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Flash

By Times staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 26, 2001


Legends on the mend

Two Oscar winners are on the mend, reports Variety. Jack Lemmon, 76, underwent surgery for the removal of a "non-cancerous" inflamed gall bladder. His family said he is due home soon. Lemmon had been hospitalized for pneumonia and was recuperating when the bladder problem was discovered. Meanwhile, Gregory Peck, 85, is reportedly recovering from cataract surgery as well as a sprained ankle and bone chip following a fall he took next to his swimming pool.

CBS getting full monty

Though Mel Brooks' The Producers is expected to sweep Broadway's Tony awards June 3, its closest competitor, the musical comedy The Full Monty, is pulling out all stops, reports New York's Daily News. The scene from the show that will be performed on the stage of Radio City Music Hall on Tony night -- for the CBS TV cameras -- will be the finale, Let It Go. In it, the male actors strip down to, well, the full monty. The News reports that CBS is figuring out how to deal with this.

'Wind' parody wins appeal

A federal appeals court lifted an injunction Friday against publication of a Gone With the Wind parody. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the injunction against The Wind Done Gone, was an "extraordinary and drastic remedy" that "amounts to unlawful prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment." Last month, a U.S. district judge blocked publication of the book, ruling that it violated the copyright of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 classic. Copies of Alice Randall's The Wind Done Gone should be out by the end of June, said its publisher, Houghton Mifflin. Randall and her publisher argued that the book is protected by the First Amendment and that it gives a new perspective on Mitchell's story by telling the tale from the point of a view of a slave. A lawyer for the Mitchell estate said he will appeal Friday's ruling.

Short takes

HOPE SHE DIDN'T SPEND IT YET: A federal judge in California has thrown out a U.S. bankruptcy court ruling that gave Anna Nicole Smith $475-million from her late husband's estate. The judge says he wants to review the case on his own and will determine the amount, if any, Smith will receive.

FAILING GRADE: A coalition of Hispanic, American Indian, Asian and black groups has condemned the major television networks for failing to achieve diversity in programming and said a boycott or other measures may be needed. It released the networks' "report card" Thursday. NBC received the highest overall grade, a C, and ABC the lowest, a D-minus. CBS got a D-plus; Fox a C-minus. In compiling the report, the coalition examined shows that aired during the past season and series planned for fall. CBS said its on-air representation of minorities in leading or recurring roles has nearly doubled from 1999 to 2001. ABC said it is increasing ethnic representation in prime time by 39 percent and in its overall schedule by 18 percent next season.

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