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TV & RADIOCalling All Fans: Barry Corbin...

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

TV & RADIO

Calling All Fans: Barry Corbin released an open letter to fans of “Northern Exposure” on Friday, urging them to write CBS executives in an effort to keep the show alive. Acknowledging that the series has lost its creative edge, the actor who plays Maurice Minnifield criticized CBS not only for failing to help but also for making matters worse by earlier this month moving the show from Mondays to Wednesdays, where ratings have plummeted. “We’ve been dumped in the metaphorical desert without food or water and told to survive,” Corbin wrote. “Why? I have no idea. What’s the prognosis? Without help, we can’t survive.”

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Temporary Hiatus?: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Janeane Garofalo will take time off from the show for several episodes to do a theatrical film, and there has been speculation that she might not return to “SNL” because she wants a movie career. But Garofalo said in an interview, “I want to come back to the show next season--if NBC still thinks I’m funny.” Garofalo said that she will probably leave the show in March to do a movie for New Line Cinema, “The Truth About Cats and Dogs.”

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Canceled: Radio station KMPC-AM (710) has pulled the plug on its 9-month-old effort to deliver a talk show for the 20-something generation. “Twenty-something Talk,” which aired weeknights from 9 p.m. to midnight with Tavis Smiley and Ruben Navarrette as hosts, was replaced Thursday by a general-interest program hosted by Yolanda Gaskins. A KMPC spokesman said that the talk show had suffered low ratings and “was more politically oriented than we originally anticipated, while the station overall is heading more toward lifestyle-oriented programming.” Smiley will continue to do commentaries for “The Ken & Barkley Company” on KABC-AM (790).

DANCE

Joffrey to Relocate?: The financially strapped Joffrey Ballet may move from Manhattan to one of several other locations, including Los Angeles or Orange County, board president David Kipper told the Associated Press. New York “is a very crowded place for the arts and the competition for donors’ dollars and for the public becomes harder and harder,” Kipper said. Other sites reportedly being considered are Chicago, Washington and Iowa City, Iowa. However, Joffrey officials said Friday that Kipper’s remarks “were not an official statement.” The Joffrey is a former resident company at the Music Center, whose president, Shelton g. Stanfill, said that general talks have taken place regarding the company’s interest in returning, but “there are no negotiations” under way. Officials at Cal State Los Angeles (where the Joffrey was once invited for an annual residency) and the Orange County Performing Arts Center also said they are not negotiating with the Joffrey over any move.

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MOVIES

‘Pulp’ vs. WGA: When the 47th annual Writers Guild of America awards are held March 19, Quentin Tarantino’s much acclaimed “Pulp Fiction” script--which has already won accolades from several critics’ groups--will not be among the nominees for best screenplay. The film has been disqualified because neither of the companies that made the movie--Jersey Films and A Band Apart--is a WGA signatory. Though “Pulp” distributor Miramax Films is exploring ways to rectify the situation, the ballots were mailed out Tuesday without “Pulp’s” inclusion and are already starting to be returned. “We didn’t become a WGA signatory because Quentin approaches the credit sequence as a scene in the movie and wanted the ‘produced by’ credit to be the last card up front, and the ‘written and directed by’ one to be the first after the film ended--like a signature on a letter,” said “Pulp” producer Lawrence Bender. WGA rules state that both the production and writing credits must be placed together--whether before or after the film.

ART

LACMA Curator: Lynn Zelevansky has been named associate curator of 20th-Century art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Zelevansky received her art history training at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and has worked in the department of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 1987. She curated the 1994 exhibition “Sense and Sensibility: Women Artists and Minimalism in the ‘90s” and many of the museum’s “Projects” shows. She replaces Judi Freeman, who is now Joan Whitney Payson Curator of 20th-Century Art at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine.

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Louvre Theft: A thief tore a three-foot battle-ax from a 17th-Century sculpture and slipped out of the Louvre during visiting hours in the famed Paris museum’s second major theft this month. The ax, which weighed 37 pounds, was taken Wednesday evening from the foot of a 1685 bronze by Martin Desjardins. The theft occurred despite four security agents being on duty nearby. On Jan. 11, a thief sliced a $37,000 painting from its frame and walked out with it. “Deer in the Landscape” is a 28-by-37-inch oil canvas by 19th-Century Romance artist Lancelot Theodore Turpin de Crise. A Louvre spokesman said Friday that the museum was “reinforcing its security.” The museum, one of the largest in the world, employs 950 security guards, with 240 on the job at any given time.


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