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Morning Report

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

August 07, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW

TELEVISION

'Blue' Talk: Virtually the entire cast of ABC's "NYPD Blue," including current Emmy nominees Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, Sharon Lawrence and James McDaniel, are scheduled to take part Thursday in "Inside . . . 'NYPD Blue,' " a tribute to the cast and creative team of the critically hailed series, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Academy Plaza Theatre in North Hollywood. Others scheduled to attend include series creators Steven Bochco and David Milch and actors Kim Delaney, Nicholas Turturro and Gordon Clapp. Tickets are $15 and available through the academy.

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Points for Big Bird: Backing the current mandate for educational content in children's television, the New York-based Markle Foundation has found that high school students who watched educational TV as preschoolers tend to do better than those who did not. The study focused on 570 15- to 19-year-old high schoolers who had participated in a study of preschool TV exposure. Those who had watched the most of such shows as "Sesame Street" and "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" had higher grade point averages in English, science and math courses. "Now we know that these early educational experiences pay off at least through high school, and that they work for children whose parents have little education as well as for the children of college grads," said Lloyd N. Morrisett, the foundation's president.

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Funny Business: CBS is turning to cable's Comedy Central to try to drum up viewers for its upcoming prime-time comedies. Starting Sept. 9, the cable network will repeatedly air a "unique half-hour show" highlighting four of CBS' new fall series. Hosted by Ray Romano, star of the upcoming "Everybody Loves Raymond," the CBS infomercial will also feature Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad from "Cosby," Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen from "Ink," and Rhea Perlman and Malcolm MacDowell from "Pearl."

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Fox Delays Saturday Premieres: Fox has pushed back by one week the season premieres of "Cops," "Married . . . With Children" and the new series "Love and Marriage" to accommodate a Sept. 21 "special finale" of "America's Most Wanted"--featuring the five most wanted fugitives still at large after being profiled on the canceled series. Fox's regular Saturday prime-time schedule will launch the following week, on Sept. 28.

LEGAL FILE

Fan Troubles: Scott Bakula has obtained a temporary restraining order against a Thousand Oaks woman who has allegedly claimed, in several letters and phone calls to his publicist, that the actor betrayed his fans by leaving his wife. The former "Quantum Leap" star has not accused Tina Marie Ledbetter of threatening him, but said she could be a danger since she once sent more than 5,000 written death threats to actor Michael J. Fox. (She received three years' probation in 1989 after pleading guilty to three felony counts of making terrorist threats.) According to the L.A. Superior Court order, Ledbetter may not "alarm, annoy or harass" Bakula and must stay at least 100 yards from him, his ex-wife Krista Neumann, girlfriend Chelsea Field, and his three children. Ledbetter, whose phone number is unlisted, could not be reached for comment.

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Art Fraud Alleged: A convicted con man who used estimates from Sotheby's auction house to bolster his claims has been charged with attempting to sell $3.5 million worth of fake art by masters such as Matisse and Renoir. The Manhattan U.S. attorney maintains that Laurence Groeger tried to sell counterfeit works by Roy Lichtenstein and Pierre August Renoir and succeeded in passing off fakes of works by Fernando Botero, Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol. According to the complaint, one potential victim was saved when he noticed that a Lichtenstein painting bore a signature, which was uncharacteristic for the artist. Groeger, who has pleaded guilty in three separate art fraud schemes in Los Angeles and New York, allegedly showed his victims estimates procured from Sotheby's after he described the supposed artworks over the phone. The faxed estimates read "pending first-hand inspection"; Sotheby's said it offers free, conditional appraisals for auction purposes and is not responsible for how they are used.

POP/ROCK

Remembering Jerry Garcia: Friday marks one year since the death of Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia, and the Santa Monica-based Alliance for Survival will mark the anniversary with a free "public remembrance" at the Venice Beach Pavilion. The participatory event, which begins at noon, will feature an open drum circle, creation of a sidewalk "Jerry Garcia Peace Mural" and a free concert featuring Grateful Dead tribute band Suns of the Dead. Attendees are encouraged to bring flowers, poetry and music to share with the group.

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