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Cable ads up, but . . .

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The cable upfront advertising market began to move in earnest the latter part of this week with about 50% of business done at mid- to high single-digit price increases compared to last year.

Dion bows concert arm

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Bringing another aspect of her recording career inhouse, Celine Dion and husband/manager Rene Angelil have bowed CDA Prods., an international concert production outfit that will be involved in the planning and execution of Dion’s live perfs around the world.

Travolta lawsuit claims ads false

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John Travolta has filed a $5 million lawsuit against Silverado Films Inc. and Capital Funding Group Inc. for running two ads in USA Today in April that falsely claimed the actor was connected with a pair of investment vehicles.

‘R&J’ bigscreen bound

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Praisery owner Harry Clein and producer Sam Pollard will produce a screen version of Joe Calarco’s Off Broadway hit “R&J.”

Faxes leak Wolfe novel

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Rolling Stone brass was edgy on Thursday upon learning that copies of their much-hyped serialization of “A Man in Full,” the forthcoming Tom Wolfe novel, had leaked out via fax all over Gotham.

‘Darkness’ visible

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“Darkness Peering” were the two words on the lips of most of Gotham’s publishing types Wednesday night.

NBA ratings stay strong

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The Chicago Bulls’ Wednesday victory over the Utah Jazz in game four of this year’s NBA Finals has scored a 19.1 rating, 33 share, second-highest game-four rating ever and tied for the seventh-best rating of any type in NBA history.

Branson’s earful to radio exex

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Currently portraying two-dimensional archaeological protectress Lara Croft in Paramount’s “Tomb Raider,” Angelina Jolie is now aiming to do something for the living. The thesp is in negotiations to take on the leading female role opposite Kevin Costner in Oliver Stone’s “Beyond Borders.” Pic is being financed by the Par-based Mandalay Pictures.

Contrary views in SAG ballot

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Contract ratification ballots sent to SAG and AFTRA members in the last few days include for the first time a report urging a “no” vote on the proposed new contract with producers.

New Line TV revs engine

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New Line Television has inked a deal with cabler Speedvision to develop a weekly syndie series about auto racing and other motor sports for fall 1999.