Studios, Oscars Step Up Security

With Hollywood studios living under an uncorroborated bomb threat, security has been significantly stepped up at all studio locations.

Besides adding more security guards, barricading unused gates, checking employee IDs, and X-raying incoming packages, studios have also suspended live audiences for sitcom tapings for the time being.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, among the shows that are filming sans an audience are NBC's Friends, ABC's The Drew Carey Show, CBS's The King of Queens, and NBC's The Hank Azaria Show. 20th Century Fox TV said it is working on a case-by-case basis for such series as Fox's Titus and CBS' Yes, Dear

The measures were taken shortly after the FBI warned that a major studio might be bombed if the United States were to attack Afghanistan in retaliation for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Oscar Safety Issues Settled

Fears that the Kodak Theater, the new Hollywood home of the Oscars, may not be secure enough for the bevy of stars and swarms of people who attend every year have also been settled. Newly appointed Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science President Frank Pierson says that the developer of the Hollywood & Highland complex, of which the Kodak Theater is a part, has satisfied the Academy's demands.

"We have put in place arrangements to ensure the highest level of security and are delighted with the cooperation of TrizecHahn in that regard," Pierson said.

The Academy had earlier threatened to move the big event back to the tried-and-true Shrine Auditorium if certain security issues were not satisfactorily addressed.

The 2001 Oscars already saw an increased level of security from the previous year, perhaps due to the kidnapping threat against Best Actor nominee (and winner) Russell Crowe.

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