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NBC pulls plug on "Prince Street'

Yet another network has learned that crime doesn't always pay, with NBC announcing plans today to remove its freshman police drama series Prince Street from Wednesday's lineup of shows after just two weeks on the air.

Instead, the network will air a rerun of its mediocre Saturday night drama The Pretender Wednesday and a new episode Dateline NBC April 26. The time slot's former occupant _ yet another crime drama, Law & Order _ returns to its old home April 2, one week earlier than anticipated.

The lightning-fast move to yank Prince Street compares to CBS' similarly quick action to shelve its highly lauded crime drama, EZ Streets, after a few low-rated airings. But CBS brought the show back to its lineup for a do-or-die performance during March and April _ a commitment NBC has not yet made for Prince Street.

During airings March 6 _ in the Thursday slot occupied by top-rated E.R. _ and last Wednesday, Prince Street rated 45 percent below the average for those times.

TV's "Annie Oakley'

dies at age 71

Actor Gail Davis, who played Annie Oakley in the popular television series of the same name in the 1950s, has died at the age of 71, a hospital spokesman said Monday. Davis, who was seen by millions in her role as the gun-toting, pig-tailed rancher, died of cancer on Saturday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Los Angeles. Annie Oakley ran on ABC from 1955 through 1958 and was seen on repeats well into the 1960s. It was the first western to star a woman. The show was created for Davis by "singing cowboy" Gene Autry, with whom she had previously appeared in several westerns. After the series ended, Davis continued to make personal appearances with Autry. She also appeared in TV specials, including Wide, Wide World: The Western, in 1958, a Bob Hope Special in 1959 and The Andy Griffith Show: The Perfect Female, in 1961.

Writers Guild honors

"Fargo,' "Sling Blade'

Fargo, a dark comedy by Joel and Ethan Coen, and Sling Blade, Billy Bob Thornton's tale of a man returning home after 25 years in a mental institution, won the top feature film honors at the 49th annual Writers Guild of America Awards, handed out Sunday in Beverly Hills. Timed to take place a week before the Oscars, the WGA Awards are a harbinger of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards 80 percent of the time. In the categories for television series, an episode of NBC's Seinfeld called The Pool Guy, written by David Mandel, was named best comedy, and an episode of ABC's NYPD Blue called Girl Talk, written by Theresa Rebeck (from a story by Rebeck and Bill Clark), won as best drama.

Courtney Love may sell

home where Cobain died

One of Seattle's most popular tourist attractions may be for sale. Courtney Love has told a London newspaper that she is selling the Seattle home she bought with husband Kurt Cobain months before the singer for Nirvana committed suicide three years ago. "I have a nice house, but I can't live there," Love said in the Independent newspaper. "Kids everywhere all the time." Since Cobain shot himself at age 27 in the carriage house of the mansion, devoted fans have flocked to little Viretta Park next door to light candles and sing Cobain's songs.

Schwarzkopf won't run,

but says Powell might

If it wasn't already apparent, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf says he has no interest in a political career. "Politics in Washington, D.C., has become a really mean business. Really mean and nasty," he said in the latest issue of George magazine. But the field commander of the 1991 Persian Gulf war thinks his former colleague, retired Gen. Colin Powell, is, as they say in the Army, good to go. "I think he will run. He's as good as any other candidate."

Compiled from Times wire reports

HESTON AWARD: Veteran actor Charlton Heston received France's highest cultural honor Monday in recognition of a career spanning more than five decades. "I've played a knight several times before, but I've never been made one," Heston, 73, quipped after French Culture Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy made him a Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters. The star of such screen classics as Ben Hur, El Cid and Planet of the Apes was accompanied by his wife, Lydia Clarke Heston, left, as he received the award on their 50th wedding anniversary.