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HBO wins rights to 1st inaugural-week event

Home Box Office has secured the rights to “An American Reunion: The People’s Inaugural,” the first of the inaugural-week events, and will air the event as a one-time-only special Sunday at 8 p.m.

Produced by Quincy Jones, “The People’s Inaugural” will be staged at the Lincoln Memorial that afternoon and be edited and tape-delayed for rebroadcast on HBO later that day.

“We wanted the event, and we were in conversations with Quincy about some other things,” said Betty Bitterman, VP of original programming for HBO.

“And we’re there.”

President-elect Bill Clinton and VP-elect Albert Gore are scheduled to make their first inaugural appearances during the event. Appearances by such performers as Ruben Blades, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, LL Cool J, Kenny Rogers, Jack Nicholson, Sidney Poitier and James Earl Jones are skedded.

Bruce Gower will direct the event for HBO and Ken Kragen is working in conjunction with Jones, according to Bitterman.

Ironically, HBO is airing the event up against the CableAce Awards, which will be on Lifetime. According to Bitterman, the timing could not be changed.

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