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MORNING REPORT

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

October 09, 1997|SHAUNA SNOW

TELEVISION

Waller, KTLA Settle: Journalist Marta Waller has settled her lawsuit against KTLA-TV Channel 5. Waller, 44, had sued the station in May, claiming she was demoted from her anchor duties to a reporting position because of her age and gender. In a joint announcement Wednesday, KTLA and Waller--who had continued to work at the station and recently returned from London where she had covered the death and mourning of Princess Diana--called the settlement terms "mutually agreeable." Although no details were disclosed, KTLA general manager John Reardon said: "We look forward to Marta continuing to be a valued part of our investigative reporting unit and news team."

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'Sacred' Support: The Virginia-based advocacy group Viewers for Quality Television has called for a "counter-boycott" of ABC's "Nothing Sacred," hoping to offset efforts by the Catholic League, which has been pressuring advertisers to stay away from the show featuring a young priest who is ambivalent about such hot-button issues as abortion and celibacy. The 2,000-member Virginia group is urging viewers "who welcome controversial television programs" to write "positive letters of support" to the dozen sponsors that have pulled out of the show, including Weight Watchers, Sears, Isuzu and K-Mart. "Only if rational viewers take a stand and insist that advertisers ignore fear-mongers and continue to sponsor meaningful programs will the powerful, negative agenda-driven organizations cease to influence programming," said Dorothy Swanson, Viewers for Quality Television's founder.

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CableACErs: "The Big Help," Nickelodeon's annual effort to encourage kids to volunteer in their communities, will receive this year's Golden CableACE Award during ceremonies Nov. 15 at the Wiltern Theatre (televised on TNT). Among other special awards, the CNN News Group will receive the Creators Award and John "Dubby" Wynne, president and CEO of Landmark Communications (the Weather Channel), will receive the Governor's Award. The cable academy said the three honorees represent the industry's "long-standing and tremendous commitment to public service and educational outreach."

LEGAL FILE

Bone Thugs Sued: The rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and one of its members, Wish Bone, have been sued by a woman who claims she suffered neck and back injuries when the rapper jumped into the audience during a concert in Tucson. Lupita Duarte, 29, who seeks unspecified damages, also named the group's label, Ruthless Records, concert promoter Haymon Entertainment and the city of Tucson, which owns the convention center where the concert was held last October. Terry Anderson, the city's risk manager, said he investigated and found the city wasn't negligent. Representatives at Ruthless Records declined to comment.

QUICK TAKES

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon ("Dead Man Walking") will star in the HBO Pictures cable movie "Earthly Possessions." Based on a novel by Anne Tyler ("The Accidental Tourist"), the movie tells the story of a woman who prepares to leave her husband but is taken hostage by a nervous bank robber while she withdraws the money to finance her departure. . . . The Fox network has picked up its new Monday night drama, "Ally McBeal," for the full season. . . . Actor Kenneth Branagh will narrate CNN's "Cold War," a series of 24 one-hour documentaries premiering next September. . . . "Before Women Had Wings," the first of six ABC-TV movies produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films, will premiere on the network Nov. 2. Winfrey stars as a woman who befriends a young girl (Tina Majorino) coping with an alcoholic and abusive mother (Ellen Barkin).

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