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


Arsenio Talks Again: Actor and comedian Arsenio Hall joins the cast of the CBS' Saturday night action-comedy "Martial Law" Nov. 21 as a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman. His character, Terrell Parker, described as having a decidedly unconventional approach to police work, uses street smarts and fast talk to catch the bad guys. Unlike the show's lead, Sammo Law, played by Hong Kong actor, director and martial artist Sammo Hung, Parker is no martial arts master, but he loves a good fight. The series, airing Saturdays at 9 p.m., also features Louis Mandylor, Tom Wright and Kelly Hu. "We're very happy to welcome Arsenio to the show, on both a professional and personal level," executive producer Carlton Cuse said. "The addition of his unique brand of humor will bring an exciting new dynamic to the show." Said Hall, who was host and executive producer of the syndicated "The Arsenio Hall Show": "For years I have been a fan of the Hong Kong action films that Sammo Hung starred in and directed. It's an honor to be a part of his television action team. Also, 'Martial Law' is my mother's favorite new show."


News From the BBC: Starting Monday, three Southland public television stations will air "BBC World," a 30-minute newscast from London. With 50 international bureaus and 250 correspondents, BBC News is the world's largest news organization. Stations carrying "BBC World"--anchored by British journalist Daljit Dhaliwal--are: KOCE-TV in Huntington Beach, Monday-Friday at 6 and 11 p.m., Saturday at 6:30 p.m.; KLCS-TV in Los Angeles, Monday-Saturday at 7 p.m., and KVCR-TV in San Bernardino, Monday-Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 11 p.m.


State-of-the-Art Star: Leonardo DiCaprio has donated $35,000 to fund a state-of-the art computer center at the future home of the Los Angeles Public Library's Los Feliz branch. The "Titanic" star-heartthrob, who turns 24 on Nov. 11, made the contribution to the Libary Foundation of Los Angeles, the library announced, to give young people better access to technology. The new branch, under construction at 1874 Hillhurst Ave., just happens to be the former site of the DiCaprio family home, where he lived during his teenage years, the library said. Evelyn Hoffman, executive director of the foundation, said that "the computer center created by this gift offers unprecedented access to a world of information."


An Award for Clooney: Singer-actress Rosemary Clooney will receive the Catholics in Media Lifetime Achievement Award Sunday, immediately following a mass said by Cardinal Roger Mahony. The award will be presented at the sixth annual brunch and awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Other honorees of Catholics in Media Associates will include Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" for best film and ABC's "The Practice," created by David E. Kelley, as best television series. A nonprofit organization comprising Catholic entertainment industry professionals, its primary focus is to recognize "projects and people . . . that best show what it means to be part of God's human family."


Trouble With Security: Motley Crue rockers Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx assaulted a concert security guard and incited the crowd to attack others, guard John F. Allen alleges in a lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Greensboro, N.C. Allen says he was kicked and spit on by bass guitarist Sixx during a concert at the Greensboro Coliseum on Oct. 30, 1997. He contends that Sixx told the crowd to assault other guards, and that the crowd responded by throwing cups and rushing at the guards. The lawsuit alleges that Lee, the band's drummer, poured beer on Allen and that Sixx used a racial slur to describe Allen, who is black. Lawyers for Sixx and Lee were unavailable for comment. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages of $75,000 for each of a number of claims, including assault, battery, slander and civil rights violations. Lee--convicted earlier this year of spousal abuse for kicking his wife, former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson--served four months in jail and is free on probation.


Bill Cosby is the guest Monday on Court TV's "Cochran & Company" at 8 p.m. for an in-depth interview with host Johnnie Cochran about hate crimes and the increasing violence in society. . . . French pianist Helene Grimaud, in her Music Center debut, will open the L.A. Philharmonic Celebrity Recital series on Tuesday, replacing pianist Richard Goode, who canceled due to tendinitis. Grimaud's program will include the Bach-Busoni Chaconne; Beethoven's Sonata No. 331 in A-flat, Op. 110, and the Brahms Sonata No 2 in F-sharp minor, Op. 2. . . . ABC has extended its order on five new series--the comedies "The Hughleys," "Sports Night," "Two of a Kind" and "Brother's Keeper," plus the drama "Cupid"--and said all will remain in their current time slots. No word yet on ABC's three other new shows, but the network is expected to order at least a few additional episodes of "The Secret Lives of Men." . . . FX has ordered eight additional episodes of "Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular" (Monday nights at 9), bringing the hourlong comedy-variety series' episode total to 24. . . . Appropriate for Halloween, Columbia Pictures will hold special midnight screenings tonight of "John Carpenter's Vampires." James Woods stars as vampire slayer Jack Crow.

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