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Showbuzz

Web posted on: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 4:47:18 PM EDT

Today's buzz stories:

"Eyes Wide Shut"

Steamy Kubrick film nabs R rating

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Despite a steamy sex scene previewed for theater managers in March, the late Stanley Kubrick's final film, "Eyes Wide Shut," has received an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America.

Tom Cruise, and real-life wife Nicole Kidman, star in the film, which is about a married couple's sexual obsession.

The screening of a 90-second excerpt at a theater manager's meeting sparked an industry discussion of a possible NC-17 rating for "Eyes Wide Shut." That rating can mean a loss at the box office because nobody under 17 is allowed in.

On Friday, the film drew the less-restrictive R rating. Kubrick died in March after completing the film.

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"Cabaret"

'Cabaret' music team receives Helen Hayes Award

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The composer-lyricist team that created the edgy show tunes for "Cabaret," the wry satire of "Chicago" and the opulent sonics for "Kiss of the Spider Woman" has accepted a special Helen Hayes Award at the Kennedy Center.

Actress Liza Minnelli presented the annual American Express Tribute Monday to John Kander and Fred Ebb, saying, "If anyone asked me what I'm proudest of in my career, it's the music written for me by Kander and Ebb."

In nonresident productions honored with awards, Jane Lapotaire won best actress for "All is True" at the Kennedy Center and Alex Jennings for the lead in "Hamlet," also at the Kennedy Center.

The Charles MacArthur Award for outstanding new play, presented by Helen Hayes' son, James MacArthur, went to "Lovers and Executioners" by John Strand.

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O'Donnell

Rosie O'Donnell to be Gloria Estefan's new neighbor

MIAMI BEACH (CNN) -- Rosie O'Donnell's efforts to buy Madonna's South Florida mansion have failed, and the talk-show host has bought a house that's alleged to have once held a marijuana-smuggling ring.

The $6.75 million, five-bedroom is on Star Island, which is also home to Gloria and Emilio Estefan and German developer Thomas Kramer. Built in 1923, O'Donnell's residence has a guest cottage, maid's quarters and pool.

The now-defunct Zion Coptic Church reportedly ran a marijuana trafficking ring from the house in the 1970s. In a 1979 trial, prosecutors accused church members of smuggling marijuana and smoking it as a sacrament.

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Wayne Knight, in both his public-servant TV roles ("Seinfeld" postman Newman, and "3rd Rock" Officer Don)

Postal workers get no respect on TV

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A survey of more than 40 years of prime-time TV finds that among civil-servant characters, postal workers seem to get the least respect, being portrayed as lazy and inept, like Cliff Clavin, the bungling letter carrier on "Cheers."

The new report, by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, also finds that police officers and teachers get a generally positive spin on TV, while politicians are often depicted as greedy, like Boss Hogg, on "The Dukes of Hazzard."

The center in Washington, D.C., is a nonpartisan research organization that examines how entertainment programming depicts elected officials, civil servants, law enforcement personnel, teachers and people who work for the government.

"From its earliest days, television has split its vote on government employees," the report concludes. "Prime time has usually given thumbs up to law enforcement officials and public school teachers, thumbs down to public officials and office seekers, and a dismissive wave of the hand to civil servants or government bureaucrats."

Civil servants, particularly postal workers like Clavin or the abrasive Newman on "Seinfeld," are rarely portrayed in a positive light, the report says. Instead, they're depicted as "robotic paper shufflers or abrasive malcontents" too lazy to serve the public.

The report is based on 1,234 prime-time series episodes from 1955 through 1998 on ABC, CBS and NBC, and the years during that period after FOX was launched.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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