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Showbuzz

April 12, 1999
Web posted at: 12:46 p.m. EDT (1646 GMT)

Today's buzz stories:

"Elizabeth" was honored with five British Academy Awards

'Elizabeth' beats 'Shakespeare' in British Academy awards

LONDON (CNN) -- The 51st British Academy Film Awards, Europe's version of the Oscars, were handed out on Sunday, and "Elizabeth" collected the most honors. The sweeping film on the early reign of Queen Elizabeth I was given five awards, including a best actress prize for Cate Blanchett.

"Shakespeare in Love," which led the Academy Awards with seven Oscars, was just one step behind with four awards. And "The Truman Show" was compensated for its Oscar shutout, picking up three garlands, including best director for Peter Weir and best original screenplay for Andrew Niccol.

Roberto Benigni beat hometown favorite Michael Caine for the best actor prize, but Brazil's "Central Station" outpaced the Italian "Life Is Beautiful" in the race for best foreign-language film. "Saving Private Ryan" was nearly left out in the cold, collecting just two technical prizes for for sound and visual effects.

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"The Matrix"

'The Matrix' TV rights bought by Turner

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It's only been on the big screen for two weekends, but "The Matrix" is causing a stir in the television world, too. The TV broadcast premiere rights for the sci-fi movie, which topped the box office for the second straight week, were bought by Turner Broadcasting's TBS and TNT. The price tag could soar well beyond $10 million, depending on domestic box office gross. After 12 days in release, the Keanu Reeves vehicle has earned about $72.9 million.

Spokesmen for Turner and the film's distributor, Warner Bros., declined to comment on the deal, but sources said either TBS or TNT will be able to schedule a burst of eight runs of "The Matrix" as early as December 2001.

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Jessica Tandy in her memorable role in "Fried Green Tomatoes"

Homeless shelter to be named in honor of Jessica Tandy

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (CNN) -- A homeless shelter for people with AIDS and HIV announced Sunday that a new facility will be named in honor of the late actress Jessica Tandy. Tandy and her husband, Hume Cronyn, were among the main supporters of Alpha Home, a homeless shelter in Bridgeport. She died of cancer at age 80 in 1994.

Officials of Alpha Home, which is awaiting zoning permits to open a second shelter, said Sunday the new facility named for Tandy will provide transitional housing for Bridgeport families with AIDS and HIV. Cronyn, who lives in Fairfield, said, "Jessie would be complimented and proud to be a part of this."

Tandy's Oscar-winning acting career included roles in movies like "Driving Miss Daisy," for which she won best actress from the Academy, "Fried Green Tomatoes," and "Cocoon."

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Study: TV has more ads than ever before

NEW YORK (CNN) -- You're not imagining it -- there are more commercials filling TV time these days. An average hour of prime-time TV contained 15 minutes, 44 seconds of advertising last November, a jump of 25 seconds over the year before, according to a study released Sunday.

Daytime network television is even more cluttered. The networks added 11 seconds of commercial time last year to crack the 20-minute barrier: one-third of each hour in daytime is taken up by commercials, according to the report prepared by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers, Inc.

ABC is leading all networks in prime time, packing in 16:27 of commercial time each prime-time hour. Fox had been the network leader in ad time since 1989. "It's an indication of a business in trouble," said Jon Mandel, co-managing director of Mediacom, an ad buying firm. With viewership declining and programming costs escalating, the networks need to sell more ads to make money.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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