The 'Art' of Sales: The Los Angeles engagement of Yasmina Reza's "Art," the 1998 Tony winner for best play that opens Jan. 19 at the UCLA James A. Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood, has accumulated advance ticket sales of more than $1.25 million, believed to be a record for a legitimate play in Los Angeles. The production, starring Alan Alda, Victor Garber and Alfred Molina in their original Broadway roles, is slated to run through March 14.
Post-Holiday Blues: Rapper DMX has the nation's No. 1 album for a second week, but even he couldn't escape the post-holiday retail letdown. SoundScan figures for the Top 10 albums saw a huge sales decline, with only 1.6 million copies sold last week versus 4.2 million sold during the Christmas week. DMX's album sold 248,000 copies during its second week, less than half its debut week total. The biggest drops were holiday releases: Celine Dion's "These Are Special Times" plummeted from No. 5 to No. 27, while 'N Sync's "Home for Christmas" fell from No. 15 to No. 32. Garth Brooks's "Double Live," meanwhile, fell from No. 2 to No. 7.
TV & MOVIES
Impeachment Coverage: The TV cameras will be on when the Senate begins its impeachment trial of President Clinton this morning. ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS plan live coverage when the procedure gets underway, at about 7 a.m. Pacific time, and they also plan to be there when Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist gets sworn in as the trial's presiding officer, expected at about 10 a.m. Cable news channels CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel all plan gavel-to-gavel coverage during the day, as does C-SPAN. Long-term coverage decisions remain in flux.
No Sequels After Prequels: Despite all the anticipation from moviegoers, "Star Wars" creator George Lucas says he plans to end the blockbuster space series after the third prequel is completed. "I never had a story for the sequels, the later ones," Lucas told Vanity Fair magazine. "And also, I'll be to a point in my age where to do another trilogy would take 10 years." Lucas, 55, also said he would "probably not" be open to letting someone else make "Star Wars" movies. The first prequel, "Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace," is scheduled for release on May 21; episodes II and III are promised for the years 2002 and 2005.
Debbie Matenopoulos, the youngest host on Barbara Walters' ABC daytime show, "The View," has left the program. Walters--who said Matenopoulos will return to the show "from time to time"--said that Matenopoulos "is looking into doing a situation comedy and is working on a book." . . . Robin Williams will make a rare TV guest appearance on the Jan. 18 episode of CBS' "L.A. Doctors," playing the husband of a dying patient. . . . "ER" star Alex Kingston, 35, wed German freelance writer Florian Haertel, 34, on Dec. 29 in Santa Fe, N.M. The British-born Kingston divorced actor Ralph Fiennes in 1997.