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Quick Takes: KCET shows relocate

Also, Discovery halts broadcast of Michael Jackson 'Autopsy,' John Mellencamp and wife separate, Harry Smith finishes stint on 'The Early Show.'

January 01, 2011

As KCET officially becomes an independent public television station Saturday, no longer affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service, a few more of its former programs have found homes.

"Tavis Smiley," formerly seen on KCET weeknights at 7 and 11 p.m., will now be seen weeknights at 11 on KOCE, beginning Monday.

"The Charlie Rose Show," which used to follow "Tavis Smiley" on KCET at 11:30 p.m., will now be airing opposite it at 11 p.m. on KVCR, also beginning Monday.

With KCET dropping out of PBS in a dispute over dues, KOCE is now the noncommercial network's primary affiliate in the L.A.-Orange County area, offering such staples as "PBS NewsHour," "Nova," "Masterpiece," "Sesame Street," "Frontline" and "Great Performances."

—Lee Margulies

Discovery halts MJ 'Autopsy'

The Discovery television network on Friday said it canceled plans to air a reenactment of the autopsy on Michael Jackson's body, citing an upcoming court hearing and concern by the late pop star's estate.

The show, "Michael Jackson's Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson," had been set to air in several countries of Western Europe and in Britain on Jan. 13.

"Given the commencement of legal proceedings beginning next week, and at the request of Michael Jackson's estate, the scheduled broadcast of the medical documentary related to Michael Jackson's official autopsy has been postponed indefinitely," Discovery Networks International said.

Discovery's show, which was not scheduled to air in the United States, was an unofficial, fictional account of what the autopsy must have been like and its results.


Mellencamp and wife separate

In a post-holiday week that has seen several announcements of celebrity couplings, singer John Mellencamp and his wife, Elaine, have decided to do the opposite and separate.

"They will continue to raise their two children in Indiana but have decided to call it a day as a couple" after 20 years together, their spokesman said.

The pair met when Elaine was hired to appear on the cover of John's "Whenever We Wanted" album.

The week after Christmas has seen a series of celebrity marriage engagements, including Reese Witherspoon to talent agent Jim Toth, singer LeAnn Rimes and actor Eddie Cibrian, actress Natalie Portman to choreographer Benjamin Millepied and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris.


Harry Smith signs off of 'Early Show'

Harry Smith finished 2010 by ending his run on CBS' "Early Show" after two stints at the morning anchor desk that totaled 17 years.

In a brief look back before his Friday signoff, Smith described his chief emotion as "one of gratitude, absolute gratitude" for his estimated 4,500 broadcasts. He also thanked his family for putting up with his demanding, wee-hours schedule.

"The Early Show" consistently trails its rivals, ratings champ "Today" on NBC and ABC's "Good Morning America." Last month CBS announced a complete host turnover, replacing Smith and co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez, as well as weathercaster Dave Price.

The new team starts Monday. It consists of former Saturday "Early Show" anchors Chris Wragge and Erica Hill, weathercaster Marysol Castro and news correspondent Jeff Glor.

The easygoing Smith, 59, served as co-anchor of "CBS This Morning" from 1987 to 1996, then, after leaving for hosting duties at the A&E network, returned to CBS News in 2002 on the renamed "Early Show."

He will stay at the network as a correspondent and substitute anchor for other newscasts.

—Associated Press

Actress officially exits 'Spider-Man' show

A lead actress in Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" officially walked away from the long-delayed musical Thursday night, another blow for an unsettled production that has already sent several actors to the hospital and burned through millions of dollars before its official opening.

Natalie Mendoza, who had recently returned to the stunt-heavy production after suffering a concussion during its first preview performance last month, pulled out for good following several days of negotiations between lawyers for both sides.

The actress cited her head injury as the reason she gave up the role of Spider-Man's evil love interest, Arachne.

T.V. Carpio and America Olivo have been filling in for Mendoza, and it is believed one of them will get the role permanently. Mendoza's leaving has not changed the opening date of Feb. 7, its producers said.

—Associated Press

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