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


Reporting on ‘LadyLaw': O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark will step into the television arena with a new syndicated half-hour series. Clark, who will not return to the district attorney’s office, will host “LadyLaw,” a program revolving around the “extraordinary women in the field of law enforcement,” said Norman Brokaw, Clark’s agent and chairman of the William Morris Agency. The series will center on females ranging from street cops to federal agents to prosecutors and judges. Currently in production, “LadyLaw” will be unveiled next week in New Orleans at the convention for the National Assn. of Television Program Executives. “I’m very proud to be involved in this exciting and newsworthy project,” Clark said.

Ratingly Correct: In only its second outing, ABC’s new late-night series, the transplanted Comedy Central series “Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher,” beat both “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC) and “The Late Show With David Letterman (CBS) in overnight ratings from the 16 major markets where the three shows overlapped for a half hour Wednesday night. In those markets (including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington), Maher drew an estimated 14% share of the viewing audience as opposed to 13% for Leno and 10% for Letterman.

4,000 Strong: No, it doesn’t just seem like “Entertainment Tonight’s” been on forever. The syndicated entertainment series’ 4,000th episode airs today. That’s more than 15 years worth of programs; the show premiered Sept. 14, 1981.



National Medalists: Two of Los Angeles’ arts treasures, choreographer Bella Lewitzky and folk musician Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero, received National Medals of the Arts from President Clinton during ceremonies at the White House Thursday. Other recipients included playwright Edward Albee, the Boys Choir of Harlem, opera conductor Sarah Caldwell, photographer Harry Callahan, theater director Zelda Fichandler, arts patron Vera List, actor Robert Redford, author Maurice Sendak and composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Another recipient was Lionel Hampton, whom Clinton hailed as a “lion of American Music” while remarking: “We’re glad to see Lionel Hampton here safe and sound.” The 88-year-old jazz great lost nearly all of his possessions--including his vibraphone and mementos of his career--in a fire at his New York apartment Tuesday. For more on Hampton, see All That Jazz, F32.

Baryshnikov Alert: Mikhail Baryshnikov is bringing his White Oak Dance Project to the Wiltern Theatre on March 6, 7 and 8 for the company’s only West Coast appearances on a nine-city tour. The stand, co-presented by UCLA Center for the Performing Arts and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, should offer a real treat for Baryshnikov fans: It will be the first time in the company’s West Coast touring history that he plans to dance in every work on the program, which will be the same every night. It includes three West Coast premieres: Merce Cunningham’s “Septet,” a new untitled work by Meg Stuart and the late Erick Hawkins’ “Journey of a Poet,” which has never been performed.



KMPC Lineup: More changes are underway at KMPC-AM (710), which has undergone substantial alterations under General Manager Maureen Lesourd. Xavier Hermosillo, who was on from 7-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, has been replaced by Yolanda Gaskins, who has worked at CNN, KMPC and KABC-AM (790). Gaskins began broadcasting Tuesday night in the 7-10 p.m. slot. Meanwhile, Lee Mirabal, who aired from 9 p.m.-midnight, was replaced with replays of Marilyn Kagan’s morning broadcast from 10 p.m-1 a.m. Syndicated psychologist Joy Browne now is on from 1-5 a.m. Hermosillo has not accepted a different position, a station spokesman said.


Collins Wins Book Battle: Actress Joan Collins has won a settlement in her legal battle with Random House, which had sued her on grounds that she could not write a publishable novel and therefore should return the $1.2-million advance the company had paid her. Although details of the settlement were not disclosed, both sides said the publisher had agreed to pay Collins an undisclosed sum. Random House had appealed a Manhattan jury decision that she could keep the advance, even though the book was bad. Collins’ lawyer said that the 63-year-old actress is at work on the second volume of her autobiography (he didn’t name the publisher). The book, he said, will include a chapter on her battle with Random House.


“Godfather of Soul” James Brown gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today at 11:30 a.m., at 1501 Vine St., near Sunset Boulevard. Then at 1 p.m., Brown will hold court at Sunset Strip’s Billboard Live during a celebratory luncheon and performance. . . . Stephanie Zimbalist and Charles Kimbrough will star in the Los Angeles premiere of A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia,” a comedy about a man and his dog, at the Coronet Theatre in mid-February. Ted Weiant and Joan Stein are co-producing; John Tillinger directs. . . . The Deaf Entertainment Foundation will host an open captioned screening of “Space Jam” Saturday at noon at the Cecchi Gori Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills. Tickets are $7 for adults; $4 for children.