GOOD MORNING: June ’94 is the hoped-for return to L.A. for the Brandon Tartikoffs. “And wouldn’t you know it,” he smiled, “my projects in New Orleans, Maryland, Florida and Nashville will probably be going at that time — and none in L.A.!” Hardly likely … Ann-Margret met with Tartikoff last week in Vegas and she’s set to star in a network mini for him, “The Gospel of Ann.” During his visit here, Tartikoff met with network exex, including at his alma mater: NBC’s Warren Littlefield and Don Ohlmeyer in Tartikoff’s former office (with re-covered furniture); “They made me feel as comfortable as possible” as he pitched ideas … He has set a Tom Clancy series, “Op Center,” for midseason, plus the Clancy feature “Without Remorse,” which has an initial Putnam printing order of 1.5 million. His CBSeries, “X’s & O’s”– about ex-wives of country stars, to be made with John Wilder as exec and Alice Randall as producer-writer of the hour drama — will be taped in Nashville. “What ‘Miami Vice’ was to rock ‘n’ roll, this one will be for country,” promises Tartikoff … New Orleans will be his base of operations, and it’s only an hour away by plane from Nashville. “I can have breakfast at home (in New Orleans), work all day in Nashville and be home for dinner,” he claims. He’s preparing his PBSeries, “Under New Management, ” as he did “Miami Vice”– with all scripts ready before production starts (in New Orleans) … Also relatively nearby, the Florida site for “The Weekly World News” TV magazine show with Kathy Kloves … These are but a few of the projects being finalized by Tartikoff, who says, “You’ll never see me back as an executive of a corporation again — well, at least for a year”… This is the second chapter in his post-L.A./Par departure to assure daughter Calla’s progress with a top physical therapist in New Orleans. The next phase will be for Tartikoff to decide how he wants to (deficit) finance the projects — independently or with one of eight major companies …”Meanwhile,” he admits, “it’s a great thing to wake up every morning and not have to worry about the box office or ratings.” However, he admitted enjoying phone congrats one morning last month from Scott Rudin and Sydney Pollack after the boffo bow of “The Firm” (which he nurtured at Par). The same day, a fan in the Crescent City congratulated him on the start of his local New Orleans game show, “N.O. It Alls,” with the biggest prize –$ 300! (P.S.: Tribune takes it to NATPE for national syndication sales.)
“IT’S THE SINGLE LARGEST market worth looking into,” Raymond Chow says about China. He was here briefly with wife Phylicia from their Hong Kong home. Chow has already completed 10 movies in China. “They (Chinese) have good production values. We bring in key elements. But they have a very good structure — and good actors. We’re trying to promote them outside China.” He’ll be prominent at the Tokyo Film Fest. “China is going to be an open market very soon.” As for Hong Kong returning to China in ’97, he’s confident that “China promises a status quo.” As for filming in the U.S., Chow wants to continue making a new “Ninja Turtle” movie every year-and-a-half –“hopefully”… Director Alek Keshishian was surprise birthday-partied on his 29th by his agent Jay Moloney (CAA), Brian Swardstrom (William Morris) plus Dannielle Thomas (Kohner), at the home of Angela Janklow and husband Gerry Harrington (Alek’s manager), but at the finale of the fun-filled evening, a fight broke out among guests, including some members of Madonna’s group and Marky Mark’s. Guy Oleary of Madonna’s Maverick Records reportedly suffered a broken nose. He was not at work Monday and was unavailable for comment. Other guests said no police were called — but a report supposedly was filed. Happy birthday, Alek … While “Bad Girls’ ” new director Jonathan B. Kaplan takes over reins from the departed Tamra Davis, co-star Drew Barrymore also starts work today on Par’s “Wayne’s World II.” She’s Mike (Wayne) Myers’ girl friend while Kim Basinger is Dana (Garth) Carvey’s babe.
HOLLYWOOD COMES TO THE AID of St. Louis flood victims Aug. 10 at David Slay’s La Veranda, where former residents/pals attend a $ 100-a-plate fundraising dinner. Kevin Kline, Kate Capshaw, Angie Dickinson, John Goodman, John Forsythe, Gary Owens, Robert Wise among those supporting … Topol is in town from his Israel home for a rare TV guestint — as an Egyptian archaeologist in U/NBC’s “seaQuest DSV” series from Amblin. Also guesting is Turhan Bey on the U lot — his alma mater … Julie Carmen stars in John Carpenter’s “In the Mouth of Madness” for New Line. She’s also in Showtime’s “Curacao”… William Baldwin signed with CAA’s Rick Nicita and Jay Moloney. Alec Baldwin’s represented by CAA … Time Inc.’s new monthly mag, In Style, is out in a test issue with a million newsstand copies ($ 2.49). They scored a coup with Annette Bening for the cover — and many glamour pix of her at home — but none of Warren or their baby, Kathlyn. The slick mag with a positive point of view gets another test in November and January … Jayne Meadows repeats her cameo role as Billy Crystal’s mother (off-camera but hysterical) in “City Slickers II”… Theresa Saldana remains with the law as she plays a Hispanic attorney in ABC’s “Shameful Secrets” while continuing her role in “The Commish.”