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MOVIESAce-Man Carrey: On the heels of his...

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

MOVIES

Ace-Man Carrey: On the heels of his huge $37.8-million opening weekend on “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls,” funnyman Jim Carrey will take on a role that is not as purely comedic as those that have established him as a major box-office star. Carrey will star in “The Truman Show,” a Paramount film directed by Peter Weir (“Dead Poets Society,” “Witness”) and produced by Scott Rudin, playing a character “more grounded in reality” than his previous parts, said a source close to the deal. The rubber-faced actor will play a New York insurance adjuster whose life takes a series of unusual twists and turns. Carrey is scheduled to film two comedies--"Cable Guy” and “Liar, Liar"--before “The Truman Show” begins shooting next year. According to Carrey’s representatives, a reported $12-million salary for the new role is “low.” He will draw $20 million on both “Cable Guy” and “Liar, Liar.”

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AFI Record: The AFI/LA Film Festival has set a record for the nine-year event, drawing 40,000 admissions at 83 separate programs during its 15-day run. The festival launched the U.S. premiere of Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Beyond the Clouds” with Antonioni in attendance. Altogether the festival was up 10% in attendance from 1994 and had 36 sellouts.

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TELEVISION

Hoop Victory: Just in time for PBS’ “Hoop Dreams” debut, airing Wednesday on KCET-TV Channel 28 at 8 p.m., Arthur Agee, 23, a subject of the critically acclaimed 1994 documentary about the basketball aspirations of two young African American players from Chicago, has signed a one-season contract with the Winnipeg Cyclone team. The team is part of the newly created International Basketball Assn., a feeder league for the National Basketball Assn. The dreams of Agee and William Gates, also 23, were chronicled in the three-hour film, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best editing. When “Hoop Dreams” failed to receive a nomination for best documentary, it caused a major uproar in the film community. Gates is now a senior at Marquette University, majoring in communications.

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Rose Rosier: In an unprecedented arrangement between a commercial-TV network and public television, USA Networks has committed $1 million to underwrite “Charlie Rose,” the weeknight interview program hosted by Peabody- and Emmy-winning journalist Charlie Rose, during 1996. As a result, the show for the first time will not require any financial support from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “With government funding for public television dwindling,” said Kay Koplovitz, founder and chairman of USA Networks, “we believe that it is the responsibility of the television industry to support important programs such as ‘Charlie Rose.’ ” A spokesman for USA said the funding of Rose’s show represents “a public-affairs platform for us” and said that there will be “no involvement in content” for the network as part of the deal.

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Comic Take: “Comic Relief VII,” which aired on HBO for five hours Saturday night, had received $4.9 million in pledges as of Sunday morning to aid the homeless, an HBO official reported Monday. But proceeds for the HBO telecast and a repeat airing Sunday on Comedy Central were still being counted. “Comic Relief VI,” which aired Jan. 15, 1994, raised $7.2 million.

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CNN Wish List: Senior Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulos and former Texas Gov. Ann Richards are among those at the top of the CNN wish list for a replacement for Michael Kinsley, who departs Dec. 1 as the liberal host of the cable network’s “Crossfire.” Stephanopoulos confirmed last week that he’d received a call from CNN President Tom Johnson about the job recently and told him he was “flattered but that my job is to be right here to reelect a President.” Others who reportedly have shown interest in the job are former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and Tim Wirth, a former Democratic senator from Colorado.

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MUSIC

Three Sopranos: Three sopranos from Southern California shared first-place honors at the Western Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council. They are Sewell Griffth, 29; Jessica Siena, 28, of Orange County, and Sari Gruber, 24, of La Crescenta, who each won $3,800. All three go to New York in March to compete in the national finals of the Metropolitan Opera. Winners of that competition receive more cash awards and have the opportunity to sing on the Met’s stage.


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