Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation’s press.
Top TV: “ER,” “NYPD Blue,” “Murder One” and “Homicide: Life on the Street” have all been nominated for outstanding drama series and program of the year by the Television Critics Assn. The miniseries “Gulliver’s Travels” rounds out the program of the year category, while “The X-Files” is the fifth recognized drama. Comedy nominees are “Seinfeld,” “Frasier,” “The Simpsons,” “The Larry Sanders Show” and “3rd Rock From the Sun,” while Barbara Walters, Angela Lansbury, Mike Wallace, Roone Arledge and Steven Bochco have been nominated for the career-achievement award. The group will present its annual awards in eight categories on July 20.
Rooney Rave: “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney, CBS’ resident curmudgeon and at times an outspoken critic of the network, gave a vote of confidence to the new management team at CBS’ affiliates meeting in Los Angeles Friday. Rooney said that he hadn’t “seen so much happiness around the halls in a good many years,” while taking a shot at the old regime by adding, “We went through some terrible times at CBS the last couple years. I don’t know what they were telling you. I mean, they must have been lying to you.”
Don’t Believe the Hype: No, it’s not “War of the Worlds.” But for some caught in traffic for the last week, the banners flying around Los Angeles behind four airplanes may have come eerily close: “No Warning” . . . “No Negotiation” . . . “No Los Angeles”. . . . “Independence Day July 3.” The promo for 20th Century Fox’s upcoming July 4 alien invasion movie had a few nervous drivers scrambling to their car phones and buzzing local radio stations, wondering what was going on. The four planes were spaced apart and some of the drivers may have missed the tail banner heralding the film. The promo started May 24 and ended Friday. It won’t happen again: Fox is already embarking on another hype campaign.
‘Crash’ Gets NC-17: Director David Cronenberg’s film “Crash,” which debuted at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, has received an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Based on the 1973 novel by J.G. Ballard, the film, which stars James Spader, Holly Hunter and Rosanna Arquette, was awarded a special jury prize for “audacity, daring and originality” at Cannes. Fine Line Features, which is releasing the film, is accepting the rating with no objections. “This is not a film for children and therefore children should not be permitted to see it,” Fine Line President Ruth Vitale said Friday.
Residual Rewards: Nearly $10 million in past-due residuals and interest from Carolco Pictures will be received by members of the Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild of America West and the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan, it was announced by the Directors Guild. Additional distribution in coming weeks will raise the total to more than $15 million from such blockbusters as “Terminator 2,” “Universal Soldier” and “Cliffhanger.” Jay D. Roth, DGA executive director, said that “fortunately we were able to [force] Carolco give us a mortgage on all their assets.”
Tony News: Broadway producer David Merrick, who lost a court bid to block the Tony Awards voting for best original score because he thought his musical “State Fair” was receiving unfair treatment, added this “Memo From David Merrick” to an ad for the show in Friday’s New York Times: “TO: JULIE ANDREWS Dinner--Sunday at 9:00?"--apparently commiserating with Andrews, who has spurned her best actress in a musical nomination and refuses to attend Sunday night’s Tony ceremony because her show “Victor/Victoria” was snubbed in all other categories. Meanwhile, a threatened strike by a stagehands union, which would have halted Sunday’s Tony Awards, has been withdrawn after an agreement Friday. Details of the agreement were not immediately available. The dispute was over wages and benefits for contract employees who work as carpenters and electricians on Broadway shows and road companies.
Civic Schedule: Pasadena Civic Auditorium has announced its Broadway series for 1996-97: “42nd Street” (Oct. 8-13), “Man of La Mancha” with Robert Goulet (Dec. 3-8), “Funny Girl” with George Hamilton as Nick Arnstein (Feb. 25-March 2) and “A Chorus Line” (May 6-11). Subscribers also will get first chance to purchase tickets to San Francisco Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” slated for Dec. 12-24.
Sublime Tribute: Private memorial services for Sublime singer Bradley Nowell, who died of a suspected drug overdose last Saturday, will be held today. Donations can be sent to a scholarship for Nowell’s infant son, Jakob James Nowell, at 275 Redondo Ave., Long Beach, CA 90803.