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TELEVISIONTalking About Abortion: Demi Moore will produce...

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

TELEVISION

Talking About Abortion: Demi Moore will produce “If These Walls Could Talk,” a trilogy of short films about abortion and women’s rights, for HBO. Moore will also star in one of the films. Another will feature Cher, who will also make her directorial debut. The films will take a look behind the walls of one home and focus on how unexpected pregnancies affect various families who live there from the 1950s through the ‘90s. The HBO Showcase presentation, written by filmmaker Nancy Savoca (“True Love”) and adapted from stories by Savoca, Susan Nanus and Marlene King (“Now and Then”), goes into production in February.

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Olmos’ New Family: Edward James Olmos has signed an exclusive deal with ABC to develop comedy and drama series as well as miniseries and TV movies. The actor-director-producer will serve as executive producer for any projects ordered by the network under the agreement. ABC has previously been criticized by Latino organizations for the absence of Latinos in front of and behind the camera.

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Live With Regis and . . . : Kathie Lee Gifford is taking her feud with her producer public. In an interview that was set to air Thursday night, Gifford told CNBC’s Charles Grodin that she’s ready to quit as co-host of “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee” if she doesn’t get to start calling some shots. She complained that she’s a better judge of guests than Michael Gelman, who produces the syndicated morning talk show, because she’s in touch with the mostly female audience. Gifford’s contract expires in August.

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PBS Scores: “Hoop Dreams,” the acclaimed basketball documentary that aired on PBS Wednesday night, was a ratings dream for the public television network. The movie attracted 6% of the available viewing audience, which translates into about 13 million viewers--not earth-shaking for the traditional networks, but 82% above PBS’ average viewership for prime time.

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ART

Lights Out at LACMA: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will take part in the seventh annual Day Without Art--a nationwide observance of the AIDS epidemic--on Dec. 1 by dimming the galleries that hold the museum’s permanent collection of contemporary art. “Black Planet (for A.Z.),” a work by Robert Longo dedicated to his dancer friend Arnie Zane who died of complications of AIDS in 1988, will be shrouded. Amid the darkness, Christian Boltanski’s “Reliquary,” a vertical arrangement of photographs of Jewish children during the Nazi occupation in Paris, which is illuminated by light bulbs, will remain lit as the museum’s symbolic gesture for hope. Every 10 minutes throughout the day a tolling bell will sound at the museum to call attention to the Center for Disease Control statistic that someone dies of AIDS-related illnesses every 10 minutes. In the evening, members of the Writer’s Workshop of AIDS Project Los Angeles will read stories, essays and poems in the darkened galleries.

PEOPLE WATCH

Monkeying Around: Wayne Newton is coming to the rescue of 600 Japanese snow monkeys that are roaming the countryside in and around San Antonio after the electrified fence on their ranch fell into disrepair. The crooner will perform early next year in the city to raise money for a new home for the monkeys. No date has been set. The monkeys, which broke out five years ago, are owned by the nonprofit South Texas Primate Observatory. The observatory, which is on leased ranchland, wants to round up the monkeys and buy a ranch of its own. Newton, an animal lover, said he heard about the monkeys and wanted to help.

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QUICK TAKES

Kelsey Grammer recently skipped three days on the “Fraser” set, reportedly in protest over his contract because he won’t share in profits when the show goes into syndication in 1997. . . . “Melrose Place” co-star Laura Leighton, who plays the sometimes campy, sometimes trampy Sydney, will host this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” on NBC. . . . Gary Shandling will offer a glimpse into “The Larry Sanders Show” when he takes part in an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event focusing on the show Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Academy Plaza Theater. “An Evening Inside ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ ” will also feature actors Jeffrey Tambor and Penny Johnson and members of the show’s creative staff. . . . For ski bums: KNX-AM (1070) will broadcast ski reports with conditions for resorts in California and Nevada four times a day weekdays and twice on Saturdays beginning Monday.


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