King to Simulcast 'Live': Talk-show mainstay Larry King is drastically cutting back his radio air time and will instead nationally simulcast his influential hourlong cable TV show, CNN's "Larry King Live," beginning June 6. The nightly 6 p.m. program will replace his three-hour syndicated afternoon radio broadcast, which is heard on San Diego's KCEO-AM (1000). Which radio stations will carry the simulcast was not announced. King, 60, will do his last afternoon show on May 27; starting June 13 the slot will be filled by "The David Brenner Show," starring the stand-up comedian and former "Tonight Show" guest host. King, a 16-year radio veteran who instituted the first national radio talk show in 1978, will continue to broadcast "My Side of the Story," a 2 1/2-minute daily radio feature currently heard on 430 stations. He also plans a series of radio specials.
* Broadcasts Canceled: Citing "serious misgivings about the appropriateness of (giving air time to) a convicted murderer seeking a new trial," National Public Radio made an 11th-hour decision Monday not to air commentaries by condemned police killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. The commentaries had been scheduled to begin airing Monday night on NPR's "All Things Considered."
Letterman's Finish Line: David Letterman's weeklong Los Angeles stand boosted his overall ratings 72% with local audiences, while rival Jay Leno's ratings dropped 20% on his home turf. Letterman averaged 370,473 local viewing homes for the week, while Leno drew only about 155,211. In the top 31 markets, Letterman's "Late Show" was up 11% for the week, while "The Tonight Show" dropped 6%. The L.A. visit brought Letterman his fourth-highest-rated week on CBS, behind the "Late Show's" premiere week and the two Winter Olympics weeks. On Monday, Leno began his own cross-country broadcasts--from Letterman's home base of New York.
* 'Bridge' Goes Cable: The defunct, multiple Emmy-winning series "Brooklyn Bridge" is the latest critically acclaimed show to be picked up by Bravo's "TV Too Good for TV" showcase. The half-hour series kicks off its cable run Aug. 22 with a five-day marathon of all 35 episodes. On Aug. 29 it starts in its regular time slot, weeknights at 7. The program, an autobiographical account of creator Gary David Goldberg's childhood in the '50s, originally aired on CBS from 1991 to 1993. . . . Also returning via cable is CBS' long-running nighttime soap, "Knots Landing," which will air weekdays at 8 a.m. on TNT. All 345 episodes will run in sequential order starting June 6.
LuPone, Lloyd Webber Settle: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group and actress Patti LuPone's attorney said they reached a settlement "of all disputes" regarding LuPone's contract to appear in the Broadway production of Lloyd Webber's musical, "Sunset Boulevard." LuPone originated the role of Norma Desmond in London last July, but Glenn Close, who is currently playing Desmond in Los Angeles, was selected to take that role to Broadway. LuPone's attorney said: "The Really Useful Group have been very fair to Patti . . . and we are satisfied with the outcome." LuPone said, "I will always take pride in having created the role of Norma Desmond on the musical stage. Now it is time to get on with the rest of my life." LuPone, on vacation in the Caribbean, will appear at the Hollywood Bowl July 2-4 in a tribute to Irving Berlin.
* Alexander's First Grants: California will receive nearly $7.8 million of the $78 million in federal National Endowment for the Arts grants announced Monday. Among the largest local awards are $241,000 to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn., $107,000 to the Music Center Opera Assn., $95,000 to the Bella Lewitzky Dance Foundation, $70,000 each to the L.A. Chamber Orchestra Society and Aman Folk Ensemble, about $63,000 each to the L.A. County and Santa Monica museums of art, and a $20,000 fellowship to jazz musician Carmen McRae. The midyear grants, the first approved under new chairwoman Jane Alexander, also include performance fellowships to Tim Miller and Holly Hughes, two of the so-called "NEA 4," who sued the NEA for denying them grants four years ago, as well as grants to Santa Monica's Highways and New York's Franklin Furnace, which were denied previous grants allegedly because of the controversial nature of their programming.
Producer and longtime "American Bandstand" host Dick Clark will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Daytime Television during the 21st annual Daytime Emmy Awards on May 25. . . . Clint Eastwood received the highest French cultural decoration Sunday when he was named commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. Culture Minister Jacques Toubon hailed Eastwood "the incarnation of the American dream, spreading a universal message of humanity." . . . Tom Arnold goes on today's "Live With Regis & Kathie Lee" to insist "the bottom line is I love my wife . . . I'll love her forever," in spite of Roseanne Arnold's second divorce filing last week. Meanwhile legal battles continue over the Roseanne Arnold Plus Size Collection clothing line. Roseanne Arnold has been slapped with a countersuit from distributor Celebsales, against whom she won a temporary restraining order last month banning the showing of the clothing line.