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KUED's Verdoia to receive governor's award

Television is a business with too many awards and too much self-congratulations, but here's one that's truly merited - KUED-Ch. 7 senior producer Ken Verdoia will receive the Utah Humanities Council Governor's Award on Friday.

The award will be presented "in recognition of Verdoia's excellent work in bringing the history of the American West to a wide public audience" during a 6 p.m. ceremony in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts and Westminster College.Among Verdoia's many excellent documentaries are the truly outstanding "Utah: The Struggle for Statehood" and "Brigham Young."

The really good news is that he has another project headed our way - "The Frontier Photographers" will air next month on Ch. 7.

VIDBITS: "Party of Five" fans, take note - Paula Devicq will return in the role of Kirsten in the episode scheduled to air on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

But don't expect Kirsten and Charlie (Matthew Fox) to rekindle their relationship - this is a one-shot appearance, and Jessica Lundy has already signed onto the show as a new love interest for Charlie.

- Harriet Sansom Harris, who is a regular on "Union Square" and has a recurring role on "Frasier," is about to add a third NBC sitcom to her resume. She'll appear in the Nov. 10 episode of "Caroline in the City," playing Annie's former singing teacher.

- "Veronica's Closet" co-star Kathy Najimy will soon reunite with her former partner. Mo Gaffney - who co-starred with Najimy in the off-Broadway and HBO "Kathy and Mo Show," will guest star on the Nov. 13 episode of "Closet" as the former college roommate of Najimy's character, Olive.

- Kenneth Branagh has signed on to narrate CNN's 24-hour documentary "The Cold War," which is scheduled to debut in September 1998. And you read that correctly - it's going to be 24 one-hour episodes.

- According to the folks at the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American household watched an average of 7 hours and 15 minutes of television a day during the 1996-97 TV season. That's down five minutes a day from the previous year, but up an hour a day from 1976-77.

We all complain about TV, but most of us spend an awful lot of time watching it.