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MOVIESStrong List: Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List"--selected Best...

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

MOVIES

Strong List: Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List"--selected Best Picture of 1993 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., the New York Film Critics Circle, and the National Board of Review--opened in 17 cities on Wednesday night and turned in what Universal Pictures called a “very strong” showing at the box office. The film took in about $150,000 at the 24 theaters where it played. Several of the shows were sellouts. “The numbers look good, especially when you consider that the three-hour-plus playing time permits for only three shows a day instead of the usual five,” said Perry Katz, senior vice president of marketing for Universal. On Dec. 25, Universal plans to add 14 cities to the “Schindler’s” run and increase the number of theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Toronto.

TELEVISION

Down and Out of ‘Beverly Hills’: Tabloid darling and “Beverly Hills 90210" star Shannen Doherty will not be returning to the Fox series next season, sources confirmed Thursday. No information was immediately available for the reasons behind Doherty’s departure, but television insiders speculated that reports of repeated tantrums and notorious antics off the set may have hastened her departure. Doherty and her representatives could not be reached for comment.

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‘Townsend’ Ends: “Townsend Television,” the variety show created by actor-writer Robert Townsend, has been canceled by Fox Television. The show, which aired on Sunday at 7 p.m. opposite CBS’ popular “60 Minutes,” was the lowest-rated show on the prime-time schedule. The final broadcast of the show will be Dec. 26. Fox will replace the series Jan. 2 with new episodes of the reality series “Code 3.”

Costas Stays Put: Bob Costas, sought by CBS for its post-Letterman late-night slot, has signed a new multiyear contract with NBC that will include work in news, sports and entertainment. Costas will be both the network’s principal anchor for its coverage of the 1996 Winter Olympics from Atlanta and the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s major league baseball coverage, including the World Series. He’ll also contribute stories on sports-news topics to NBC newsmagazines and be the host of occasional prime-time specials on sports and pop-culture subjects. Costas, who is discontinuing his NBC interview show “Later” in January, confirmed that CBS had offered him the 12:30 a.m. time slot to follow Letterman on CBS. STAGE

Jeffrey Closing: Paul Rudnick’s hit play “Jeffrey” will have its final performance Sunday at 7 p.m. The show, at the Westwood Playhouse, had previously been extended into January. New York-based producer Timothy Childs said, “We had a terrific run, (but) we’ve seen ticket sales fall off, so we’re now sadly closing it.” Those who have tickets for performance dates after Sunday should return them through the box office or Tele-Charge, (800) 233-3123. Further information: (310) 208-5454.

Cole Redo: A new version of “Cole,” the Cole Porter musical revue that opened at the Henry Fonda Theatre last month, was scheduled to get its official unveiling Thursday night at the Fonda. Three songs have been dropped, including two from Porter’s early years and “Just One of Those Things,” and three have been added: “After You, Who?,” “Silk and Satin” and “Nobody’s Chasing Me.” Ron Richardson, a Tony winner for “Big River,” has replaced actor Keith David, who left to shoot a movie, “The Quick and the Dead.” About 20% of the show has changed since opening night, including minor changes in the show’s dialogue, a spokesman said.

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POP MUSIC

Rapper Pleads Innocent: Rapper Tupac Shakur--whose song “Keep Ya Head Up” is No. 15 on Billboard magazine’s Top Singles chart--pleaded innocent to sex abuse, sodomy and gun charges in connection with an attack on a woman in a New York hotel suite Nov. 18. The singer was ordered to return to court Tuesday for further proceedings after the prosecution complained that the alleged victim had received threats and has been warned to drop the case against him. The defense denied that the performer had anything to do with threats. Acting state Supreme Court Justice George Roberts, who conducted the arraignment proceedings, agreed that threatening calls could have been made by Shakur’s fans. Two co-defendants also pleaded innocent to various charges.


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