MOVIESParamount Drops ‘Crow’: Six months after actor...
Paramount Drops ‘Crow’: Six months after actor Brandon Lee was fatally shot during the filming of “The Crow” in Wilmington, N.C., Paramount Pictures has apparently decided that the movie is too disturbing in light of the tragedy and has dropped plans to distribute it. A spokesman for producer Edward R. Pressman said the film is now being shopped around to other studios. “Most studios are looking at it, from what I can gather,” he said. In another development, North Carolina’s Occupational Safety and Health Division levied a $77,000 fine against Crowvision, the film’s production company, for three workplace violations, including the presence of live ammunition on the set. Crowvision plans to appeal.
TV and RADIO
Leave Him Alone: Bill Cosby returned to his alma mater not to reminisce but to plead with faculty and students at the University of Massachusetts to confront the bigotry tearing at their campus. Cosby, the keynote speaker at a five-campus conference on “Strategies for Combatting Racism,” urged his audience to be more tolerant of other races and less tolerant of bigots. “The silent hatred that we all carry needs to be stripped. You need to grow up,” Cosby said. “I’m not asking you to come across the street and kiss me, I’m asking you to leave me alone.” Cosby holds a doctorate in education from the university.
Stern Sues Station: “Shock jock” Howard Stern has filed suit against a Chicago radio station that recently dropped his show. Stern is suing WLUP-AM for $35 million for breach of contract and fiduciary responsibility and another $10 million for punitive damages. WLUP is in the throes of changing its format to all-sports. The station dropped Stern 10 months into his multiyear contract alleging that he was an “unacceptable risk” because of his program’s fines for indecent broadcasting issued by the FCC.
Changing of the Guard: After almost three decades of service, former UCLA Chancellor Dr. Franklin D. Murphy is retiring as chairman and a trustee of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. John R. Stevenson, a New York attorney, is also leaving his post as president of the gallery and a trustee. Robert F. Erburu, chairman and chief executive officer of the Times Mirror Co., and Louise W. Mellon, an art collector whose former father-in-law Paul Mellon was the son of the gallery founder, were elected to succeed Murphy and Stevenson on the five-member board of trustees. Replacing Stevenson as president is Robert H. Smith, a Washington real estate developer who has been a trustee since 1985. And replacing Murphy as chairman is Stevenson’s wife, Ruth Carter Stevenson of Fort Worth, Tex. She has been a trustee since 1979. Murphy has served as a trustee since 1964 and as chairman since 1985. In 1991, he received the gallery’s highest award, the Andrew W. Mellon Medal, to honor his years of service. Director emeritus of Times Mirror, Murphy is currently chairman of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
Casting Set: George Hearn will play Max von Mayerling in “Sunset Boulevard,” opening at the Shubert Theatre Dec. 9. Hearn, who won a Tony for “La Cage aux Folles,” will play Norma Desmond’s loyal servant.
Broadway Strike Averted: Broadway musicians have reached a tentative agreement with producers, averting a strike that could have closed nine musicals and kept 11 others from arriving this season. No details of the pact were disclosed, but a ratification vote is set for Oct. 6. The two sides were sharply divided over the minimum size of orchestras required in Broadway pits.
Pop News: Seattle rock trio Nirvana’s new “In Utero” album will enter the U.S. sales charts Saturday at No. 1 after selling more than 180,000 copies. The highly touted Nirvana collection barely knocked Garth Brooks’ “In Pieces” album out of the top spot, outselling the country star by only 12,000 copies. Meatloaf’s surprise “Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell” comeback album sold about 116,000 units last week and will rank No. 4.
Talk-show host David Letterman had a present for 50 fans who waited in vain during drenching New York rains to get into his show Monday morning. Letterman took mercy on the standbys, spending a reported $1,700 to buy them all tickets to “Miss Saigon,” which plays down the street. . . . Actor-director Clint Eastwood has been tapped to head the jury at next year’s Cannes Film Festival, set for May 12-23. . . . Actress Kim Basinger got no break in bankruptcy court from a judge’s order that she pay $8.1 million for failing to appear in the film “Boxing Helena.” The actress had filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in an effort to avoid payment, but the bankruptcy court on Tuesday ordered her to pay the full amount, plus 10% interest. . . . Fox’s “Living Single” and NBC’s “The John Larroquette Show,” which finished in ties for 45th and 54th place, respectively, in last week’s ratings, are the first two new TV series to be picked up for the full season. Although Larroquette’s show hasn’t made a serious dent in ABC’s powerhouse “Roseanne,” NBC’s ratings for the time slot are up 26% over last year.