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


No TV at the Oscars: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has altered its rules to prohibit shows intended for episodic television from competing for Oscars. The move follows the 1997 victory in the live-action short category by “Dear Diary,” a DreamWorks TV pilot starring Bebe Neuwirth that was given a brief theatrical run after being passed over by the networks. The amended academy rules now state: “An unaired episode of an established TV series or an unsold TV series pilot will not be accepted as a short film in the academy’s short film competition.” The academy said it made the change because it has gotten “a steady stream of inquiries” from producers of TV series ever since “Dear Diary’s” win.

Cosby’s Youth Program: The USC School of Cinema-Television is launching the Bill Cosby Summer Youth Institute, a community outreach program for local high school students. Eleven teens were chosen for the initial eight-week session, in which they will write, cast and edit a film or television project. The group will also interact with USC students taking part in a summer production workshop. The youth institute is sponsored by Cosby and the William Morris Agency.



Top Reporter: “Dateline NBC” anchor Jane Pauley will receive the Radio-Television News Directors Assn.'s highest honor, the Paul White Award, on Sept. 23 during the group’s international conference in San Antonio. She is being honored for building “trust” with her audience through “dedication to excellence in journalism” and for being “a leader in ensuring the next generation of broadcast journalists will observe the same high standards.” Previous recipients include Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow.

Giving ‘Em the Boot: Clayton Moore, the masked man who rode to fame as TV’s “Lone Ranger,” will receive the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Founder’s Award during the 16th annual Golden Boot Awards Aug. 15 at the Century Plaza Hotel. Moore, 84, will be honored for “significant professional and humanitarian contributions to both the western [entertainment] genre and the community at large.” This year’s recipients of the regular Golden Boot Awards--recognizing those who have furthered the tradition of the western on film and TV--include Harry Morgan, Frankie Laine, Adrian Booth Brian, Dean Smith, Patrick Wayne, David Keith, Robert Carradine and John Mantley.

Schnabel Deemed Chevalier: KCRW-FM (89.9) producer-host Tom Schnabel will receive the French government’s 1998 national medal of arts, formally called the chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres, on July 16 at a private reception in downtown Los Angeles. Schnabel, host of the weekend “Cafe L.A.” program, is being recognized for introducing and presenting world music to a diverse audience during his 20-year career at KCRW. Other Americans who have received the French honor include Jerry Lewis, Michael Douglas, Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood.



San Diego Museum Chief Departing: Steven Brezzo has resigned after 18 years as director of the San Diego Museum of Art. While the museum’s membership and endowment have grown substantially under his tenure, Brezzo was frequently criticized for favoring exhibitions of popular culture heroes such as Babar and the Muppets and packaged shows originating elsewhere, rather than supporting in-house curatorial scholarship. Brezzo will remain at the museum for up to two years, until a replacement is named, he announced at a board meeting on Tuesday.


Self-Help Graphics, the noted East L.A. visual arts center, has announced that Tomas Benitez has been officially named to succeed Sister Karen Boccalero, the founder and director of the center who died last year. Benitez, who had been the center’s assistant director, has over 20 years of experience in various arts fields . . . Oscar-winning writer Tom Schulman (“Dead Poets Society”) has been elected president of the Writers Guild Foundation, a Writers Guild of America offshoot that aims to preserve the work of film and television writers. . . . UHF channel KNET-TV Channel 38 will begin broadcasting Spanish-language newscasts from Mexico City’s Canal Once on Monday. The newscasts, which will air weekdays at 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., are billed as Los Angeles’ only news to come direct from Mexico. . . . Whoopi Goldberg will host the opening of a new Planet Hollywood spinoff, an ice cream shop called Cool Planet, on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at 1312 3rd St. (on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade). The shop will be the new chain’s flagship location.

Quotable: “Hopefully the ‘Funny Lady’ will use a track off my new album to ward off meddling paparazzi at her divorce hearing."--Cynical rocker Rob Zombie, responding to Barbra Streisand and James Brolin’s use of a White Zombie rock song (“Thunder Kiss ’65"), which they blasted at paparazzi to hamper the press coverage of this week’s Streisand-Brolin nuptials.