Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation’s press.
Footage Flap: Paramount Network Television has issued an apology for using footage from the Harrison Ford movie “Clear and Present Danger” on NBC’s Navy drama “JAG.” Even though both the series and the movie are Paramount-produced, the film’s director, Phillip Noyce, was upset that the TV show used a scene featuring Ford trying to navigate a van out of a small street while under attack by terrorists. “It is one thing to buy stock footage for use in one’s own story,” Noyce faxed “JAG” executive producer Donald Bellisario, “but your show has not only used 28 shots taken directly from ‘Clear and Present Danger’ but also appropriated the story and visual design of the most well-known sequence of our movie.” A Paramount spokesman said: “As with many previous episodes of ‘JAG,’ Saturday night’s episode incorporated stock footage from a variety of sources, including feature film. In our enthusiasm to make the best television show possible, we may have gone too far, and we apologize to those involved in the making of ‘Clear and Present Danger.’ ”
CBS Shifts Schedule: CBS, which has been struggling all season, has booted the legal drama “Courthouse” off its schedule and put “Central Park West” on hiatus for the rest of the year. The two freshman Wednesday night dramas got their lowest ratings to date this week. The 9-11 p.m. time period will be filled for the rest of the year by specials. A revamped “Central Park West” will return in January with cast changes designed to appeal to slightly older viewers.
On the Small Screen: Comedian Richard Pryor makes a rare TV appearance when he guests on Monday’s “Chicago Hope” on CBS. Pryor, who has multiple sclerosis in real life, plays an MS patient whom Dr. Shutt (Adam Arkin) puts on a highly experimental treatment. Pryor’s daughter, Rain Pryor, also appears on the episode. . . . And Lily Tomlin will make what is being billed as her first appearance in a TV drama series later this season when she guests on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street.” She’ll play a woman suspected of killing her husband. The network hopes to have the episode ready for the February sweeps.
Talk-Show Topics: TV’s hottest talk shows devote half their time to sexually loaded topics, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health care philanthropy. The study focused on 11 top Nielsen-rated shows, including those hosted by Phil Donahue, Jenny Jones, Ricki Lake, Maury Povich, Sally Jessy Raphael and Geraldo Rivera. Family relationships, especially those between parents and children, were discussed in almost half the episodes. Dating, sexual activity and marital issues were raised about a third of the time. Other sexual themes, including infidelity and sexual orientation, were raised less often. The study comes as politicians, including former U.S. Education Secretary William Bennett, have asked major media companies to stop supporting daytime talk shows because of questionable content. Many big advertisers, including Procter & Gamble, have pulled ads from some shows.
New Festival Dates: New dates have been set for the 12th Israel Film Festival, which was postponed earlier this month because of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The festival, now dedicated to Rabin’s memory, will take place Nov. 28-Dec. 14 at West L.A.'s Laemmle’s Royal Theater. The opening event is the Savi Gabizon-directed “Lovesick on Nana Street,” Israel’s official Oscar entry.
Thanksgiving Tips: Still wondering what to do for Thanksgiving? Here’s a couple of options. West Hollywood’s House of Blues will offer a special holiday edition of its “Gospel Brunch” at 2 p.m. Thursday, starring the Clara Wood Singers and the Hamilton High School Choir. Tickets are $24 and include a turkey meal. And farther down Sunset Boulevard at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory, a free Thanksgiving turkey dinner, accompanied by an onstage comedy show, will be served at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Advance reservations are suggested at (213) 656-1336.
Then on New Year’s Eve . . . : “Phantom of the Opera” and “Camelot” star Dale Kristien will headline a New Year’s Eve celebration at Glendale’s Alex Theatre. Called “The Best of Times” and featuring such songs as “Memory,” “Music of the Night” and “When You Wish Upon a Star,” the program also features Jordan Bennett (“Les Miserables”) and Roland Rusinek (“Candide”). Tickets are $30-$40.
Actor Tony Randall, 75, married 25-year-old understudy Heather Harlan in a New York City Hall ceremony Friday performed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Randall and Harlan are both appearing in “School for Scandal,” which opens Sunday on Broadway. Randall’s wife of 54 years, Florence, died in 1992 after a long struggle with cancer. . . . The BBC’s interview with Britain’s Princess Diana, for which ABC paid a reported $1 million, has been scheduled to air Friday at 9 p.m. on ABC News’ “Turning Point.” . . . Los Lobos singer Cesar Rosas, the Blazers and Dave Alvin are among the performers scheduled for a Sunday night benefit concert at Jack’s Sugar Shack in Hollywood. The concert will raise money for the Blazers, an East L.A.-based band that lost most of its equipment in a fire last month.