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Web posted on: Thursday, October 15, 1998 4:36:46 PM

Today's buzz stories:

"The Brian Benben Show"

CBS drops 'Brian Benben'

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- With the first of the fall TV series casualties already out of the way, CBS has joined the fray, dropping its first show of the season. "The Brian Benben Show," which faced competition in its 9:30 p.m. time slot from "Ally McBeal" and Monday night football, will be replaced for the next two weeks with double-runs of "Everybody Loves Raymond."

After that, the network has decided to launch the Ted Danson comedy "Becker," originally slated for a January release. According to Variety, Paramount, the show's producer, is somewhat worried that the show will no longer get the same promotion it would have received in a January launch.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame losing money

CLEVELAND (CNN) -- Fewer visitors and less revenue were the top reasons the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum lost $1.37 million last year, according to its first annual report.

The museum, which opened its doors in 1995, saw attendance drop from 867,000 in 1996 to 615,000 last year. But while its income dropped 17 percent, the museum's expenses rose from $16.4 million in 1996 to $18.2 million, said Don Tomoff, finance director for the hall.

Museum directors aren't too worried for now. Janis Purdy, the hall's interim executive director explained: "You can think of the rock hall as a start-up new business. To look at a loss in the overall complexity of the financial situation of a new enterprise can be misleading."

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Fergie an activist after breast cancer scare

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It was just a benign lump, but Sarah Ferguson -- aka Fergie, aka Britain's Duchess of York -- didn't know that when she found it under her arm. "You think all the horrible negative thoughts, and you think the word cancer (and) that there is no hope. And then you go into fears, panics and anxieties," she told CNN. "That's what happened to me."

Now armed with a clean bill of health, she is urging other women to visit their own doctors. She appeared this week in New York on behalf of the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations, where she stressed the importance of regular mammograms, exams and early detection.

When she found the lump, "I didn't really know what to do," she said. "That's why I'm so determined to talk about it, openly on television, so that more people can go and have mammograms and have checks, so they can become aware."

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Sandra Bullock ready for an acting break

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Sandra Bullock admits that the roof caved in on her career after her appearance in the film "Speed 2." In fact, she's glad about it. "It was the best thing that ever happened to me," she said in the Orange County Register. "In people's minds, I had failed and was on the outs, so I was able to go back and concentrate on making the films I love to do."

She stars with Nicole Kidman in "Practical Magic," which opens Friday. But after this, she said, she's taking a break from the limelight. "I'm not going to act for a year except for cameos in films I'm producing," she said. "I'm still in the race. I'm still in the business, but I'm doing the other side that I love to do, which is the production end." Bullock owns her own production company, Fortis Films.

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Coppola hits snag in 'Pinocchio' damages

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola hit a major snag to collecting his $80 million jury verdict against Warner Bros. on Wednesday: The trial judge has thrown out the punitive damage award of $60 million, but left $20 million in compensatory damages standing.

The unprecedented settlement came in a July verdict finding that Warner Bros. had unlawfully interfered with Coppola's plans to direct a live-action version of "Pinocchio." Reacting to the reversal, Warner Bros. counsel said they hoped to see the compensatory damages overturned on appeal; Coppola, meanwhile, plans to appeal the punitive damages decision.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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