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Morning Report

Arts And Entertainment Reports From The Times, News Services And The Nation's Press.

April 07, 1999|SHAUNA SNOW

TV & MOVIES

In Charge at Fox News: Retired Gen. Alexander M. Haig Jr., who was President Reagan's secretary of state in 1981-82, joins cable's Fox News Channel today as a senior international affairs advisor. Haig--a military strategist who was promoted to full general in 1972 while serving as President Nixon's deputy national security advisor--will serve as an expert in international relations, while also providing commentary on the current conflict in Kosovo.

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More Kosovo Newsmakers: The East Los Angeles-based family of American soldier Andrew Ramirez will talk for the first time about his being held prisoner by Serbian forces, on tonight's "Dateline NBC" at 8 p.m. And the family of another captured soldier, Chris Stone, will guest on today's "Larry King Live" at 6 p.m. on CNN. Meanwhile, the A&E network will air "Biography: Slobodan Milosevic," a new profile of the controversial Yugoslavian leader, on Friday at 9 p.m.

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Coming Cable Fare: Cable's TNT announced its 1999-2000 film production slate on Tuesday, with projects including an update of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" featuring Pete Postlethwaite as Farmer Jones and animal characters from Jim Henson's Creature Shop voiced by the likes of Patrick Stewart, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julia Ormond and Kelsey Grammer. Other projects include "A Travesty," starring William H. Macy, Adam Arkin, James Cromwell and Felicity Huffman in the tale of a small-time film critic in trouble with the law; "Boss of Bosses," featuring Chazz Palminteri as Gambino family mob boss Paul Castellano; "Baby," the story of a woman who assumes responsibility for a baby mysteriously delivered to her doorstep, from executive producer Glenn Close; and "Killer," a tale of a corporate executive who murders his boss in a takeover bid, to be directed by New Line Cinema Chairman Robert Shaye. Also included on the slate are previously announced new adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" (starring Patrick Stewart), "David Copperfield" (starring Sally Field and Michael Richards) and "Don Quixote" (with John Lithgow, Bob Hoskins, Isabella Rossellini and Vanessa L. Williams). . . . In other TNT news, the network and sister station TBS have signed a licensing agreement to become the basic cable home for all DreamWorks SKG theatrical movies.

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Miramax Gets Second 'Harvey': Miramax Films plans to remake the 1950 Jimmy Stewart classic, "Harvey," about the friendship between Elwood P. Dowd and an invisible, 6-foot rabbit. Broadway producer Don Gregory ("Othello," "My Fair Lady") is set to produce, and the studio said it is looking at "A-level actors and comedians" for the starring role. However, lest anyone make charges of moniker favoritism, the studio notes that it was Miramax co-chief Bob Weinstein--and not brother Harvey Weinstein--who negotiated the "Harvey" deal.

QUICK TAKES

Steven Spielberg has donated $500,000 for a computer-generated-image and advanced-media classroom at the USC School of Cinema-Television's nascent Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts. Spielberg said he imagines "a new generation of creative risk-takers" emerging from the program. . . . KRTH-FM (101.1) deejay Charlie Van Dyke celebrated John Ratzenberger's birthday Tuesday morning by recalling for listeners some of the funny lines the latter delivered over the years as bar patron Norm on TV's "Cheers." There was only one problem: Ratzenberger played Cliff, the mailman. Norm was played by George Wendt, whose birthday isn't until Oct. 17. . . . KTTV's "Good Day L.A." scored its first ratings victory over "The KTLA Morning News" for a full Nielsen survey period, topping KTLA for the month of March. . . . KTLA, meanwhile, beat all its competition in Los Angeles with Monday's opening-day Dodger broadcast, drawing an average of 200,000 viewing households. . . . Broadway actress Carolee Carmello ("Parade") has replaced the previously announced Jean Smart in "Bells Are Ringing," which kicks off "Reprise! Broadway's Best in Concert's" third season at the UCLA Freud Playhouse May 12-23. Other cast members include Stephen Bogardus ("City of Angels") and Gary Beach ("Beauty and the Beast"). . . . Actress Julie Harris, 73, underwent surgery in Florida on Saturday to drain fluid from her head. Harris was injured when she fell off a stepladder several weeks ago during performances in Connecticut of "The Gin Game." A spokesman for the touring production said Harris plans to return for next week's performances in Washington.

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