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Morning Report

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

May 15, 1997|SHAUNA SNOW

ART

Auction Highs Continue: Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern art sale Tuesday brought in $81.3 million, safely within the New York auction house's estimate of $76 million to $99 million. The night's biggest surprise was Gustav Klimt's "Tavern at Litzlberg," which soared above its $5 million-$7 million estimate to fetch $14.7 million--the sale's highest price and a record for the artist. Edgar Degas' "Dancers," which had the same pre-sale estimate, also went through the roof, selling for $11 million.

TV & MOVIES

Hello, Again: Fears that the Oscars might be moved to Costa Mesa or Long Beach because of logistics problems with the Shrine Auditorium, where the event is being held next year, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which has been the ceremony's frequent home, subsided Wednesday. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Executive Director Bruce Davis said that "things look very promising" for the awards to return to the Music Center in 1999. "We've made some gratifying headway in resolving our scheduling problems since [we were told] the L.A. Philharmonic . . . will be out of town for part of that time."

Enhanced Traffic Reports: KTTV-TV Channel 11 on Wednesday premiered "The Caltrans Camera"--a prototype program in which the station's morning news shows will air live images of freeway traffic conditions. KNBC-TV Channel 4 is also scheduled to begin using the technology shortly. Caltrans currently uses about 100 cameras to monitor traffic along Southland freeways but hopes to upgrade that number to 400 and to eventually provide live footage to all local news stations.

QUICK TAKES

"Histeria!," a new animated Warner Bros. series designed to teach world history through songs, reenactments and "interviews" with historical figures, will join the Kids WB lineup in 1998. Series topics will include the Russian Revolution, Civil War, world leaders and famous inventors. . . . Columbia Pictures has picked up "Spice--The Movie," an upcoming film chronicling a week in the life of the hit British pop group the Spice Girls. Release is scheduled in about a year. . . . Multimillionaire and failed U.S. Senate candidate Michael Huffington is getting into the movie business--as a producer. Huffington, currently hobnobbing with filmdom's elite at the Cannes Film Festival, is developing a big-budget, underwater special-effects movie. . . . Actor John Heard ("Home Alone") was sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to attend a 22-week program for abusive men for making 100 harassing phone calls to actress Melissa Leo ("Homicide: Life on the Street"), the mother of his 9-year-old son.

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