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

December 17, 1997|JERRY CROWE

Chung Returns to Air Tonight: Former CBS anchor Connie Chung, who joined ABC News last month after being off the air for more than two years, has her first story for the network airing on "PrimeTime Live" tonight. It's about a man who received an organ transplant from one of the teenagers killed in the recent school shooting in Paducah, Ky. Chung's role at ABC will include some anchoring on a forthcoming Saturday night news program, and she is among the regular substitute anchors for the network's newscasts. But she said she does not expect to be subbing for Diane Sawyer or Barbara Walters on "PrimeTime Live" and "20/20." "The format of these shows is that when one co-anchor is off, the other co-anchor does the show alone," Chung said. "I like the combination of what I'm doing."

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Older Viewers: Not only is "60 Minutes" the longest-running TV show in prime time, its audience is the longest in the tooth. The median age for "60 Minutes" viewers is 57.3, older than the audience of any other program on the six broadcast networks. The WB's "Sister Sister" and "Smart Guy" have the youngest audiences with a median age under 21, according to a study released this week. The study, by the New York research firm BJK&E Media, gives important demographic details to advertisers as they decide where to buy commercial time. CBS has long sought to reach a younger audience, but the study shows it's getting an older one instead. The network's median age increased from 51.3 last year to 52.4 this year.

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Shooting From the Lip: Craig Kilborn, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," has been suspended by the network without pay for making derogatory comments about the show's female staffers published in an Esquire magazine interview. A Comedy Central spokesman said Kilborn won't appear this week but will return in January, when the program comes back from a previously scheduled production hiatus. A onetime sports anchor at ESPN, Kilborn issued a statement in which he said the remarks were made in jest but conceded that he had "made a terrible mistake for which I am truly sorry."

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Turnabout Is Fair Play: This week's episode of the CBS series "Nash Bridges" includes a joking reference to its Friday night competitor, NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street." In the scene, Nash (Don Johnson) and Joe (Cheech Marin) arrive at a courthouse where a raucous protest about capital punishment is taking place, and the camera pans to a placard that says "Thank you for not watching 'Homicide.' " Last season, "Nash Bridges" was the subject of a sarcastic remark on "Homicide."

STAGE

'Capeman' Opener Postponed: It's official: The opening of "Capeman," the new Broadway musical written and produced by pop singer Paul Simon, has been postponed three weeks to Jan. 29 to institute changes and add material, it was announced Tuesday. Mark Morris remains as director-choreographer.

PEOPLE WATCH

Princes Add Spice to Premiere: Prince William, 15, and his brother Prince Harry, 13, took their friends to meet the five Spice Girls on Monday night in London before the world premiere of the female pop group's first movie, "Spiceworld: The Movie." The young princes' father, Prince Charles, was also on hand, and "Ginger Spice" Geri Halliwell offered him a new job. "Charles is our new manager," she quipped. "I am very expensive," Charles retorted. The three princes and the five Spices had a private five-minute meeting at the Empire Theater in Leicester Square before the screening. The $26-million film, which opens in the United States on Jan. 23, is a comedy showing five days in the hectic lives of Britain's pop phenomenon. The Spice Girls sat with the princes during the movie and then went to a party in their honor at the Waldorf Hotel. "Harry told us, 'I'm going to tell all my friends to come to see it,' " said "Baby Spice" Emma Bunton, "so that was really nice."

QUICK TAKES

Among the first grants handed out last week by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation were four totaling nearly $6 million that went to leading cultural institutions in the fields of modern dance and jazz: the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C.; Jacob's Pillow in Becket, Mass.; and Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Joyce Theater in New York City. . . . Johnny Carson, former host of NBC's "The Tonight Show," recently donated $1 million to the cancer center that bears his family's name in Norfolk, Neb., adding to hundreds of thousands of dollars he has given to the center in the past. . . . Actress Julianne Moore ("Boogie Nights") and writer-director Bart Freundlich announced the birth of their son, whose name was not provided. He's the first child for both parents.

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