GOOD MORNING: Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.) — yes. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) — yes. Former vice president Dan Quayle — no. Secretary of Health & Human Services Donna Shalala — no. That’s the yes-and-no political talent roster, so far, for the new season of “Murphy Brown.” In response to Shalala’s sharp comments about “Murphy Brown’s” illegitimate baby, the series’ new exec producer, John Bowman told me he doesn’t expect to address the latest D.C. diatribes vs. the show. “The whole fifth season responded to that,” he said, recalling Quayle’s quacks and the show’s answers. Bowman talked to Candice Bergen (in France on vacation) about the new season’s topics (seven scripts are already written for the Aug. start). “She’s very involved in what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate,” Bowman reminded. “Murphy Brown’s” baby Avery, born out of wedlock and the subject of the politicos’ comments, will be a part of the new season, Bowman assures, “but much like ‘Little Ricky’ appeared on the ‘I Love Lucy’ show.” And those named affirmatively above will be asked to guest much like “Cheers’ ” Boston bigwigs. “Murphy” will, however, take on public interest topics, the producer promised, such as “a show about a fallen hero — like an O.J. Simpson — and the media circus surrounding it, showing we’re a part of it.” Murphy will even take on CBS at an affiliates meeting, asking howcum stations departed the web. Bowman says, “The news business and TV business is on the front page of every paper; the public is well aware of those subjects — affiliates, ratings, etc.” But, lest we think “Murphy’s” personal life is ignored, Bergen will have a romantic six-seg stand with Scott Bakula, who returns as a star on a competing news show. Will “Murphy” have another out-of-wedlock child? “One baby’s enough,” said Bowman.AMONG THE SEVEN SEGS ALREADY shot for next season’s “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman” is a mastectomy performed by the series star, Jane Seymour. “My father was a doctor,” Seymour told me, “and I watched him doing surgery since the time I was 12.” Other powerful stories in three, two-hour shows of the new season involve a major episode set in D.C., 1867, and others about Native Americans, and child abuse in that period. “This show is not a job for me — my heart is in it.” The successful series has enabled Jane to avoid selling her beloved English castle, at St. Catherine’s near Bath, dating back to the year 950. She and actor-director husband James Keach leave on their year-delayed honeymoon at the castle this week. Keach just directed “Stars Fell on Henrietta” (everyone at Malpaso is happy with it). And he will search England-set feature projects for Jane. He reminds, “I fell in love with this English rose!” Among possible pix: a remake of “Jane Eyre,” or a “Camelot”-like story. Their Catfish Prods.’ development head is Tatum Cook … Gary Oldman segues immediately from Prague and “The Immortal Beloved” with his beloved Isabella Rossellini to Nova Scotia to co-star with Demi Moore and Robert Duvall in Andy Vajna’s Cinergi “Scarlet Letter” with Roland Joffe directing … Whoopi Goldberg joined Ben Kingsley, Patrick Stewart and Miriam Margolyes as one of the narrators of “Liberation.” The docu is the first in a projected one-a-year program of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Moriah Films. It’s directed by Arnold Schwartzman, who, with the Center’s Dean Rabbi Marvin Hier, won the Oscar for “Genocide.” The docus are funded by friends of the Center … The legal action resulting from the death of driver William A. Vitagliano during the filming of WB’s “The Bodyguard,” Jan. 3, 1992, vs. Snorkel Economy and Figgie Intl. and Acme Holdings, was settled by attorney Larry Feldman. Feldman also repped the juvenile in the case vs. Michael Jackson. DINNER WITH YOUR AGENT? The Society of Composers & Lyricists calls it “a good-natured evening of food, fun, song and satire.” Guess where the emphasis will be placed: Hal Kanter is writing and will direct the evening produced by Arthur Hamilton. Kanter and Bill Conti host. Special material’s written by a spectacular group of “daring” tunesters, with Quincy Jones as honorary chairman. It’s the first major fundraiser for the SCL: Sept. 16 at the Hotel Nikko … KABC-radio’s Michael Jackson’s guesting for “Larry King Live” last week was such a ratings winner, he’s invited back for more D.C. doings, subbing for Larry Aug. 1-5 … Further prepping for his Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy telethon: Jerry Lewis followed his Branson, Mo., celeb tapings last week with a Sunday stop at N.Y.’s Pegasus Suite (below the Rainbow Room), where he taped stints by Maureen McGovern, Lorna Luft, Julie Budd and Freddie Roman. And Wednesday, at the Improv here, Lewis and Budd Friedman co-host the taping of a special seg with a hefty lineup of comics.
2016-2017 Oscar Predictions
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