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WCW Nitro, Thunder axed

In one of his first decisions as chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting, Jamie Kellner has scrapped the weekly primetime wrestling series WCW Nitro on TNT and WCW Thunder on TBS. A Turner spokesman said the shows have less than half the audience of the rival World Wrestling Federation's Raw Is War Monday-night slamfest on TNN. And they don't deliver ad revenues commensurate with the young male audience the two series pull in every week. Meanwhile, wrestling clashes with the upscale adult audience that TBS and TNT are aggressively seeking to attract with such programming as fresh theatrical movies, TV movies and original series like TBS's Ripley's Believe It or Not and TNT's Bull. TBS is also trying to corner the basic-cable market for sitcom reruns, premiering Seinfeld and Friends this fall, followed in subsequent years by series like The Drew Carey Show and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Short takes

JUST JACK: A Los Angeles interior designer is suing NBC and the writers of Will & Grace, saying they based one of the sitcom's characters on him without compensating him for use of his image. In a suit filed Friday, Jack Deamer says writer Max Mutchnick promised to buy him a house and a car in exchange for basing the character "Jack" on him.

BANNED ON MTV: Madonna's latest video, What It Feels Like for a Girl, directed by her husband, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels' Guy Ritchie, has been deemed too violent for MTV or VH1. The networks will air the video, which features the pop star as an angry woman on a crime spree and ends in a car crash that may be fatal, just one time, a decision they say is irrevocable. It will be shown at 11:30 tonight on both stations, after a news segment about it.

OBITUARY: Cuba-born entertainer Tony Alvarez of El Show de Olga y Tony died Monday of cancer, Univision reported. He was 85. Alvarez, a longtime Miami resident, was best known for the television and radio programs he hosted with his wife, singer Olga Chorens.

_ From Times staff and wire reports.