TOP OF THE NEWS: Brett Butler, star of ABC's Grace Under Fire, says she's become dependent on painkillers as a result of a bad back. She'll get treatment as an outpatient and keep working.

O.J. UPDATE: O.J. Simpson friend and attorney Robert Kardashian tells Barbara Walters in an interview to air tomorrow night that Simpson failed a lie-detector test given him by his own attorneys after the murders...Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki denied Simpson's request to subpoena the service records of Mark Fuhrman and other Los Angeles police detectives on the murder case. Simpson's lawyers wanted to prove that the detectives all knew each other before the murder and conspired to frame Simpson.

ELECTION DAY: Time Warner shareholders approved the $6.7 billion acquisition of Turner Broadcasting System this morning and Turner shareholders made it official this afternoon. The newly-combined company will have to cut costs sharply, top executives say, possibly byspinning off cable systems...Billionaire Kirk Kerkoriancompleted his acquisition of MGM today.

BLOWOUTS: Twister set a record last week: the most rentals of any video in a one-week period this year, with $8.41 million in revenues...Nirvana's live album, From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, tops the Billboard album charts and Alanis Morissette passed Whitney Houston to become the best-selling female album artist ever...Diane Sawyer's interview with former detective Mark Fuhrman on PrimeTime Live Tuesday night was the most-watched show of the evening.

HOLLYWOOD CHILDHOOD: The following fax went out to talent agents and managers from the producer of Beverly Hills 90210 regarding his son: "Aaron and Candy Spelling cordially invite your clients to join in celebrating Randy's 18th birthday party...Please submit all your high profile younger clients that are interested in attending Randy's birthday party. Heavy press coverage expected."

SELF-CRITICISM: Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News, gave a blistering speech to the convention of the Radio and Television News Directors Association last night in Los Angeles. Among his comments: "The people out there in America know that life is not as simple as what they see on the news: a world of heroes and villains, winners and losers, exploiters and victims. Yet that's what we show them, night after night."

DOLCE EVITA: Madonna's Evita will have its world premiere in Milan on December 20. It opens in the U.S. five days later...Woody Allen postponed the premiere of Everyone Says I Love You from November 1 to December 6 for a few Oscar-qualifying runs; general release comes in late January.

BURNT PEACOCK: Thirteen persons were injured and about 100 evacuated from NBC's headquarters in New York this morning, as an electrical fire created heavy smoke, disrupting a news broadcast at WNBC and briefly interrupting the video signal from the Today show. Conan O'Brien had to tape his show from the street.

SITED: Microsoft starts previews today leading up to the November full-scale re-launch of its Microsoft Network aimed at challenging America Online. In the entertainment area: Fifteen Seconds of Fame, an online version of America's Funniest Videos.

STRICKEN: Top Brazilian model and actress Claudia Liz, 27, is in a coma after an allergic reaction to an anesthetic she took to undergo liposuction on her stomach.

SMALL SCREEN: The cast of Knots Landing is reuniting for a CBS miniseries...Fox is moving Married...With Children back to Sunday night at 7 p.m after it lost viewers on Saturday at 9...MTV will premiere a new game show next year, billed as a Gen-X Jeopardy.

DOTTED LINE: Callie Khouri, who wrote the screenplay for Thelma and Louise, turns director for Virgin of the Rodeo, the story of a woman who searches for her father on the rodeo circuit...Bob Newhart takes his first film role in 16 years, joining Kevin Kline in In and Out. Kline plays a man suffering a sexual-identity crisis on the eve of his wedding...Actor and TV personality (he fills in for Tom Snyder) Jon Stewart will take his first starring role in the romantic comedy Wavelength. He'll play a TV personality.

AD GAME: Haggar Clothing pulled a commercial showing a man running back into a burning house to save his beloved pants. Firefighters objected that it sent a dangerous message to children...A government report says that cigarette companies spent less on advertising in 1994 than in 1993, the first drop in the industry's budget since 1986.

GOOD NIGHT: Sotheby's auctions items from the estate of George Burns today in Beverly Hills, including his collection of cigars and humidors. Proceeds go to charity.

DEATH: Walter Kerr, influential theater critic at the New York Times from 1966 to 1983 and book author, died in New York at 83 of heart failure.

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