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MORNING REPORT

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

March 15, 1997|SHAUNA SNOW

TELEVISION

'Prince' Street Canceled: After only two outings, NBC has dropped its midseason series "Prince Street" from the schedule. The undercover cop drama, which drew 16.2 million viewers last week when it aired in "ER's" plum Thursday night time slot, attracted less than half that number--a mere 7.5 million--in its second showing Wednesday night. NBC said it will fill the Wednesday 10 p.m. slot with a repeat of "The Pretender" next Wednesday and an original episode of "Dateline NBC" the following week. "Law & Order," which moved to "ER's" slot this week, will return to its regular Wednesday night berth on April 2 and "ER" will return (in a repeat) on April 3.

The Settlement! The Settlement!: After nearly seven years in the courts, Ricardo Montalban has settled his lawsuit against the creators of "Fantasy Island," the 1978-84 series on which he granted the dreams of island visitors. Both sides confirmed the settlement, but said terms are confidential. Montalban sued Columbia Pictures in 1990, claiming the studio owed him 5% of profits from the show, which flourished in syndication. The case had been scheduled for trial April 7.

Big Pledge: The husband-and-wife team Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna have pledged to donate all box-office receipts from the first-run engagement of their movie "Love Is All There Is" to public television station KCET-TV Channel 28. KCET is midway through a pledge drive that aims to earn $1.75 million. Taylor and Bologna's comedy, which also stars Paul Sorvino, Lainie Kazan, Connie Stevens and Dick Van Patten, will play for two weeks at Laemmle's Music Hall Theatre in Beverly Hills starting March 28.

STAGE

The Bard for Baldwin: Alec Baldwin will play "Macbeth" at New York's Joseph Papp Public Theatre early next year. George C. Wolfe will direct. Dates for the run have not yet been finalized and no other casting is in place, a theater spokeswoman said. Baldwin's last New York stage turn was in 1992, opposite Jessica Lange in Broadway's "A Streetcar Named Desire."

RADIO

Therapy Session: Laura Schlessinger, the syndicated radio therapist who hosts KFI-AM's (640) noon-to-2 p.m. slot, apparently ruffled more than a few feathers on a recent trip to address the women of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. According to the Dallas Morning News, Schlessinger offended her hosts by rejecting the first three hotel rooms offered her and also rejecting a host's ride to the event, instead hailing several cabs before finding one she deemed acceptable. She reportedly also was cold to event sponsors, left behind gifts they had given her and made "nasty, arrogant and insulting" remarks in her speech. The newspaper said Schlessinger, an Orthodox Jew, turned down the rooms and rides because of allergies. Responding to the reports this week, Schlessinger--who on her program scolds the weak and self-pitying--cried on the air as she discussed having a "personal and spiritual crisis." She told listeners the stories had shaken her "so personally and profoundly" that she spent two hours on the phone with her rabbi and donated her $30,000 speaking fee to charity to counteract "the pain and ugliness of the experience." She refused further comment to reporters.

MOVIES

For Winners, Press 1: More than 300,000 filmgoers nationwide who called their votes into MovieFone have chosen multiple-Oscar nominee "The English Patient" as the year's outstanding film. Another Oscar nominee, Tom Cruise ("Jerry Maguire"), prevailed in the best actor category. But it was "Evita," shut out of the big four categories by the motion picture academy, that won the MovieFone's other two awards: for best actress (Madonna) and outstanding direction (Alan Parker). MovieFone said that all callers to its 777-FILM number were pre-qualified and their votes weighted according to which nominated films they had seen.

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