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

TV & MOVIES

Made for TV: Christopher Reeve and Wesley Snipes will both star in two-hour ABC movies next season. In his first lead acting role since his 1995 horseback riding accident, Reeve will play a paralyzed man who believes he has witnessed a murder from his apartment window in a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Rear Window.” Snipes, meanwhile, will star in “Futuresport,” a “Rollerball"-like action drama about a “‘dangerous new game” that decides “the fate of entire countries.” The latter movie will also serve as a series pilot, and Snipes has agreed to a recurring role if the show is picked up, producer Dove Entertainment said.

Documentary Vote: The documentary awards executive committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday to require all producers and directors to approve applications submitted for Oscars in that category. The move came in response to a protest letter sent by Taylor Hackford, a producer of this year’s Oscar winner, “When We Were Kings,” about Muhammad Ali. The academy allows only two people to accept a documentary Oscar--and Hackford was never told that director Leon Gast and another producer, David Sonenberg, were the designees. The policy--addressing an issue raised repeatedly over the years--will go into effect if the board of governors approves it later this month.

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Spin magazine, which rode the rise of alternative rock to prominence in the pop music world, has been sold by founder-publisher Bob Guccione Jr. to the owners of hip-hop culture publication Vibe magazine in a deal reportedly worth more than $42 million. Guccione plans to start new magazines and media ventures. Vibe’s owners include Quincy Jones. . . . Talk-show host Larry King was recuperating Wednesday after undergoing angioplasty in New York Tuesday to open a blocked vein graft from his 1987 quintuple bypass surgery. King was expected to return to his CNN show on Friday. . . . “Friends” star Matthew Perry is scheduled to return to his NBC series when production resumes Aug. 11. Perry checked into an undisclosed treatment center this week to battle an addiction to prescription painkillers. . . . A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday issued dual restraining orders against “Sling Blade” star Billy Bob Thornton and his estranged wife, Pietra Dawn Thornton, citing the “potential of violence” between divorcing couples. Each has accused the other of making death threats. . . . Oprah Winfrey on Wednesday issued a statement saying she is “not coming out of the closet” and is “not gay.” Winfrey said she was responding to rumors that had been “picking up steam” since her appearance on the coming-out episode of ABC’s “Ellen.”


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