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Morning Report

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

March 25, 2000|JUDITH MICHAELSON

TELEVISION

Curtains for Cosby: "Cosby," the CBS comedy starring Bill Cosby, is at an end, the network confirmed Friday. Cosby and the show's producers, Carsey-Werner, agreed with the network not to bring the comedy back for a fifth season. "I'm going out with the graduating class of 2000," Cosby said. "I wish we could have done better for CBS." Ratings have fallen for the program, which was moved to Wednesdays in the fall, and again to Fridays in January, following Cosby's other CBS show, "Kids Say the Darndest Things." The network wooed Cosby back to prime time in 1996 with a 44-episode initial commitment--or two full seasons--sight unseen. The show was touted before its premiere as the "crown jewel" of CBS' schedule but it never drew large audiences. The final episode will air April 28.

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Now, Amsterdam: Wim Wenders, director of last year's acclaimed feature film, "Buena Vista Social Club," has begun production on a second piece about the Cuban band. The documentary, whose working title is "The Amsterdam Concerts," will be made for television in versions of 60 and 90 minutes, and will consist of footage that Wenders was unable to use from the band's 1998 Amsterdam performances.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday March 30, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 55 Entertainment Desk 2 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Wrong location--"Politically Incorrect" scored its highest local rating in more than three years the week of March 13, with an audience of 220,000 homes in the Los Angeles area. A Morning Report item last Saturday failed to specify that that total reflected a local, and not national, average.

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Tube Notes: Thursday's 8:30 p.m. premiere episode of NBC's "Daddio" attracted 19.7 million viewers, retaining 92% of its "Friends" lead-in. The premiere of "Battery Park" at 9:30 p.m. averaged 14.7 million viewers. . . . ABC's late-night series "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher" scored its highest ratings in more than three years last week, with an average of 200,000 homes tuning in. . . . The syndicated "Inside Edition" gets a new time slot Monday, airing daily at 3:30 p.m. on KCBS-TV.

MOVIES

An Oscar Baby?: Offstage, Annette Bening could provide the most dramatic Oscar moment Sunday. The "American Beauty" star, nominated for a best actress Academy Award, will have doctors on hand and her suitcase packed in case she goes into labor during the ceremony. "Yes, my doctor, many doctors, will be surrounding me," said Bening, who is pregnant with her fourth child. "It would be very dramatic, wouldn't it?" Bening had been scheduled to be a presenter but bowed out Thursday.

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'Conquista' Conquering: "The Other Conquest"--"La Otra Conquista"--the highest-grossing Mexican dramatic film ever released in that country, will open its American premiere engagements April 19 in more than 50 theaters throughout Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara. It is one of the largest openings for a Latin American movie. Set in the aftermath of the 1521 Spanish conquest of the Aztecs in Mexico, this epic drama of faith and courage drew an audience of more than 1 million during its four-month run in Mexico last year. Tenor Placido Domingo is executive producer of the Carrasco & Domingo Films Production, and is heard on the soundtrack in an aria composed for the movie. After the engagements here, the movie opens in other U.S. markets.

THEATER

What's in a Name?: Disney may be behind Broadway's latest musical, "Aida," which opened Thursday at the Palace Theatre, but the company is keeping a very low profile on this one. The show comes under the banner of Disney's Hyperion Theatricals, newly formed to distinguish material for older audiences from such earlier family-theater fare as "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King." The highly visible marquis at the heart of Times Square calls the show "Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida," and you have to look to the last entry of Playbill's "Who's Who in the Cast" to find the Disney name, in small type. Thomas Schumacher, head of Disney's animation division and one of "Aida's" producers, said Thursday that the show might appeal to children 9 and over, but the Disney name might mislead much younger audiences to a show mostly about romance.

LEGAL FILE

Rapper to Prison: Wu Tang Clan rapper ODB, who admitted Friday that he violated his probation from a criminal case last year by possessing alcohol, was ordered to Chino State Prison for a 90-day diagnostic evaluation. Born Russell Tyrone Jones, the 31-year-old ODB is due back in court June 23 for sentencing, and could face up to three years and eight months in state prison, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Marcia Daniel. After pleading no contest to being a convicted felon in possession of body armor and making terrorist threats, Jones was put on three years formal probation Nov. 19 and ordered to undergo a year of drug rehabilitation.

QUICK TAKES

A bevy of stars, including Meryl Streep, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Val Kilmer, Sela Ward, Geena Davis, Elisabeth Shue, Andre Braugher and hosts Jane Seymour and James Keach, will be at the Universal Studio theme park at 11 a.m. today to raise money for Los Angeles Educational Partnership and LA's BEST (Better Educated Students for Tomorrow). . . . A free "Surprising Encounters" seminar with German conductor Ingo Metzmacher takes place Sunday at 10 a.m. in Zipper Hall at the Coburn School of Performing Arts in downtown Los Angeles. The seminar is one of a series dealing with 20th century music. . . . The Hollywood Entertainment Museum at 7021 Hollywood Blvd. is hosting a black-tie Oscar party starting at 5 p.m. Sunday, with food from 15 restaurants. Tickets are $100-$2,500.

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