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Morning Report

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

April 24, 1998|SHAUNA SNOW

MOVIES

Cannes Slate: Twenty-two movies from 11 countries will compete at the 51st Cannes Film Festival next month; eight other films, including the mega-budget summer release "Godzilla," will be shown outside the competition. The United States is the most heavily represented in the final roster announced Thursday. Four American movies are in the competition (John Turturro's "Illuminata," Hal Hartley's "Henry Fool," Lodge Kerrigan's "Claire Dolan" and Terry Gilliam's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas") with five more ("Goodbye Lover"; "Blues Brothers 2000"; "Dark City"; "Primary Colors," the opening-night film; and "Godzilla," the closing-night film) also set for screenings. France also has four movies in competition; Britain has three; and Denmark, Italy and Taiwan have two each. Coverage of the French festival will be broadcast here on cable's Independent Film Channel, with the opening ceremonies running on May 13 at 10 a.m. (with a repeat at 5 p.m.) and the closing ceremonies appearing at the same times on May 24.

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'2001': A Space Talk: Actor-producer Tom Hanks ("Apollo 13," "From the Earth to the Moon") and Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders are among those scheduled for a panel discussion commemorating the 30th anniversary of "2001: A Space Odyssey," Wednesday at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. The 6:30 p.m. discussion, which will include the movie's writer, Arthur C. Clarke, participating via the Internet from his home in Sri Lanka, will be followed by a screening of the film. The event--sponsored by the American Film Institute--will be cybercast at http://www.afionline.org/2001. A limited number of tickets for in-person viewers are available at (213) 856-7691.

TELEVISION

Following 'Springer': "The Jerry Springer Show," under fire because of a report alleging that at least some of its guests--and the on-screen brawls they get into--may be scripted, has undergone a station change in the show's hometown of Chicago. Members of management at WMAQ-TV, the station that hosts the show's taping and once put Springer on its nightly newscast, said they had had enough of the controversial show and sought a release from the station's contract earlier this week. However, "Springer" on Thursday signed a multiyear deal with the Chicago Fox affiliate, WFLD-TV. In announcing the deal, the show's distributor, Studios USA, said it had "agreed to relieve NBC-owned WMAQ of its contractual obligation to continue carrying the dominant daytime talk show in the nation's third-ranked market." Meanwhile, the syndicated newsmagazine "Extra" on Thursday planned to air a report including interviews with 16 former "Springer" guests proclaiming that their appearances on the show were heavily scripted. A show spokesman has denied the report, saying that all guests must sign legal documents requiring them to be "truthful."

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'Simpsons' Tribute: "The Simpsons," Fox's hit animated comedy, will be celebrating more than its 200th episode Sunday. The episode has been dedicated to Linda McCartney, the wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney; she died last week of cancer. The couple, ardent vegetarians, had appeared as guest voices during the show's seventh season in 1995 on an episode titled "Lisa the Vegetarian." "It just seemed like the right thing to do," executive producer Mike Scully said of the dedication, which appears in a written announcement at the episode's end. "Everyone here was surprised and saddened by her death."

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'Closer' Closure?: CBS has opted not to produce the final three episodes of its new Tom Selleck series "The Closer," a move insiders take as a clear sign that the low-rated comedy won't survive beyond May. However, CBS stopped short of saying the show was canceled, noting that the producers have shot 10 episodes--enough to run through the May rating sweeps--and don't need more at this time. Selleck's heavily promoted comeback would be the latest program featuring a high-profile TV star to fizzle, joining recent projects starring Ted Danson and Tony Danza.

RADIO

Rankings Stay Put: Revised Arbitron ratings, released Thursday, showed no change in ranking among the top 15 Los Angeles and Orange County radio stations. However, news station KNX-AM (1070)--which had been tied with talk station KLSX-FM (97.1) for 17th place--moved up a notch to a 16th-place tie, thereby moving KLSX down to 18th. Spanish talk station KTNQ-AM (1020) went down a peg to 24th place. On Wednesday, Arbitron had called back its quarterly report after it found that it had failed to count 24 of 6,897 March listener diaries.

QUICK TAKES

Pearl Jam will feature a different drummer during its concerts this summer (including local dates July 13 and 14 at the Great Western Forum), with band member Jack Irons having pulled out of the tour for health reasons. He will be replaced by Matt Cameron, former drummer for Soundgarden. . . . "X-Files" star David Duchovny will host the "Saturday Night Live" season finale on May 9. The scheduled musical guest is rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs, in a joint appearance with former Led Zeppelin member Jimmy Page.

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