TELEVISIONHonoring Excellence: Among 31 winners of 1994...

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Honoring Excellence: Among 31 winners of 1994 Peabody Awards are the NBC series "ER," "Frasier" and "Mad About You"; HBO's "Barbra Streisand: The Concert"; the "MTV Unplugged" acoustic concert series and PBS' "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City," a controversial chronicle of 1970s gay life in San Francisco. The awards, announced Thursday, honor broadcast and cable excellence. They will be presented May 8 in New York. Although NBC was the only network honored for its prime-time series, CBS was recognized for its half-hour prime-time special "Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse" and the news special "CBS Reports: D-Day." And ABC News won two awards, for a "20/20" feature about an anorexia crusader and a "PrimeTime Live" story about errors in cervical cancer testing. Another double winner was National Public Radio, for "Tobacco Stories" and "Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions." Among several PBS honors were three for "The American Experience," which was cited for its programs "The Battle of the Bulge," "FDR" and "Malcolm X: Make It Plain."


Kato Interview: Barbara Walters has an exclusive interview with O.J. Simpson trial witness Brian (Kato) Kaelin on tonight's "20/20," in which Kaelin discusses his five days on the witness stand. Other discussion topics include rumors about drug use by Kaelin, his instant celebrity status, his "scolding" from prosecutor Marcia Clark and threats on his life. The interview, taped Wednesday in Los Angeles, was conducted according to Judge Lance Ito's guidelines that Kaelin not discuss specifics of his testimony, ABC said. . . . And for those who still want more of O.J., Marcia and company, cable's CNBC on Saturday premieres "The O.J. Simpson Trial," a weekly 4-4:30 p.m. program offering trial highlights and analysis.


'Christy' to Return: "Christy," the family drama whose producers publicly charged that CBS had dumped the show without explanation or warning, will return to the network's Saturday night prime-time lineup on Easter weekend and the following week. The show, which stars Kellie Martin as a young pioneer teacher in the 1900s, will air April 15 and 22 at 8 p.m., temporarily replacing "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Barney Rosenzweig, executive producer of the series, had recently complained to The Times that although CBS had renewed the series, only a few episodes had aired this season while the remaining 11 installments sat on a shelf. CBS had said last week that the episodes would not air until this summer. Rosenzweig said Thursday that he was happy with the reversal, but expressed concern about having enough time to publicize the Saturday episodes before the air dates.


Last Stop--Dearborn: The motorhome that transported Charles Kuralt and his crew along the highways of America for CBS News' "On the Road" series has reached its final destination. The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich., unveiled the vehicle Thursday at a ceremony inaugurating a permanent exhibit honoring Kuralt and the people and places he discovered on America's back roads. CBS News donated the 1975 FMC Motorcoach for the exhibit, which includes an interactive video presentation featuring 50 "On the Road" segments.


Old and New: Pop star Michael Jackson's next album has been expanded from its original "greatest hits" emphasis into a two-disc package that is almost equally divided between old and new material, Epic Records announced Thursday. Titled "HISstory Past, Present and Future Book I," the album will contain 16 hits and 15 new tracks. It will be released at 12:01 a.m. June 13.


'Assassins' Celebration: Four actresses who won Tony Awards for their lead performances in Stephen Sondheim Broadway musicals will be on hand for tonight's gala reopening of Sondheim's "Assassins" at the L.A. Theatre Center's Tom Bradley Theatre. The four are Glynis Johns ("A Little Night Music," 1973), Angela Lansbury ("Sweeney Todd," 1979), Joanna Gleason ("Into the Woods," 1988) and Donna Murphy ("Passion," 1994). L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti will open the event, which benefits the L.A. County Bar Barristers' Domestic Violence Project.


"Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Jurassic Park," "The Lion King," "Schindler's List" and "Speed" are the 1995 Video of the Year nominees for the video retail industry's annual Homer Awards. Winners in 13 categories will be announced May 24 in Dallas. . . . Tony Award-winning actress Diahann Carroll will be the next to don Norma Desmond's turban. Carroll will take on the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" for the musical's Canadian production, opening Oct. 15 in Toronto. . . . A fire at entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg's Malibu beach house caused $300,000 in damage Wednesday. Katzenberg, a former Disney executive who last year founded DreamWorks SKG with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, wasn't home at the time. Authorities blamed the fire on improperly stored paint.

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