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Morning Report

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

June 06, 2002|Elaine Dutka

THEATER

Hunt and Robbins

to Star in 'The Guys'

Helen Hunt ("As Good As It Gets") and Tim Robbins ("The Shawshank Redemption") will perform Anne Nelson's new play, "The Guys," July 10-28 at the Actors' Gang Theater in Hollywood, where Robbins is the founding artistic director.

The one-act play, a tale about the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, is still playing off-Broadway in New York, with Bill Irwin and Amy Irving in the leads. Like that production, this one will have rotating celebrity casts after the departure of the original duo.

The story focuses on a New York City fire captain who lost eight men in the collapse of the World Trade Center and the editor who helps him write the eulogies he must deliver. Nelson, a journalism professor, based it on her own experience and turned it into a play at the suggestion of Jim Simpson, director of the project on the East and West coasts.

Simpson will also be at the helm of a big-screen version of the film, starring his wife, Sigourney Weaver, and Anthony LaPaglia.

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TELEVISION

Study: TVs in Bedrooms Put Pounds on Kids

Television viewing has been linked to obesity among school-age children, teens and adults. Now comes word that putting a TV in the bedrooms of preschoolers also increases their risk of being overweight.

In a study published in this month's issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a team of New York researchers tracked the viewing habits of more than 2,700 preschool children involved in government nutrition programs. It found that the inactivity associated with TV viewing plus the tendency to eat high-fat snacks in front of the screen is a dangerous mix.

Average TV and video viewing habits increased from 11 hours a week at age 1 to 18 hours a week at age 4, the study found--and preschoolers with TVs in their bedrooms watched an additional 4.6 hours a week.

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PEOPLE

Warwick Off the Hook on Marijuana Charges

The state of Florida dropped a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession against Dionne Warwick on Wednesday after the Grammy Award-winning singer completed a pretrial program aimed at giving first-time offenders a second chance, a court official said.

Warwick, 61, had been charged with marijuana possession on May 12 at Miami International Airport when baggage screeners found 11 marijuana cigarettes in her lipstick case.

Actor Thomas Awarded Millions in Back Pay

Philip Michael Thomas, co-star of the 1980s TV police drama "Miami Vice," was awarded $2.3 million by the American Arbitration Assn. over the use of his likeness by Traffix, a direct marketer, the company said Wednesday.

The award ended an 8-year-old battle over the rights to use his name and likeness in TV "infomercials." Traffix said it was reviewing the decision and its options.

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QUICK TAKES

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" has surpassed "The Fast and the Furious" to become the top-grossing first-week home video rental title of all time. The movie took in about $19.1 million after five days, according to Video Store Magazine.... CBS has ordered six episodes of the Nathan Lane comedy "Life of the Party," in which he'll play an actor-turned-congressman.

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