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Web posted on: Thursday, August 13, 1998 6:10:57 PM

Today's buzz stories:

Critics aren't getting a sneak peek at "Avenger" Uma Thurman's catsuit-toting ways

Is 'The Avengers' debut 'hip' or too cool?

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- No pre-screening for film critics, no flashy premiere, just Web sites for Steed, Emma Peel and Sir August de Wynter? Could it be that "The Avengers" is a $50-60 million turkey, even with the star power of Sean Connery, Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes?

A Warner Brothers spokeswoman insists that the movie is "very hip and cool" and that the studio is confident in its box-office potential. Some in the media, however, point out its non-premiere and report that theater owners who saw "The Avengers" felt it was a disappointment. Some cynical industry observers believe that not having an advance showing for critics means there won't be any bad reviews.

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Stone Temple Pilot lands 3 months in clinic

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Scott Weiland, the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots, landed three months at the Impact Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center and three years of probation with random drug tests after pleading guilty on Wednesday to felony heroin possession. Weiland, 30, had two previous drug cases, one previous stay at a treatment center and missed two previous court appearances before Wednesday's plea, brought on by the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

Although the judge made clear that Weiland is forbidden from leaving the treatment center during his three-month sentence for any reason -- including making an album or playing concerts -- the singer said he is "very happy about the opportunity the judge has given me."

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3 join SNL, but 'Goat Boy' departs

NEW YORK (CNN) -- NBC's comeback comedy Saturday Night Live kicks off the regular season September with three new players from the usual farm teams and all of last year's cast members except the "Goat Boy." Jim Breuer sheds his SNL horns after three seasons to write and star in a comedy feature for Universal.

The show's new regular performers -- Jimmy Fallon, Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz -- are relative showbiz unknowns. However, Fallon and Parnell have worked with the Los Angeles-based Groundlings and Sanz comes from Chicago's Second City, two comedy troupes which have supplied SNL with numerous cast members over the years. Sanz also has the distinction of being SNL's first Latino cast member. Ratings for the long-running latenight comedy slumped between 1994 and 1996, but last season showed a 29 percent improvement in the key 18- to 49-year-olds demographic.

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Seinfeld offers Puerto Ricans a truce

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Jerry Seinfeld waved a flag of truce -- or at least a white handkerchief -- at a group of Puerto Ricans demonstrating outside the Broadway theater where he was performing Saturday. The New York Daily News said Seinfeld also mouthed the words, "I'm sorry."

Many Puerto Ricans were not amused when a Puerto Rican flag was burned and stomped on in one of the final episode's of Seinfeld's sitcom. Bronx Councilman Jose Rivera, who objected not only to the episode but also to Seinfeld's subsequent treatment of his objections as funny, has invited the comedian to a meeting. "Waving the white handkerchief was an attempt at saying, 'Let's talk,'" the councilman said.

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"Giant" was among Dean's legend-making movie roles

James Dean's rose-colored tombstone returned

FAIRMOUNT, Indiana (CNN) -- The rose-colored granite stone marking James Dean's Park Cemetery grave in Fairmount, the farming community of 3,000 where the Hollywood giant grew up, has been reinstalled. The tombstone was stolen, then recovered in July when an off-duty sheriff's deputy rammed into the 400-pound stone on a country road 60 miles from Dean's grave. Dean, best known for his role in "Rebel Without a Cause," was killed in a car crash in 1955 at age 24 after making only three movies. His grave draws thousands of visitors each year.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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