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NEWS & NOTES : SORBO'S NONSTOP WORK SCHEDULE HALTED BY SHOULDER ANEURYSM.

Byline: Daily News Wire Services

After a battle with an aneurysm in his left shoulder, television's ``Hercules,'' Kevin Sorbo, has chosen to call it quits a week into production of the action picture ``Black Dog.''

``The actor's nonstop work schedule for the past five years eventually took its toll, causing an aneurysm in his left shoulder, which has now healed,'' said a statement released by Sorbo's handlers. ``However, because this aneurysm occurred so close to the start date of `Black Dog,' Sorbo has opted to leave the movie in order to use this time to rest and prepare for the continued shooting of the fourth season of `Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.' ''

In fact, after his first day of shooting, Sorbo was forced to spend a night in a hospital for observation because of an adverse reaction to the initial anticoagulant drug he was given to treat the aneurysm. His medication was changed, and he was given a clean bill of health, sources said. Still, the actor wanted to rest before he resumes shooting in November for ``Hercules'' in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the search is on for Sorbo's replacement, and production has been suspended on the Prelude Pictures film until one can be found. Sorbo was set to play the lead, a troubled but kindhearted truck-driving ex-con who finds himself wanted by both the mob and the cops after he is hired to haul a load of weapons across the country.

Other principals, including director Kevin Hooks (``Passenger 57'') are still with the production, which had been shooting in Atlanta since Sept. 21. Universal Pictures, which is set to distribute the film, had no official comment on Sorbo's decision, but sources said the studio plans to stand by the production.

And the gossip is ...: Stanley Tucci, perhaps best known for his pivotal role on ABC's ``Murder One,'' has been cast to play famed gossip columnist Walter Winchell in an upcoming HBO movie.

``Walter Winchell'' will chronicle the rise of the columnist from vaudeville entertainer to one of the most influential journalists of his time (the '40s and '50s).

Besides ``Murder One,'' Tucci wrote, co-directed and starred in the big-screen film, ``Big Night.''

`Singled Out' gets ax: ``Singled Out,'' the raucous MTV dating game that was Jenny McCarthy's springboard to sitcom glory, is no more.

The music video network canceled the show in its fifth season, apparently because ``Singled Out'' had gotten old. According to an MTV news release, the show was not renewed because ``we periodically make changes to our program schedule to make room for new ideas.''

McCarthy, seen 8:30 p.m. Sundays in NBC's ``Jenny,'' was succeeded early this year by Carmen Electra as co-host with Chris Hardwick.
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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 1, 1997
Words:450
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