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Morning Report

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

May 02, 1998|SHAUNA SNOW

TV & RADIO

How Will 'Seinfeld' Treat Puerto Ricans?: A national group of Hispanic leaders has called on NBC's "Seinfeld" to disclose the "tone and content" of the May 7 episode, which is titled "Puerto Rican Day." "NBC has refused to disclose any specific information regarding this episode and underestimates the potential negative implications of statements made or denoted by this show," said Manny Mirabal, chairman of the Hispanic Assn. of Corporate Responsibility and of the National Puerto Rican Coalition. Mirabal and his supporters allege that previous "Seinfeld" episodes--including one in which actors dressed in green fatigues to portray Cubans--have been "insulting to the Hispanic community," and the group said it fears the May 7 episode will "give a narrow and distorted characterization of the community." NBC declined to comment on the issue on Friday, but in listings material, the network describes the story as focusing on the reactions of Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer after the foursome "get caught in traffic resulting from New York's Puerto Rican Day Parade." The episode is the last original "Seinfeld" to air before the much-trumpeted May 14 series finale.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Monday May 4, 1998 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 6 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 24 words Type of Material: Correction
Oscar winner--An item in Saturday's Morning Report incorrectly named the movie for which Matt Damon won an Oscar for best original screenplay. It was "Good Will Hunting."

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Courting Jerry: Cable's Court TV, meanwhile, will jump on the "Seinfeld" finale bandwagon with "The 'Seinfeld' Firing: Mackenzie vs. Miller Brewing Co.," on May 12 at 5 p.m. The hourlong documentary recounts the headline-making case in which a 19-year employee of the beer company was fired for sexual discrimination after discussing the previous night's "Seinfeld" episode with a female co-worker. The fired employee, Jerry Mackenzie, 55, eventually won a $26-million jury verdict against Miller Brewing Co., which he claimed had fired him unfairly.

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Gibson's Farewell: Having interviewed statesmen, scientists and celebrities for 11 years as host of "Good Morning America," Charles Gibson said farewell to the show Friday. Gibson, 55, who left the morning show to become an anchor and correspondent for ABC's prime-time newsmagazines, was dry-eyed when he offered his "sincere gratitude" to the nearly 4 million regular "GMA" viewers. His replacement, Kevin Newman, joins co-host Lisa McRee on Monday.

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Back to Square One: Tim Conway Jr. and Doug Steckler have settled their contract dispute with KLSX-FM (97.1) and were back in their old 7 to 10 p.m. berth Thursday. In a domino effect, their return pushes Ed Tyll, who had briefly replaced them, back to the 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. slot, which had been held by "Nastyman" Chuck Naste. He now airs from 1 to 3 a.m., the spot that had been filled since January with "best of" segments from morning host Jonathon Brandmeier. Conway and Steckler were no doubt helped by the latest quarterly Arbitron ratings, showing that their share of overall listeners had risen 375%.

POP/ROCK

Selena Story on Stage?: A stage musical based on the life of late tejano superstar Selena is in the works. The singer's family has signed a $2-million licensing agreement with producers Tom Quinn and Peter Fitzgerald, whose Broadway stage credits include "Jekyll and Hyde" and "The Capeman." A search is on for a scriptwriter, director and composer. Selena, who was portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in a 1997 feature film about her life, was shot and killed three years ago by the president of her fan club at a Corpus Christi motel.

MOVIES

Flintstones Prequel: Universal Studios expects to begin filming in July on "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas," a live-action prequel to the 1994 movie that starred John Goodman as Fred. Because the new film is a prequel, the cast will feature younger actors than the original, with unconfirmed reports indicating that Drew Carey is among those up for the lead. A Universal spokesman said the film will have a different look from the original; instead of a "natural rock" setting, for instance, the prequel's Bedrock will feature glittering "gem-like" stones.

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Dialing for Audrey: The Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund will mark the late actress' 69th birthday on Monday with "A Dollar Makes a Difference," a campaign asking callers to donate $1 each to the charitable fund by dialing (900) 225-8000. Donations go toward medical care, education, nutrition, vitamins, school supplies, clothing and books for needy children. A flat rate of $1.61 (including the donation) will be charged to each caller's phone bill. Hepburn, a leading spokeswoman for children as ambassador for UNICEF, died of cancer at 63 in 1993.

QUICK TAKES

Pop diva Celine Dion got back-to-back honors in her native Canada this week, receiving the country's highest honor, the Order of Canada, in Ottawa on Friday, one day after she was given the Order of Quebec, the equivalent honor from her home province. . . . KCET-TV Channel 28 has replaced "I Shot Andy Warhol," which had been scheduled to air tonight at 9, with "The Beans of Egypt, Maine," a 1994 drama with Martha Plimpton and Kelly Lynch. A KCET spokeswoman said the station thought the gritty 1996 movie about a 1968 incident in which the king of Pop Art was seriously wounded was more appropriate for a later time slot. . . . Oscar winners Matt Damon ("As Good as It Gets") and Billy Bob Thornton ("Sling Blade") will team up on "All the Pretty Horses," an adaptation of the popular Cormac McCarthy novel being jointly released by Columbia Pictures and Miramax Films. Damon will star, Thornton will direct.

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