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Morning Report

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

September 23, 1997|SUSAN KING


WGA Ratifies Contract: Writers Guild of America, West members have ratified the contract negotiated between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and ABC, CBS and NBC. The Writers Guild of America East is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the contract, which was voted on by West guild members Friday. Daniel J. Petrie Jr. was elected president of the WGA West and John Wells ("ER"), vice president.


A New 'Finian': William Biff McGuire has replaced Ned Beatty as Finian in the Reprise! Broadway's Best in Concert series production of "Finian's Rainbow." The show begins a six-day run tonight at UCLA's Freud Playhouse with a dress rehearsal benefit to celebrate the musical's 50th anniversary--with proceeds going to support Reprise!, which presents Broadway musicals in concert form. McGuire, a Tony nominee this year for Horton Foote's "Young Man From Atlanta," agreed to step in late Saturday after "creative differences" caused Beatty to leave the cast in what series producer Marcia Seligson describes as an amicable parting of the ways. McGuire appeared in the role of Woody in a 1960 revival of the musical in New York. Neither actor was available for comment Monday. The "Finian" cast also includes Malcolm Gets ("Caroline in the City"), Andrea Marcovicci and Rex Smith.


Rolling Stones: The bad old boys of rock 'n' roll, the Rolling Stones, kick off their world tour tonight at Soldier Field in Chicago, and VH1 will be there to present their first two numbers. "Rolling Stones Opening Night Live," airing at 9:30 p.m., also includes interviews with Mick Jagger and the gang.

U2 to Sarajevo: U2 brings their PopMart production to Sarajevo tonight, making it the first time a rock concert has been staged in the war-torn city since 1992. KLOS-FM (95.5) will air Westwood One's broadcast of the concert at 7 p.m. The live audio Webcast also commences at 7 p.m. on U2's official Web site at

Aid for Farm Aid: Willie Nelson's Farm Aid '97 concert--which was canceled last week after receiving disappointing ticket sales and corporate support in its originally planned city, Dallas--has been rescheduled for the same date, Oct. 4, but in a different location. It will now take place at the New World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Ill. Tickets are currently on sale.


Fox's "The Visitor," the drama from the producers of "Independence Day," was watched by 12.6 million people Friday--the most who have ever viewed the premiere of a Fox series in its 8 p.m. time slot. With "Millennium" attracting just over 12 million viewers at 9 p.m., Fox beat both ABC and CBS. Also, CBS fared poorly with a new comedy bloc anchored by "Family Matters." . . . Rocker Neil Young has lined up Alanis Morisette, Metallica, the Smashing Pumpkins, the Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Lou Reed and Kacy Crowley to join him in performing at his 11th annual Bridge School acoustic benefit concert Oct. 18 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, near Palo Alto. . . .The First Annual Los Angeles International Short Film Festival is set for Oct. 3-5 at Hollywood's Barnsdall Art Park. Besides screenings of original shorts, there will also be live music and nightly outdoor screenings of silent films. . . . Weekly syndicated repeats of "NYPD Blue" begin Saturday at 11:35 p.m. on KCBS-TV Channel 2. The series also can be seen in repeats on cable's FX weeknights at 9 p.m. . . . Tracy Pollan is joining hubby Michael J. Fox in an upcoming episode of ABC's "Spin City." Pollan, who met Fox on "Family Ties," will play his high school sweetheart.

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