratings sweeps.

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'NYPD Blue' It Ain't: For a special Oct. 26 prime-time episode of their top-rated daytime drama, the producers of "The Young and the Restless" taped a scene in a gym that included a shot of actor Don Diamant's naked rear end. But after a CBS executive suggested that the shot seemed gratuitous, executive producer Bill Bell decided to re-shoot with a covered-up version. "We're not here to offend people," he explained. "If there's a risk of offending people without any strong dramatic benefit, why do it?"

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CableACE Winners: The Learning Channel's student-teacher programs "KNOWTV: Changing What, Why and How You Watch" will receive the cable industry's highest honor, the Golden CableACE Award, when the awards air Dec. 2 on TNT. Among other winners: USA Network founder Kay Koplovitz takes home the Governors Award, and A&E's popular "Biography" series gets the Creators Award.

MUSIC

St. Petersburg Symphony Canceled: The St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra has canceled its five-city U.S. tour, including its Los Angeles debut, which was scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Wiltern Theatre. The company was also to have performed in San Francisco, New York, Washington and Tempe, Ariz. The tour's presenter, Seok Guen Jeon, president of Seoul Communications Group, said the cancellation was caused by the "unexpected withdrawal" of a tour sponsor, who was not identified.

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La Scala Strike?: Musicians and other workers at Milan's world-famous La Scala opera house have called a strike for Friday, the opening night of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor." The decision was made after talks between Italy's three big unions and managers at the state-run La Scala. The theater workers, who called management proposals "absolutely insufficient to reward our professionalism," want more money, more staff hired and a new national contract. A strike would mark the third union action at the cash-strapped opera house in recent months; the orchestra went on strike in June during a performance of Verdi's "La Traviata," and earlier this year the 104-member chorus wore street clothes rather than costumes for the opening act of Arrigo Boito's "Mefistofele" in a protest over salaries.

QUICK TAKES

Former U.S. surgeon general Dr. Joycelyn Elders joined the list of politicos turned talk radio hosts Monday when she debuted her new weekday morning talk show on stations in Little Rock and Cleveland. The first show focused on the "Million Man March" in Washington. . . . "Character Assassination," a Saturday night comedy at Santa Monica's Highways performance space with stars including "Saturday Night Live" alumni Nora Dunn, Melanie Hutsell and Terry Sweeney, has been extended through Dec. 16. . . . The People for the American Way will honor David Altschul, vice chairman of Warner Bros. Records, with its Spirit of Liberty Award and political cartoonist Paul Conrad with its Lifetime Achievement Award tonight at the Beverly Hilton. . . . Jesse Jackson has been added to tonight's "Late Show With David Letterman" lineup.

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