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Sport and entertainment events axed

A U.S. network's plan to broadcast 'Independence Day' at the weekend have been scrapped
A U.S. network's plan to broadcast 'Independence Day' at the weekend have been scrapped  

LOS ANGELES, California -- The release of several new American film and television productions has been delayed in the wake of the attacks in New York and Washington.

Aware that the real-life events in New York and Washington were more shocking than anything a scriptwriter could envisage, programs in which espionage and terrorism figure prominently are all being pulled.

The most high-profile casualties are the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster and the big-screen version of Spiderman.

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Warner Bros. will indefinitely postpone the scheduled release next month of Schwarzenegger's "Collateral Damage," in which a terrorist bombs a Los Angeles skyscraper.

The company said it would retrieve all commercials, posters and adverts for "Collateral Damage" and disconnect its Web site.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, a division of Japan's Sony Corp., has also cancelled cinema trailers for next May's "Spiderman."

Part of the film's action involves a helicopter containing bank robbers being caught in a web spun between the World Trade Center towers.

Sony also recalled posters in which the towers are shown in a reflection of the comic book hero's eyes.

Disney's Touchstone Pictures has also cancelled the release later this month of Tim Allen's comedy "Big Trouble," in which one scene involves a bomb on a plane.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this terrible tragedy," Touchstone spokeswoman Vivian Boyer told Reuters.

America's major television station also reviewed their schedules.

Disney's ABC television network canceled a planned broadcast on Saturday of the 1997 thriller "The Peacemaker," which involves nuclear terrorism.

"It just didn't seem appropriate at this time," network spokeswoman Annie Fort said.

Likewise, the Fox network has scrapped plans to broadcast the 1996 science-fiction hit film "Independence Day," in which aliens destroy the White House and New York's Empire State Building.

Fox is also replacing the feature-length "X-Files" movie, which includes a scene of an office building blowing up, with a romantic comedy.

The company said it feared such scenes could disturb many viewers.

Fox spokesman Scott Grogin said: "We're looking at programing that is more family-oriented so people can watch it together."

At least two networks, ABC and NBC, said they were considering whether to delay next week's launch of their new prime-time lineups to make room for ongoing news coverage of the aftermath of the terror attacks.

Theater tributes

A number of upcoming shows feature stories that may strike too close to recent events, including several CIA-themed dramas -- ABC's "Alias," CBS' "The Agency" and Fox's "24."

One story line in "24" involves a terrorist blowing up a passenger plane. On the premiere of "The Agency," terrorists plot to blow up the London department store Harrods.

NBC's lineup also includes the espionage-themed new drama "UC Undercover." Another NBC show likely to draw network scrutiny is a five-hour miniseries slated to run across the three editions of NBC's "Law & Order" that centers on an act of terrorism against the United States.

In the wake of Tuesday's attacks, many entertainment events around the U.S. and beyond were postponed or canceled.

The Emmy Awards show Sunday was postponed and the Latin Grammys, due to have taken place on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, were cancelled.

Broadway shows closed but were due to resume performances from Thursday.

Jed Bernstein, president of the League of American Theatres and Producers, said that before the curtains rise the theaters would dim their marquees to honour the victims.

The New York Philharmonic canceled its opening night gala, due on September 20, and will replace it with a memorial concert.

Theme parks such as Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland and Universal Studios in California reopened after closing for a day.

The imminent release of the latest Schwarzenegger blockbuster has been postponed
The imminent release of the latest Schwarzenegger blockbuster has been postponed  

Although its casinos remained open, many of the attractions in Las Vegas Strip were cancelled, including two boxing events scheduled for Saturday and a Beach Boys concert.

In sport, major league baseball postponed its entire schedule of games while many college football games were called off and the National Football League has yet to decide whether to play on Sunday.

Other sport events across the world have been canceled as a show of respect.

In Europe, Champions League and UEFA Cup matches were postponed and doubts have been raised over the staging of the Ryder Cup later this month.

UEFA chief executive Gerhard Aigner said in a statement: "The scale of this tragedy and the pain and sorrow which it brings should cause us all to reflect.

"UEFA feels it is right that the European football family should respect the loss and suffering now being felt by those families who have lost their loved ones by postponing all UEFA games scheduled to be played this week."

World governing body FIFA however will go ahead with this weekend's Asian Football Confederation World Cup qualifiers and the Under-17 World Championships.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "This stance represents our determination to ensure football does not capitulate in the face of violence.

"The world today is no longer the one we knew. But football must remain a beacon of hope."

Motor racing's ruling body FIA said there were no plans to cancel Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza or the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis a fortnight later.

Elsewhere, the traditional rousing patriotic climax to the Proms season in London have been axed for the first time in decades in the wake of the horrors of New York.

The Last Night Of The Proms, which is broadcast from the Albert Hall to 40 countries, will go ahead on Saturday but the anthems and flag-waving so long associated with it have been dropped in favour of more reflective pieces.

A spokeswoman said: "We're not going to actively ban flags, but it's clearly inappropriate. There's no sense of joviality or celebration that the flag waving has become a part of."

The Last Night is being conducted by an American for the first time, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra's chief conductor Leonard Slatkin in charge.


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