Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation’s press.
MOVIES & VIDEO
‘Pinocchio’ Trial Underway: Jurors got a peek Friday at early test scenes and animation that would have been part of Francis Ford Coppola’s live-action version of “Pinocchio.” Testifying for a second day in his $23-million suit against Warner Bros., Coppola (“The Godfather”) claims that the studio, which owns partial rights to Coppola’s version, abandoned the project and then thwarted his efforts to make the film elsewhere. On Thursday, a Warner Bros. attorney told jurors that Coppola had failed to resolve copyright issues with the studio before taking his idea to rival Columbia Pictures, and that the picture’s estimated $100-million price tag made it too risky for either studio.
Fievel Goes Back to Stores: Universal Studios Home Video is relaunching a popular animated family franchise with the Aug. 11 re-release of “An American Tail” and “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West,” which have been off store shelves for six years. Future direct-to-video sequels are also planned, starting later this year with the musical “An American Tail III: The Treasure of Manhattan Island.”
‘Grodin’ Canceled: In what CNBC and the talk host are calling a “mutual agreement,” the cable network has canceled the weeknight show “Charles Grodin.” Starting Monday, “Grodin” will be replaced in its 8 p.m. time slot with a second run of CNBC’s 5 p.m. show “Hardball With Chris Matthews.” NBC News President Andrew Lack said that Grodin and network executives “both agreed that CNBC’s increasing focus on news-oriented programming contrasted with Grodin’s increasing focus on social issues. . . . We are parting company on a friendly and amicable basis.” Grodin will next do a PBS special, “American Voices,” which he said will focus on “people seldom heard on television--the homeless, the aged, the people unjustly confined in prison.”
Leaving GLAAD: Chastity Bono is stepping down from her post as entertainment media director for GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, to complete and promote her forthcoming book, “Family Outing,” due in September from publisher Little Brown. Bono said the book will be “a coming-out guide of sorts for lesbian and gay individuals, their family and friends.” During her two-year tenure at GLAAD, the daughter of Sonny Bono and Cher increased the organization’s visibility considerably, and became a respected spokeswoman for issues regarding the portrayals of gays on television and elsewhere.
Hartmans Eulogized: Phil Hartman’s two children gathered with relatives at a private hourlong eulogy for their parents held Thursday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. The bodies of Hartman and his wife, Brynn--held a week after the two died in what police believe was a murder-suicide--were cremated earlier and the family planned to scatter the ashes off Catalina Island.
Successful Contemporary Sale: Spirited bidding marked the second day of contemporary art sales at Christie’s in New York on Thursday, with works by Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman and Alex Katz selling for twice their high estimates. “Christie’s redefinition of its contemporary art department brought to auction for the first time several artists of the 1990s,” Andrew Massad, Christie’s contemporary art specialist, said, referring to a reorganization focusing on art from the last 30 years. Thursday’s total take was more than $4.3 million.
Miramax co-chief Harvey Weinstein chides the entertainment press for its use of unnamed sources in a two-page essay in the July issue of Premiere magazine. “The greatest celebrity hijacker in Hollywood is the phrase ‘according to sources who wish to remain unidentified,’ ” writes Weinstein, adding, “Don’t these reporters and editors know that . . . when someone says something off the record about a rival, there is an ulterior motive?” . . . West Virginia police have released details about Bob Denver’s arrest in connection with misdemeanor marijuana possession, saying that the “Gilligan’s Island” star was charged after police intercepted a delivery to the actor’s Princeton, W. Va., home of a package that allegedly contained marijuana. Police say they also found about 10 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside the home. “He was very apologetic over the incident and remorseful,” a police lieutenant said. . . . Former “Saturday Night Live” comic Norm Macdonald, in the news lately for his ongoing feud with NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, will do a live Internet chat on Monday at 4 p.m. (at https://www.etonline.com) to promote his upcoming film, “Dirty Work.” . . . The Artist Formerly Known as Prince will preview his new album, “New Power Soul,” on Monday on the syndicated talk show “Vibe.” The album will be in stores on June 30. . . . NBC may move the new dramatic series “Trinity” from the previously announced 8 p.m. Friday hour to 9 p.m. Fridays in the fall, responding to a request from producer John Wells (“ER”), who has objected to the earlier time slot. “Dateline NBC” is currently scheduled in the fall 9 p.m. slot. . . . Comedian Craig Shoemaker (“The Lovemaster”) will be Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s sidekick on “The Magic Hour,” the late-night talk show premiering Monday. . . . The Smashing Pumpkins, which canceled plans for a free concert in Chicago’s Grant Park because of city officials’ safety concerns, have won approval for a July 7 charity concert at nearby Soldier Field.