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Morning Report

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

August 01, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW

TELEVISION

Hey, Hey, Hey: Bill Cosby, who inspired and voiced the animated series "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," is discussing a possible revival of that children's show under his new deal with CBS. The original series ran on the network from 1972-80. CBS confirmed that it will likely produce a "Fat Albert" special that could serve as the template for a new Saturday morning series. Cosby, whose new CBS comedy will premiere in September, was among those who attended this week's White House summit on children's programming.

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Casting News: Judd Nelson has joined NBC's upcoming Brooke Shields comedy "Suddenly Susan," playing Shields' boss and the brother of her former fiance. The series is the first for Nelson, who gave up a role in "Feds," a CBS midseason drama, to take the part. . . . "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" co-star Alfonso Ribeiro will join the cast of "In the House" this fall when the series, which formerly aired on NBC, moves to UPN.

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Remembering Colbert: Cable's American Movie Classics will pay tribute today to film great Claudette Colbert, who died Tuesday at the age of 90. AMC will air a 12-hour "Claudette Film Fest," beginning at 3 a.m. with the 1934 Cecil B. DeMille epic "Cleopatra." Other titles include "Arise, My Love" (1940), "Midnight" (1939), "No Time for Love" (1943), "The Palm Beach Story" (1942), "Family Honeymoon" (1948) and "Thunder on the Hill" (1951).

ART

Simon Museum Closes Gardens: Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum has closed its sculpture garden as part of a $3-million renovation of the museum. The garden is scheduled to remain closed through the spring of 1997, allowing for both extensive re-landscaping and the building of a 2,000-square-foot tea house designed by architect and museum board member Frank O. Gehry. The tea house, planned as the new garden's focal point, will rest on a platform with a natural lily-filled pond meandering beneath. The garden's existing rectangular tiled reflecting pool will be converted into two natural ponds to reflect a "more informal environment." In addition, California garden designer Nancy Goslee Power will work with the museum's curators to develop separate, informal garden environments designed for each sculpture's particular needs. The new landscaping is expected to provide room for additional artworks that haven't been regularly displayed because of space limitations.

LEGAL FILE

Rap Sheet: Notorious B.I.G., last year's Billboard rap artist of the year, was arrested and arraigned on drug and weapons charges last week after police allegedly found almost 50 grams of marijuana and several firearms at his Teaneck, N.J., home, police said Tuesday. Police had originally gone to the home of the rapper--whose real name is Christopher Wallace--to request removal of a car that was illegally parked outside, prosecutors said. The serial numbers had been scratched off the guns, an indication they could have been stolen, police said. Seven members of Wallace's rap group, the Junior M.A.F.I.A., were charged with marijuana possession, and one was also charged with possessing a weapon.

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Lawrence Fails Airport Security Check: Actor Martin Lawrence was arrested at Burbank Airport late Monday after airport security X-rays spotted a loaded handgun in a suitcase he was taking on a flight to Phoenix. Airport authorities said Martin told them that "he thought it was OK to carry [the gun] on the plane if he was going out of state," but the actor's publicist said later that Lawrence didn't know the weapon was in the suitcase. Lawrence, who was not charged and did not have a permit for the gun, was released after promising to appear in court within two weeks, when he could face a misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded firearm in public. The Federal Aviation Administration has yet to decide whether to pursue federal charges, authorities said.

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Brando Drops Kastner Suit: A Los Angeles judge has granted actor Marlon Brando's request to dismiss his 1993 fraud lawsuit against producer Elliot Kastner ("A Chorus of Disapproval," "The Blob") and the Cinema International Corp. Brando had claimed that Kastner had given him a $1-million check to appear in a movie musical version of "Treasure Island," but the check bounced. The case had been scheduled to go to trial on Wednesday; neither sides' attorney could be reached for comment.

QUICK TAKES

Cable's USA Network will begin production this month on "Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story," a TV movie based on the best-selling autobiography of the four-time Olympic gold medal diver. Former "Saved By the Bell" star Mario Lopez will play Louganis. . . . Rapper Nas maintains his spot on top of the national album chart for the fourth straight week with "It Was Written." The album sold about 132,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan--barely edging out Alanis Morissette's ever-present "Jagged Little Pill" (131,000 copies sold). "Blue," by 13-year-old country singer LeAnn Rimes, remained at No. 3 (100,000). . . . Paramount Pictures Chairwoman Sherry Lansing celebrated her 52nd birthday on Wednesday by receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of Mann's Chinese Theater--the first given to a female studio head.

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