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MORNING REPORT

March 22, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

POP/ROCK

The New Stone: The Rolling Stones on Monday ended speculation about who would replace Bill Wyman with the word that Darryl Jones, who has recorded and toured with both Sting and Miles Davis, is their new bass player. Jones, whose addition to the band was announced at the annual National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers convention in San Francisco, is featured on the band's coming album, due out in June, and will be part of the tour planned for late summer. Said Stones singer Mick Jagger: "He's an unlikely choice, you'd think, but he rocks hard."

TELEVISION

Programming for Young People: Cable's Nickelodeon announced Monday that it will spend $30 million over the next three years on new programming for its weekday preschoolers' bloc, "Nick Jr." Plans call for at least one hour of new shows each year, with two series--the multicultural "Gullah Gullah Island" and the puppet show "Allegra's Window"--to begin airing this fall. In addition, Jim Henson Productions will develop a "Muppet laboratory" to create new characters for Nickelodeon. The characters will be featured in 40 two-minute vignettes, which will air as mini-pilots for a future Henson series. The cable network also will begin airing on April 4 a daily 7:30 p.m. "Jim Henson Muppet Hour" consisting of episodes from "The Muppet Show" and "Muppet Babies." And for older kids, Nickelodeon will air "All That," a half-hour pilot for a "Saturday Night Live"-type sketch comedy show featuring an all-kid cast, at 8 p.m. April 16.

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Mandela Fund Telethon: Bill Cosby, Danny Glover, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Alfre Woodard, Eartha Kitt, Phylicia Rashad and Lynn Whitfield are among the celebrities who will appeal to viewers for contributions to the Mandela Freedom Fund supporting democracy efforts in South Africa in a 5 1/2-hour telethon starting at 3 p.m. today on cable's Black Entertainment Television. The prerecorded telethon will feature the premiere of "Hold Up the Sun," a five-part documentary on the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Says Poitier: "It wasn't long ago that African Americans were denied the right to vote. Many of you can remember what it was like to be denied that most basic freedom because of the color of your skin. African Americans fought long and hard to participate in the democratic system, and the struggle for democracy continues yet."

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Another Generation?: Trekkers may soon have new fodder for their devotion. Out of last weekend's annual "Star Trek" convention in Pasadena comes the news that a never-published futuristic "universe" conceived by the late creator of "Star Trek," Gene Roddenberry, will be developed for comic books and other media by BIG Entertainment. Roddenberry's widow, Majel Barrett, who starred as nurse Christine Chapel in the original "Star Trek" series, will develop additional characters and story lines along with D.C. Fontana, who wrote several "Star Trek" episodes. No word yet on any television or movie projects, but BIG Entertainment does have a standing agreement with Disney/MGM studios to produce home videos based on its comics characters.

ART

Restoration Plans Get a Boost: Los Angeles-based collectors Iris and B. Gerald Cantor have donated $10 million toward the restoration, renovation and expansion of the Stanford University Museum of Art, which has been closed since sustaining severe damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Plans call for renovating the existing building, enhancing the B. Gerald Cantor Rodin Sculpture Garden and building a 36,000-square-foot wing. The expanded museum, to be renamed the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford, is scheduled for completion in 1997. The gift from Cantor, an investment banker, and his wife brings the museum within $2 million of the project's estimated cost of $29 million. Other funds raised include $6 million in federal disaster assistance and $11 million from individuals.

QUICK TAKES

ABC will air Stephen King's "The Stand" as a four-night, eight-hour miniseries beginning May 8. The TV version of the best-selling novel about survivors of a deadly flu virus stars Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Laura San Giacomo, Jamey Sheridan, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Rob Lowe. . . . Rush Limbaugh will make his prime-time acting debut playing himself on a coming episode of "Hearts Afire," which returns to CBS Monday in a new 9:30 p.m. time slot. In the show, Limbaugh challenges Georgie Anne (Markie Post) to a radio debate after she writes an unflattering editorial about him.

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