Smithsonian's Americana: Dorothy's ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," jazz master Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet, works by Civil War photographer Matthew Brady and a collection of first ladies' gowns are among objects included in a 12-city tour of Americana that will open in Los Angeles next February as the centerpiece of festivities marking the Smithsonian Institution's 150th anniversary. Eight million to 10 million visitors are expected to see the "America's Smithsonian" exhibition, with venues and dates still being planned. The exhibit will include such features as a working carousel and a stage for live performances. Corporate sponsors are expected to foot the $100-million bill for the free traveling show and other anniversary events throughout 1996, including television specials and a birthday party on the National Mall. The Smithsonian, which encompasses 16 museums, the National Zoo and a world-renowned research center, was founded in 1846 with a bequest from British scientist James Smithson.
Tragic Track Story: Hollywood Pictures will make "Pre," chronicling the life and tragic death of 1970s American track and field star Steve Prefontaine, with the release scheduled prior to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The Disney-owned company acquired rights for the movie from the family of Prefontaine, who held several American records and was favored to medal in the distance running races in the 1976 Olympics, but was killed just before the event in an automobile accident. He was 24. Irby Smith ("Angels in the Outfield," "Major League") will direct the film, which is scheduled to start production this summer.
Producers Win Round One: A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a new contract between the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and the Writers Guild of America that would place screenwriter credits on movies immediately before the final director credit. About 50 top industry producers, including Arnold Kopelson, Richard Zanuck and Dawn Steele, are objecting to the contract, since the producer credits have traditionally gone between the writer and director credits. An April 10 hearing has been set for the producers' request for a further injunction.
New KSCA Lineup: KSCA-FM (101.9), the "adult album alternative" station, will introduce a new weekday lineup on Monday that will reunite KLOS veteran newsman Chuck Moshontz with Nicole Sandler, the station's current midday deejay. Sandler and Moshontz, who were both regulars on KLOS' "Mark and Brian" morning show, which Sandler produced, will now do a morning-drive time show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., while the current morning-drive personality Mike Morrison will move to afternoon-drive from 3 to 7 p.m. Merilee Kelly will take the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift and Mimi Chen will be heard from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Pilfered Potty Plaque: A plaque designating a New Jersey Turnpike bathroom facility the "Howard Stern Rest Stop" was stolen over the weekend, less than a week after New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman put up the marker to thank the radio shock jock for his political endorsement in 1993. Whitman said she has no plans to replace it.
Joseph F. Peyronnin, a former executive at CBS News who oversaw such programs as "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours," has been named president of Fox News, where he will oversee news gathering and programming. . . . "House of Buggin'," Fox's sketch comedy series starring comedian John Leguizamo, will return April 9 in the Sunday 8:30 p.m. time slot. It will replace "The Critic," which completes its run this week, and will be up for renewal when Fox's fall schedule is announced in May. . . . Prima ballerina Nadezha Pavlova became the Bolshoi Theater's latest defector on Tuesday, joining longtime artistic director Yuri Grigorovich, chief opera conductor Alexander Lazarev and chief designer Valery Levantal, all of whom have quit the Russian company in an ongoing dispute over the theater's management. . . . It was billed as the start of a new career, but La Toya Jackson's much publicized nude club act at Al's Diamond Cabaret in Reading, Pa., didn't happen. Jackson cut off her strip tease Monday before baring all, leaving behind about 40 angry customers who'd paid $20 each to see Jackson disrobe.