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Morning Report

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

September 27, 1997|SHAUNA SNOW

MOVIES

Restored 'Window': Universal Pictures announced plans Friday to restore Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1954 thriller, "Rear Window," starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. The restoration--expected to take about a year-and-a-half--will be done by the award-winning team of Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz, who previously restored Hitchcock's "Vertigo," as well as Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus," both for Universal. ABC TV, meanwhile, plans to air an updated version of "Rear Window," starring Christopher Reeve, later this season.

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Kinison Bio: Film producer David Permut and Valhalla Pictures plan to develop and produce a feature film based on the life of the late comedian Sam Kinison. The movie will be based on the book "Brother Sam," written by Bill Kinison and Steve Delsohn, which chronicles Kinison's career. Bill Kinison, the comic's brother and longtime manager, will co-produce the feature.

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Devore Still Missing: The $100,000 reward offered by the family of screenwriter Gary Devore for information about his whereabouts has been withdrawn. "We are forced to conclude that the reward offered has not been helpful," said the screenwriter's publicist, noting that in 12 weeks no useful information has been obtained. The screenwriter disappeared June 28 while driving from Santa Fe, N.M., to his Santa Barbara County home.

TELEVISION

'Sacred' Advertising: Weight Watchers International and American Isuzu Motors have both pulled their ads from ABC's new drama, "Nothing Sacred," after receiving complaints from a Roman Catholic group, ABC confirmed. The series was targeted by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights because it features a handsome priest who is ambivalent about such hot-button issues as abortion and celibacy. An original report on the pulled advertisements, in the New York Times, said the loss of advertisers comes as ABC is mulling whether to air an upcoming episode about a priest suffering from AIDS. However, an ABC spokesperson told The Times Friday that the episode will air, although a specific date has not been scheduled.

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'Teletubbies' for PBS: PBS will begin airing "Teletubbies," a BBC series for children as young as 1 year old, next October. The series, which PBS plans to air Mondays-Fridays, focuses on the play world of four babies, each with a TV screen in its stomach. "Our youngest viewers will find a playful, imaginative world inhabited by gentle, loving characters exploring and experiencing everything around them," said Alice Cahn, PBS' director of children's programming.

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Amos 'N' Lawyers: CBS has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Bridgestone Multimedia, which this year sold and distributed videotapes of vintage episodes of the 1950s-era CBS TV series "Amos 'N' Andy." In the lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in New York, CBS claims that Bridgestone did not own the rights to the show, which was yanked from syndication in 1966 due to NAACP protests over the portrayals of its main black characters. Although Bridgestone had told CBS in July that it would stop distributing the videos, sources said the Arizona-based company continued to sell the tapes. A spokesman for CBS said that settlement talks between Bridgestone and the network are ongoing, "and we are optimistic that an agreement can be reached." Bridgestone executives could not be reached for comment.

POP/ROCK

Star Power: Striking customs officers in Greece relented Friday and allowed 32 trucks carrying equipment for the band U2 into the country, while hundreds of other vehicles remained stranded on Greece's northern borders for a second day. The initial refusal to allow the trucks to enter from Bulgaria nearly led to the cancellation of Friday night's concert in the northern port city of Salonica, where more than 60,000 people have bought tickets.

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