HAPPY THANKSGIVING: “It won’t be another Al Capone’s vault,” promises Bob Stack as he readies to host–“live”– tonight’s 90-minute “Unsolved Mysteries.” Stack revealed he’d been invited to host that ill-fated “live” opening of Capone’s vault, but turned it down when he wondered what would happen if nothing was in it–as Geraldo Rivera discovered to his, and the audience’s, dismay. “This is like the old ‘Playhouse 90’ days,” Stack admitted. However, he’ll have FBI Chief William Sessions talking on camera from N.Y., plus 20 unsolved cases “with potential,” sez Stack. “We’re hoping some of them will be solved on the air. If not–we have some remotes–something will happen. This is all NBC’s idea. And I guess I’m a born masochist. After all, I’m still on TV so I must be. But it’s fun. Maybe ‘panic’ is a better word.” He should know panic: The Stacks co-hosted Oscar arrivals with yours truly one year and there’s no more panic than that “live” show, take it from me–even after doing it 30 years …”It staggered me; it was embarrassing,” said Joe Barbera of the standing ovation reception he received in Berlin for the preem of “Tom & Jerry–The Movie.””They have so much more respect for talent over there.” And last night, he and director Phil Roman left for the Paris opening–Joe has 22 interviews set for Thursday and Friday. “The (cartoon feature) industry has come of age in the past five years,” he noted. “It started with ‘Roger Rabbit.’ ” But, he reminded he’d done live and cartoon work long before with Jerry the Mouse and Gene Kelly in “Anchors Aweigh.” As a result of the European success of “T&J,” a sequel is already planned–in advance of the U.S. bow next year, the 50th anni of “Tom and Jerry,” which will have 65 new half-hours on the air as well. Also planned is another feature, “Droopy, The Master Detective” and new “Flintstones” and “Jetsons.” Ted Turner paid $ 320 million to acquire all of Hanna-Barbera. But, Joe adds, “My deal runs for 20 more years.” Of Turner, he says, “He’s a terrific guy–15 minutes after I suggested the ‘Tom & Jerry’ movie, he bought the idea.”
HEEEERE’S “DOBIE”: Dwayne Hickman bought the rights to “Dobie Gillis” from the Max Schulman estate and says he and wife Joan Roberts have a ’90s pilot, “Dobie Jr.,” on the verge of a network series sale. Joan and Dwayne partnered on another production Monday–the arrival of their first child, son Albert Thomas H., born at Santa Monica Hospital. Hickman recently wound the two-hour “Cops and Roberts” pilot for producer-director Peter Fischer, in which Hickman plays the head of Monolith Studios … Yesterday, Tracy and Tony Danza welcomed daughter Emily Lyn. They also have a 5-year-old daughter … Ava and Ken Kercheval welcomed their first, son Asa, at Cedars-Sinai. Ken just completed playing the heavy in “Woman on a Ledge,” in which Deidre Hall attempts suicide when she’s told she cannot conceive … CBS’ “Casualty of Love–The Buttafuoco/Fisher Story” by John Herzfeld (who also directs) is now filming in L.A. with Jack Scalia as Buttafuoco, Phyllis Lyons as his wife, Alyssa Milano as Fisher and Adam LaVorgna (“Brooklyn Bridge”) as the Buttafuocos’ son Pauly. LaVorgna also stars as another true-life character, AIDS victim Joey DePaolo, in HBO’s “Blood Brothers,” bowing Dec. 8 … Mark Carliner, who racked up 50,000 miles traveling for his HBO’er “Stalin,” segued from showing it at the Washington D.C. Club in the Russian Embassy to the World Affairs Council in SanFran … Ronald Reagan returns to his Century City office Friday following Thanksgiving, to meet with visiting President-elect Bill Clinton.
MORE THAN $ 250,000 WAS RAISED for the Earvin “Magic” Johnson Foundation for funding of pediatric AIDS research and the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children Inc. at “The Bodyguard” preem at Mann’s Chinese and party (by Along Came Mary) that followed across the street. WB underwrote everything. And People mag underwrote Johnson’s pre-screening reception at the Masonic Temple for major donors. Co-stars Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston were on hand–with Costner among the last to leave the festivities … Meanwhile, in N.Y., Louis Malle, making his first appearance since heart surgery, was on hand with wife Candy Bergen for the preem of his “Damage” at the Walter Reade theater. It was also a 25th-anni party for New Line. The NC-17 movie’s co-stars Juliette Binoche and Miranda Richardson flew in from Europe for the Lincoln Center fundraiser … A group of the American Jewish Committee viewed “Malcolm X” at WB and the org’s Rabbi Gary Greenebaum told me it got “a positive reaction, a rave review.” Producer Marvin Worth intro’d “X” with b.g. on its making … Roxanne and Jack Carter hosted the three-day season preem of designer furs at Somper to benefit Impact Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center … At the Hiram Walker-hosted “Hollywood Derby Day” at Hollywood Park: John Forsythe, Rob Lowe, Stefanie Powers, Paul Michael and Elizabeth Glaser. HollyPark donated $ 5,000 to Pediatric AIDS Foundation … Eric Douglas taped his stand-up comedy TV bow on A&E’s “Evening at the Improv,” to air Jan. 4 … After three months filming “Black Stallion” in New Zealand, Mickey Rooney returns home in time for Thanksgiving.