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

POP/ROCK

The Boss’ Return?: With Bruce Springsteen a virtual certainty to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame early next year, it’s not too early for fans to begin thinking of a new album and possible tour. Indeed, there have been unconfirmed reports for months about a new album on the way from Columbia--a multidisc package said to feature unreleased material from throughout Springsteen’s career. Now it looks official: Springsteen addressed a Sony convention last week in Miami and played a tape of three songs that would be on the album. Though Columbia still doesn’t have a release date, a recent ad in Billboard magazine listing the label’s fall projects included the unexplained line: “BRUUUUUUUCE!!!” As for a tour, there’s an Internet rumor that Springsteen told Sony executives at the convention that he would tour next year, and that they would be happy with his choice of bands, implying a reunion with the E Street Band. Columbia would not confirm the reports. If Springsteen does tour with his former mates, he would do “huge” business, said Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of the concert industry publication Pollstar, adding, “That’s one of the few acts that could do stadiums.”

THE ARTS

Salonen Composing for Spain’s Guggenheim: Walt Disney Concert Hall architect Frank Gehry and his wife, Berta, have commissioned Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen to compose a piece of “atrium music” for Gehry’s critically acclaimed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Last week, Salonen joined former Philharmonic manager Ernest Fleischmann and the Gehrys in his first visit to the Guggenheim, which opened in 1997. The Salonen project, most likely a choral piece, will kick off a special concert series designed to fit in with the architectural configurations of the art museum’s various galleries. Gehry said Salonen’s involvement would provide a musical link between Bilbao and Disney Hall, the coming home for the L.A. Philharmonic, slated to open in 2002. “This is romantic nonsense, maybe, but when buildings have people in them, they are humanized; when they have art in them, they are better; and when you add music, it gives a special kind of glow,” Gehry said. Gehry added that the composition will be ready prior to Disney Hall’s opening, in hopes that it might be performed there as well.

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TELEVISION

‘Millennium’ Update: The atmospheric Fox drama “Millennium” will have a new lead character as it moves into its third year next season. Klea Scott (“Brooklyn South”) will be joining the cast as an FBI agent. She will come into contact with the show’s main character, former FBI agent Frank Black (Lance Henriksen), who is coming back to the bureau as a consultant. His return will be prompted by the death of his wife, Catherine (Megan Gallagher). Gallagher, whose fate had been undetermined in last season’s closer, will not be returning to the series. Series creator Chris Carter said that on paper, the association of the two characters may look like the partnership between Mulder and Scully in his other series, “The X-Files,” “but it will not be like that in the least.”

Revisiting ‘ER’s’ Early Days: Talkmeister Larry King will host a Sept. 19 TNT special in which cast members of NBC’s “ER"--including George Clooney, Anthony Edwards and Julianna Margulies--will take live audience phone calls. The 90-minute special (airing at 8 p.m.) is tied to TNT’s acquisition of syndicated episodes of “ER,” which will begin airing Sept. 7 with the two-hour 1994 series premiere at 5 p.m. That will be followed by the first hourlong “ER” episode, airing in the series’ new TNT time slot of 7 p.m. weeknights.

Sonny & Cher, the Movie: ABC has announced plans for “And the Beat Goes On: The Sonny and Cher Story,” a two-hour movie to be based on the late Sonny Bono’s book, “And the Beat Goes On.” The 1999 movie, to be made with the cooperation of Bono’s widow, U.S. Rep. Mary Bono, will be produced by Larry Thompson, who was Sonny and Cher’s lawyer during the 1970s, and also produced the telefilm “Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter.” Meanwhile, the network plans a nationwide talent search next month for the lead roles. Cher, who did a May CBS special called “Sonny & Me: Cher Remembers,” has no official involvement with the ABC project.

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QUICK TAKES

Former “Father Knows Best” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.” star Robert Young, who died Tuesday at 91, will be buried at Glendale’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park on Monday following a private memorial service. Rather than flowers, the family suggests donations to the Woodland Hills-based Motion Picture and Television Fund. . . . Actor Robert Vaughn (“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”) will get a Hollywood Walk of Fame star during 11:30 a.m. ceremonies Monday at 6633 Hollywood Blvd. (corner of Cherokee Street). The site was chosen because Vaughn used to wait for the bus on that corner when he was a student at L.A. City College. The dedication coincides with Friday’s release of “BASEketball"--Vaughn’s 100th movie role. . . . KNBC-TV Channel 4 weatherman Fritz Coleman will take his solo show, “It’s Me! Dad!,” to La Cienega’s Coronet Theater for 18 performances beginning Aug. 14. The production--seen previously at North Hollywood’s Actor’s Forum Theatre--chronicles life lessons Coleman wanted to pass on to his sons. A Times reviewer called it “acridly funny” and said Coleman “combines a sardonic folksiness with the keen observational powers of the natural-born storyteller.”


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