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Smart Talk

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Coming attraction

Hall of Fame baseball catcher Johnny Bench will be in town for a program at the Clinton Library from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday Aug. 26. He’ll be touting his ceramic hip replacement. The program on new technology in hip and knee replacement surgery is sponsored by the Arthritis Foundationi and Stryker, which, surprise, makes replacement joints.

Ark. actor lands series

John Allen Nelson, a Central High grad and journeyman actor, has landed a top role in a new Fox weekly series, “Vanished.” He’ll play a Georgia senator whose wife has gone missing as part of a larger conspiracy in the hour-long show.

Recent credits for Nelson, son of Al and Fran Nelson of Little Rock, include the role of Walt Cummings in the Fox hit “24.”

Dirty Words

A new indecency-fighting protocol may be coming soon to your local PBS station: blurring of the lips any time the “s-” or “f-” word is used on camera. In recent e-mail sent out to PBS stations titled “Editing of Coarse Language/New Practices,” PBS lawyers laid out the new requirement that the lips should be pixilated when those words are used. The change comes in response to new FCC rules which raise the maximum fine for indecency from $32,500 to $325,000 per instance.

Tony Brooks, deputy director of the AETN, said that while the station has yet to address the issue of pixilating, they are closely watching the outcome of several recent indecency cases filed against public television stations by the FCC. Of particular interest, Brooks said, is the ongoing legal action by San Mateo, Calif.-based PBS affiliate KCSM, which has appealed a $15,000 fine levied by the FCC in March 2006, after the station broadcast an episode of the documentary series “The Blues” — featuring musicians liberally using the “f-” and “s-“words — before 10 p.m.

“It’s a concern for everybody,” Brooks said, “and we’re just waiting to hear from these cases that are being appealed.”

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