GOOD MORNING: TOM SELLECK AND “Magnum, P.I.” are returning–in a major movie for the big screen. I learned about plans for the Hawaii-set TV’er’s expansion to a feature talking to John Hillerman yesterday in Berlin. Hillerman, eight years on “Magnum” as Higgins, is in Germany for a nine-month stay starring in “Berlin Break.” It’s an hour-long series set for 22 segs via Wolfgang Petersen’s company, with “Magnum” alumnus (producer/writer) Reuben Leder as exec producer. Hillerman told me, “I spoke with Tom, who called and asked if I wanted to do it (the movie “Magnum”). I said ‘Of course.’ But it would now have to be done during my hiatus break on ‘Berlin Break.’ I think it’s a great idea. And I’d like to do Higgins again–I miss that guy!” Hillerman says the Universal feature would be a big-budgeter with a lot of action–and it’s hopeed that it would become a series of features, as “Star Trek” segued from the small screen to its big screen successes. Meanwhile, Hillerman says this new series ‘Is the best script I’ve read since ‘Magnum.’ ” He did a coupla telepix and one year of the “Hogan Family.” In the new show, he runs a nitery (a big set is built on the DFF studios stage in East Berlin). And is joined by an ex-German superspy (played by Kai Wulff) and an ex-Russian superspy (played by Nicholas Clay). Hildegard Knef co-stars. Ironically, she started her career at the UFA studios–as a cartoonist. Also in the series is singer Katja Flynn as Hillerman’s daughter. They shoot each seg in eight days. And Hillerman admits he’s happy being back to a one-camera show rather than the three-camera sitcom. … He also allows the nine-month stint “is a great disruption ofmy life–but that’s the nature of the business.” He reminded the increase in U.S. and European joint TV financing. This show is Columbia TriStar Intl. plus Germany’s RTL Plus.
THE FRIARS CLUBS in N.Y. and BevHills held their respective weekend celebrations; at the Waldorf, Arista’s Clive Davis was toasted as Man of the Year with a show aptly finale’d by “That’s What Friends Are For” chorus’d by the evening’s earlier showstoppers: Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Holliday, Kenny G, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin. Roger Moore, as emcee, kidded, “I thought this was a dinner for Marvin Davis. I’m not the only one who made a mistake, the Friars thought they had invited Sean Connery.” Moore offered some advice to Clive Davis: “I received this same honor a few years ago. So I have some advice for Clive. Don’t get too excited–it does not help you get more work. I haven’t worked since.” Anna Moffo sang the national anthem. Sammy Cahn parodied “There’s no Davis like this Davis–” Francis Ford Coppola told of the importance of music in his movies. David Tebet chaired the event and Jean Pierre Trebot helped put together the show written by Herb Sargent. Jack L.Green is president of the N.Y. Friars. … Here at the BevHills Friars, the Improv’s Budd Friedman was toasted on his 60th birthday by a bash given by wife Alex. Many of the comics whom Budd launched in his Improvs were on hand to toast (roast) him. Friars’ president Milton Berle noted, “Budd has done a lot for a lot of people–for me–nothing!” Berle sang his parody of “My Buddy,” to Friedman. (Berle undergoes outpatient cataract surgery today) Charles Joffe also noted that Friedman has been a father to many young struggling comics. Joffe told me Woody Allen showed his new (of course untitled) pic to TriStar’s Mike Medavoy. And predicted this is Allen’s best in years. Joffe also noted how he and all the Allen movie troupes mourn the Orion debacle. Woody, Joffe, etc. never took any dough up front–all at the back end. … Richard Lewis noted it was tough to follow Milton Berle and “Tales From the Crypt.””This party is like a wrap party for ‘The Shining.'” … Richard Belzer told how he worked for Budd–for car fare. Max Alexander, Harvey Korman and rapper Casanova Ace also had a few bon mots Young comic-ventriloquist Jeff Dunham created a dummy in Budd’s image–funnier than Budd.
IT WAS WEDDING bells at the Bel Air hotel Saturday when Claudia Cowan, anchor of Sacramento’s KOVR-TV and daughter of Barbara Rush and Warren Cowan, married attorney/sports agent Stephen Baker. Claudia was one of the most radiant brides we’ve ever seen. She’s had offers to anchor here in L.A.–but until her husband shifts his sites she remains up north as well. Among guests, Merv Griffin (called the Bel Air “a nice little hotel”) serenaded the newlyweds, comedienne Carole Cook kidded them–and Barbara and Warren. Rabbi David Baron of the Synagogue of the Performing Arts performed the ceremony. Henry Rogers brought word that wife Roz was doing fine following bypass surgery at St.John’s. … Sean Young wound her three-week stand in “Stardust” Sunday at the Wilshire and Joey Heatherton steps in–maybe soon as tonight with a number or two. The show, extended until June 28 here, has a Sept. opening skedded for San Diego, and an Oct. 8 bow in N.Y. at a Shubert house, maybe the Barrymore. … Personal manager Chuck Binder partied his fiancee, psychologist Lori O’Brien, with a party in advance of their Sept. 26 wedding. On hand to congrat ’em were Sharon Stone and Christopher Peters, Faye Dunaway, Daryl Hannah, Zack Galligan, PeterIannucci, Marvin Meyer, Chelsea Field.