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Morning Report

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

June 25, 1998|SHAUNA SNOW

ENTERTAINMENT

Bello Out of 'ER': There will be one less doctor in the "ER" next season. Maria Bello (Anna Del Amico) is leaving the NBC show to pursue a burgeoning movie career (her upcoming releases include "Payback" with Mel Gibson and "Permanent Midnight" with Ben Stiller). Producers have not yet determined how her character's departure will be handled.

Lovitz 'NewsRadio' Bound?: Jon Lovitz has been asked to join the cast of "NewsRadio," filling the void left by the death of Phil Hartman. Sources close to the show say Lovitz, a friend of Hartman's from their days on "Saturday Night Live," has not made a decision on the offer. Patrick Warburton ("Seinfeld's" Puddy) is also being considered for the role. Meanwhile, producers have not yet determined how Hartman's character will be written out; production on "NewsRadio" resumes in August.

Remembering Tarzan's Jane: Cable's Turner Classic Movies and American Movie Classics have both scheduled tributes to veteran actress Maureen O'Sullivan, who died Monday at age 87. On Friday, AMC will air five of her movies, including four from the "Tarzan" series, beginning at 7 a.m. And on Saturday, TCM will air six O'Sullivan movies--including the original "Tarzan, the Ape Man" and five non-jungle flicks--beginning at 3 a.m.

Smaller Pumpkins Patch: Looks like Chicago officials overestimated the Smashing Pumpkins' hometown appeal. The band had planned to play a free 10th-anniversary concert in Grant Park, but city officials' worries over crowd control--they expected 100,000 to show up--forced the band to switch to a ticketed charity show at the much larger Soldier Field. However, the promoter said this week that only about 20,000 of the $30 tickets have been sold for the July 7 event--less than half of Soldier Field's 50,000-seat capacity. So the show has been moved once again, to the New World Music Theater, which seats 28,000.

THE ARTS

Larson Keeps Sole 'Rent' Credit: A New York federal appeals court has agreed that the late playwright Jonathan Larson was the sole author of the hit Broadway musical "Rent," rejecting the claims of a woman who said she was the co-author. However, the court did find that Lynn M. Thomson worked "extremely intensively" with Larson on the show in 1995 (he died unexpectedly in early 1997, two weeks before "Rent" opened). In a new suit, Thomson now maintains that she is the copyright owner of anything she contributed, including story lines, dialogue and music, and should be fairly compensated for those contributions.

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