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Morning Report

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

May 14, 1997|SHAUNA SNOW

MOVIES

In Defense of Demi: The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced Demi Moore's next film, "G.I. Jane," would be released Aug. 15 and defended the actress against charges in a Newsweek article that the studio had pulled the movie from the summer lineup because of doubts about how to market the star. Dick Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, issued a statement calling the article "grossly inaccurate." Cook said that "G.I. Jane," a Ridley Scott movie in which Moore plays the first female lieutenant to try out for the elite Navy SEALS, had actually been moved up from the fall. Joe Roth, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, addressed charges in the article that Moore is "hugely overpaid," saying: "You could make that charge about 95% of Hollywood--studio executives as well as actors. Demi did make three disappointing pictures ["The Scarlett Letter," "The Juror" and "Striptease"] but, in no way, are we running away from this film. . . . Newsweek went out of its way to take a shot at Demi--intentionally or not--to damage a movie they acknowledged was good. It's like going after a baseball player who's had a bad season and using anonymous quotes from other managers to bad-mouth the club."

'Lost World' Exhibition: Steven Spielberg's "The Lost World" is getting its own museum exhibition. The movie has spawned "The Lost World: The Life and Death of Dinosaurs," a national museum tour opening May 24 at New York's American Museum of Natural History. The three-year tour--proceeds from which will benefit ongoing dinosaur research through several scientific organizations--is scheduled to visit cities including Houston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Toronto. Although no Los Angeles stop is currently planned, the tour's itinerary is still being finalized, so a local run remains a possibility.

LEGAL BRIEFS

One Down, Two to Go: Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Horowitz on Tuesday dismissed one of three claims against actress Pamela Anderson Lee over her failure to appear in the movie "Hello, She Lied." Horowitz dismissed a claim of promissory estoppel alleging that the company had lost money because of Lee's supposed promise to appear in the movie. However, Horowitz said he will wait until the conclusion of the trial before deciding two breach of contract allegations. Although Lee never signed a contract to appear in the film, several witnesses testified that she verbally committed to the project during a 1994 meeting. Lawyers for the Private Movie Co. have one more witness, then Lee's lawyers will present her case.

Jackson Suit Dismissed: The last part of a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against pop star Michael Jackson by one of his former security guards was thrown out Tuesday by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. Jerome "J.J." Johnson had claimed he was wrongfully fired by Jackson's production firm after he overheard the head of security brag that he lied to a grand jury investigating molestation allegations against the singer (Jackson was never charged in that case). Jackson and his lawyers maintained that Johnson's allegations were false.

TELEVISION

Where Women Watch: A total of 3.7 million women watch television outside the home each week, according to a study by Nielsen Media Research. The finding is significant because such viewers aren't included in regular rating estimates. The survey was commissioned by ABC, which found that about a third of those women are watching its daytime serials in settings like work (which accounts for 65% of out-of-home viewing), college dorms, hotels and waiting rooms.

QUICK TAKES

Neil Patrick Harris of "Doogie Howser, M.D." fame and Wilson Cruz from "My So-Called Life" have been offered the roles of Mark and Angel, respectively, in the West Coast production of "Rent," due in La Jolla in July and the Ahmanson Theatre in September. But co-producer Jeffrey Seller cautioned that the production is still in negotiations with the two actors. . . . Cable's Turner Classic Movies will premiere the long-lost and newly restored version of Frank Capra's 1928 silent film, "The Matinee Idol," on June 8 at 5 p.m. The film was recently discovered in a film vault in France and was screened earlier this year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. . . . British pop band Erasure will sign autographs and do an in-store performance tonight from 6 to 8 at the Virgin Megastore, 8000 Sunset Blvd. . . . MTV and BET are joining the 200 nationwide radio stations paying tribute today to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. At noon, the two cable networks will premiere the video for "I'll Be Missing You," a tribute single by Sean "Puffy" Combs, with Faith Evans and 112. . . . Stacy Keach is returning as Mike Hammer in a new syndicated series, "Mike Hammer," beginning the week of Sept. 22. The series is set to air locally on KCAL-TV Channel 9. Keach played Mickey Spillane's famed detective on CBS from 1984-87.

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