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Morning Report

Arts and Entertainment Reports From The Times, News Services and the Nation's Press

March 21, 2000|SHAUNA SNOW

POP/ROCK

With Child, Again: Little Lourdes will soon have a brother or sister. Singer-actress Madonna, 41, is pregnant, and the father is her British beau of two years, movie director Guy Ritchie. "We would be grateful if the media would kindly allow us some privacy at this special time, and we thank you all for your good wishes," Ritchie, 31, said in a statement. The baby's due date was not announced, but Madonna's publicist said that the entertainer is "very, very excited." Madonna has a 3-year-old daughter, Lourdes, with former boyfriend Carlos Leon. Madonna, who has been living mostly in London, has recently done magazine interviews discussing her serious relationship with Ritchie. The couple have not announced plans to marry.

Hall of Fame Recordings: The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences has selected 49 recordings to add to its Hall of Fame, which honors "recordings of enduring quality and relevance or historical significance" that were released at least 25 years ago. The latest honorees--which include the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," Frank Sinatra's "My Way," Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable," Lena Horne's "Stormy Weather," Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and the Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Purple Haze"--bring the Hall of Fame list to 498 titles.

They're Hotshots Now: Irish rock group U2 received the symbolic Freedom of the City award in Dublin Saturday in recognition of its achievements in the music world, and singer Bono and bandmate the Edge lost no time in exercising one of their newly granted privileges: to graze sheep on a city park. The two turned up on Stephen's Green on Sunday carrying lambs borrowed from friends. The Freedom of the City law, established in 1454, also grants the right to possess a coat of chain-mail armor, a bow and a sword.

TV & RADIO

Dramatic What-Ifs: National Public Radio will launch "Beyond 2000," an hourlong drama series showcasing "speculative" works of fiction that delve into "the social and technological possibilities of the new millennium." Robin Williams, Richard Dreyfuss and Charles Durning have already signed up for roles in the 26-episode series, which is to begin airing next month. Featured writers--whose stories are all set after the year 2000--will include Rudyard Kipling, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain and Jack London.

Hunger Strikers Reject Offer: Union members at KFTV, the Fresno affiliate of Univision, the country's largest Spanish-language television network, have unanimously rejected a contract offer by the station's management. Union negotiator Carrie Biggs-Adams said the offer, made Saturday evening, was shot down moments later by members of the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees and Technicians. Two association members, as well as Biggs-Adams, remain on a liquid diet they began in mid-February to protest the lack of salary parity with English-language colleagues in the area. KFTV is Fresno's No. 1 station in both languages. Additional bargaining sessions are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

The Rock Rolls: The World Wrestling Federation worked its ratings magic for "Saturday Night Live," as the NBC program's latest edition, hosted by WWF's the Rock, drew the highest rating for the late-night show since Monica Lewinsky's appearance last May. Preliminary estimates indicate 10.4 million people tuned in, more than watched any of Saturday's prime-time programs.

OSCAR WATCH

If You're Camped Out Now, You've Got a Long Wait: Bleacher seats for fans to watch red-carpet arrivals at the Academy Awards will be available at approximately 6 a.m. on Sunday, the day of the 5 p.m. show. Seating will be first-come, first-served, and fans should bring their own refreshments, since they will not be able to leave the area once seated. Toilet facilities will be provided.

'Insider' Suit Threatened: The ex-wife of tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand is threatening legal action against Disney's Oscar-nominated film "The Insider," claiming that the filmmakers portrayed her as a gold-digging trophy wife who abandons her husband because he lost his job. In court documents, Lucretia Nimocks--who is demanding that Disney pay her for use of her life's story and alter the film to portray her more accurately--said she left Wigand because he abused her. A Disney spokeswoman said Nimocks' claims "are without merit."

QUICK TAKES

MTV host Tom Green tells today's "Entertainment Tonight" that he is battling cancer but has been told by doctors that his disease is curable and he should be able to return to work in a few months. . . . On Thursday, KTTV's 10 p.m. newscast will add "Fox Rox!," a new music-driven, pop culture news segment exposing Hollywood's underground. The weekly feature is created by Jose Rio, KTTV's vice president of news, and producer Heidi Siegmund Cuda, The Times' Hollywood night-life gossip columnist (Club Buzz, Calendar Weekend). . . . The WB network has picked up "The Steve Harvey Show" for a fifth season. . . . Today's "Rosie O'Donnell Show" will focus exclusively on the issue of adoption. . . . Mackenzie Phillips has replaced Daisy Fuentes as a co-host of today's PRISM Awards in Beverly Hills.

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