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Morning Report

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

April 28, 2001|LEE MARGULIES

TELEVISION

No Runaway Victory Here Either: Halfway through its eight-episode run on Comedy Central, "That's My Bush!," the presidential parody from "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is averaging about 2 million viewers a week, according to Nielsen Media Research. That figure is a drop from the 2.9 million viewers who tuned in for the premiere of "That's My Bush!" This week, 1.4 million viewers tuned in for Wednesday night's episode following "South Park." For now, anyway, "That's My Bush!" remains the highest-rated Comedy Central show this season. Meanwhile, the American Comedy Awards, which also was seen on the cable channel Wednesday night, drew 796,000 viewers.

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CNN Blue: CNN says it is standing by Andrea Thompson, the former "NYPD Blue" actress who is about to become a CNN Headline News anchor, despite the buzz about nude photos of her available on the Internet. The photos, available on several sites, were taken from a 1986 Italian film, "Manhattan Gigolo," and from Black and White magazine. CNN said in a statement, "We accept Andrea Thompson's explanation regarding the photos in question," adding that the network feels she is "a promising journalist." In her own statement, Thompson, 41, said, "I did pose for Black and White Magazine, a prestigious, artistic publication, several years ago. I did this as a piece of art and make no apologies for any and all of the creative decisions I've made as an artist in my 20-year career."

MUSIC

World Cup Blues: World Cup soccer brought us the Three Tenors, and it made "Nessun Dorma" an international hit tune when the 1990 championship chose the aria from Puccini's "Turandot" as a theme song. Now the World Cup is forcing the Los Angeles Philharmonic to postpone its tour to Japan, which was supposed to take place next summer. The competition, which opens in Korea in May 2002 and moves to multiple venues in Japan through June 2002, has made travel in that country next to impossible for an orchestra on tour, according to Deborah Borda, the Philharmonic's managing director. Because of other European and American trips already in the works for the orchestra, she says the L.A. players aren't likely to get to Japan until 2004.

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Domingo Facing Surgery: Placido Domingo is to undergo surgery following acute pain that forced him to cancel performances in Vienna, a statement from Austria's State Opera said Friday. The Spanish tenor was scheduled to appear in Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci" on Monday, Thursday and May 7. There were no details on Domingo's ailment, but he and his doctor were confident that the star would be fit enough to appear in Wagner's "The Valkyre" on May 10 and May 13.

MEDIA

Trade Reporter Departs: David Robb, a newsman at the Hollywood Reporter since 1992, resigned in protest this week after the trade paper refused to run his story on a colleague accused of accepting favors from the movie industry. According to Robb, Reporter columnist George Christy has received screen credits for movies in which he did not appear, entitling him to benefits from the Screen Actors Guild. Robb said the paper was trying to protect Christy. Christy and Reporter executives declined comment.

POP/ROCK

Five for Son by Four: Son by Four, the pop salsa group from Puerto Rico that burst on the scene with its song "A Puro Dolor," won seven awards, including artist of the year and track of the year, at the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Teen star Christina Aguilera won twice, as top new artist and female artist in the pop album categories for "Mi Reflejo." The awards were handed out in Miami Thursday night. Shakira, the sultry Colombian singer, captured the Latin rock album prize for "MTV Unplugged," while the Colombian group Los Tri-O won the group award for pop album for "Mi Gloria, Eres Tu." The awards will air on Telemundo Sunday at 8 p.m.

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More Awards: The rock band Third Day was the big winner at the 32nd annual Dove Awards for contemporary Christian and Gospel music, picking up honors Thursday in five categories, including group of the year and artist of the year. Nicole C. Mullen took home four Dove Awards at the ceremonies in Nashville, including songwriter of the year.

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"FolkScene" Returns: Roz and Howard Larman's "FolkScene" radio show, which had aired for 30 years in Los Angeles until the Larmans and KPFK-FM (90.7) couldn't come to terms on a new contract last fall, has found a new home--on Boston radio station WUMB-FM. "They still record it in L.A. and focus on the L.A. scene," said WUMB program director Brian Quinn. "We're a folk station full time, so it's nice to have something every week talking about what's going on in Los Angeles." Southland folk fans can catch the two-hour show Saturdays at 6 p.m. over WUMB's Web site, http://www.wumb.org.

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