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MORNING REPORT

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

May 02, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW

MOVIES

Tornado Warning: Mother Nature's harsh hand in the upcoming Warner Bros./Universal film "Twister" has earned it a PG-13 rating. The movie, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, depicts destruction wreaked by tornadoes as scientists chase the twisters across the Midwest. The movie ratings board pronounced the PG-13 rating--which cautions parents that a film may be inappropriate for children under 13--because of "intense depiction of very bad weather." A Motion Picture Assn. of America spokeswoman said there was concern that younger children "might have nightmares" after seeing the tornado scenes. "The board was trying to give parents an idea of what the movie is about," she said. "They didn't want kids scared."

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Retiring at 15?: Macaulay Culkin's New York-based agent, the William Morris Agency's Emily Gerson, refused to comment Wednesday on published comments from Culkin's friend and fellow actor Elijah Wood that Culkin has abandoned his film career because of depression over his parents' custody fight and battle over his Hollywood fortune. "He's out of work because he doesn't want to work," Wood, who starred with Culkin in "The Good Son," told the London Times. "He doesn't work, mainly because of his parents. He's depressed and not living a good life." Culkin, 15, has become frequent fodder for the tabloids, which have reported on his alleged drinking binges, as well as an incident last week in which he called police after his father allegedly slapped him in the face for refusing to clean up his room.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday May 11, 1996 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 2 inches; 65 words Type of Material: Correction
Legal file--Contrary to an item in Morning Report on May 2, Michael Jackson is not a party to a $1.6-million default judgment against Jackson Communications Inc. resulting from a lawsuit filed by Smith-Hemion Productions over the ill-fated 1993 "Jackson Family Honors" TV special. A separate federal court lawsuit against Michael Jackson, to determine if he should be liable for JCI's debts in conjunction with the special, is scheduled to go to trial in July.

RADIO

Leykis Off KMPC: Talk station KMPC-AM (710) will drop Tom Leykis, a liberal host, in the key 3-7 p.m. afternoon drive time and replace him with syndicated host Michael Reagan, the former president's son, starting next Thursday. "In my opinion," said Leykis, who is also syndicated nationally, "the station is going all conservative." KMPC, which airs California Angels baseball and L.A. Clippers basketball, also carries Bob Heckler (9 a.m.-noon), Star Parker (noon-3 p.m.), Xavier Hermasillo (7-9 p.m.) and Dr. David Viscott (9 p.m.-midnight). KMPC Operations Manager Al Brady Law responded to Leykis' suggestion that programming is becoming more conservative by saying that the station wanted "a new direction" for the afternoon time slot.

TELEVISION

'Profit' Cut; 'Firefighters' Set: Fox has pulled its critically praised but poorly rated drama "Profit" off the air, one week earlier than planned, and will replace it next week with "When Animals Attack." Starting June 3, a new drama, "L.A. Firefighters," will air in "Profit's" 9-10 p.m. Monday slot. The series focuses on the lives of a group of young firefighters in Los Angeles. Also premiering on Fox on June 3 will be "The Last Frontier," an 8:30 p.m. comedy about four young singles living in urban Alaska. The remainder of Fox's summer schedule is expected to be announced later this week.

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Steinbrenner Out: Turns out that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner will not appear on the May 16 season finale of "Seinfeld." Although Steinbrenner had taped a spot for the show last month, the episode ran long, so the footage was cut, an NBC spokeswoman said. However, she said the network hopes to work the footage--which includes a play on the show's long-running gag of showing only the back of what is supposed to be the Yankees owner's head (he finally turns around)--into the series next season.

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Gifford Answers Charges: TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford used some of her air time Wednesday to respond to charges that a discount clothing line she endorses for Wal-Mart was made in a Honduran sweatshop. "I immediately called Wal-Mart and said this is obscene if this is happening," Gifford said on ABC's "Live--With Regis and Kathie Lee," adding that she was told the situation had been corrected "months ago." Labor rights activist Charles Kernaghan, who had told a congressional committee about the sweatshop conditions, had criticized Gifford Tuesday for severing the relationship. "Exploiting these women and then just pulling out, that's no answer," he said.

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Jacksons Lose Two Rounds: Michael Jackson and his family members have suffered a pair of setbacks in their legal dispute over the ill-fated 1993 "Jackson Family Honors" TV special. An L.A. Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered Jackson Communications Inc. to pay $1.6 million to Smith-Hemion Productions, which claims it lost money because Jackson failed to perform as promised at the 1994 show. In addition, a U.S. District judge has thrown out the Jackson family's counterclaim against Smith-Hemion, in which nine family members (Jackson is not among them) said they were fraudulently induced into performing on the show.

QUICK TAKES

Time is running out to purchase Walt Disney's "The Lion King." The final shipment of the limited-time video release arrived in stores Wednesday. More than 30 million copies of "The Lion King" have been sold so far. . . . Looks as if Viacom's new TV Land cable network could become a hit: Viewership of a sneak preview of the network's fare on sister channel Nick at Nite Monday was up 39% from Nick's ratings the previous month and 82% over the same time period last year.

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