Tartikoff readies ‘Funniest’ spec

GOOD MORNING: “The One Hundred Funniest Things We Saw This Year”– being readied by Brandon Tartikoff for CBS — of course includes Marlon Brando kissing Larry King, live. Tartikoff has 35 network projects lined up, including 12 comedies, six Marvel movies, 11 dramas and specials — and the daytime and latenight shows for Fox stations in the fall of ’95. Tartikoff, here on his regular commutes from New Orleans and New York, was named New Orleans Ambassador to Hollywood by Mayor Marc Morial. Although Tartikoff admits he’s not “the poster boy” for ’em, he is looking to do more shows there. “People like me in N.O.” and — he does have the most popular show on the air down there, “N.O. It Alls.” Among Tartikoff’s features in the works are Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse” and “The Backups.” His “Op Center” for NBC starts airing Feb. 7. He met with Don Ohlmeyer –“It was strange sitting on the opposite side of the desk from him”– talking “The Book” pilot, plus other projects. Tartikoff, chairman of New World, admits, “There’s never enough time — but it’s exhilarating!”… Monday night’s tribute to ABC’s Ted Harbert at the BevWilshire raised $ 600,000 for the L.A. Free Clinic. Bernie Brillstein and Brad Grey produced the tribute show headed by Garry Shandling, Dana Carvey and Roseanne, who said, “I was mad at Bob Iger for canceling Tom Arnold’s show — now I figure he was right!” ABC’s star roster taped comedy clips for Harbert. Free Clinic’s Ellen Hoberman was also honored … Also Monday night, MGM preemed “Speechless” at Mann’s National and partied later at the Armand Hammer Museum where Along Came Mary had to quick-shift all the goodies under cover as the rains poured down. MGM senior VP Greg Foster, who had brought the “Speechless” project to the studio, and wife, Marci, segued from the preem activities to Cedars-Sinai where Tuesday ayem they welcomed third son, Lucas Simon. The David Fosters, Gary Fosters and Tim Foster were all on hand for the big night — and day … It’s also a family affair over at the Canon where Lynn Redgrave bowed in “Shakespeare for My Father,” produced by husband John Clark and daughter Kelly stage managing. On hand for the opening here were Anne and Kirk Douglas, Lydia and Charlton Heston, Cyd Charisse, Brenda Vaccaro, Stacey Keach, Michael Feinstein, Deborah and John Landis, etc.

“FROM RAGS TO BITCHES,” Mr. Blackwell’s autobiog, gets an April publication by General Publishing. Michael Hamilburg agented … Press agent David Kramer’s written his first novel, “Bitten by the Beast,” about everyone you know and love (and hate) in the biz — thickly disguised, of course, and led by a publicist-turned-producer … Jim Bailey plays a Hedda Hopper-like character in Ruth Franklin’s new play, “Fragile Fire,” directed by Paul Winfield, bowing tonight at the USC Bing Theater … Cathy Lee Crosby sold her book, “a humorous look at life, discovery of the heart and ultimate fulfillment,” to Simon & Schuster. Jan Miller of Dupree/Miller agented … The Jim McMullan and Dick Gautier “Musicians as Artists” book contains revealing and fascinating works by Joan Baez, Tony Bennett, Alice Cooper, Miles Davis, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Donna Summer, Nancy Wilson, etc. … Zsa Zsa Gabor bows at the Sahara for 10 days starting Dec. 24. Rochas of Paris created a $ 10,000 gown for her … Jack Carter’s in Vegas guesting in United Par-net’s “The Watcher” in which he’s again killed. Carter was also killed in “Burke’s Law” and “Murder, She Wrote” segs. It’s a living … Eddie Fisher was in fine form, performing during ceremonies honoring former President Gerald Ford and wife, Betty, with the Sheba Medical Center’s Humanitarian award at the Rancho Mirage Ritz-Carlton. He paused between numbers to tell of his stay at the Betty Ford Center: “I want to thank her for saving my life.” Betty F. went onstage hugged him.

VIRNA LISI, WHO HAS NOT been here in 23 years, looked as beautiful as ever at Miramax’s “Queen Margot” party held Saturday at the home of Consul General of France, Maurice Ripert, following showings at CAA and the Aidikoff screening room at William Morris. Also there was director Patrice Chereau, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Julie Delpy and Jean-Jacques Annaud … And at Laemmle’s Santa Monica, “Where the Rivers Flow North’s” Tantoo Cardinal and Jay Craven were on hand for applause at the Oscar-qualifying preem. Cardinal’s agents, Harry Gold and Darryl Marshak, say they now have several offers for her … Rocky and Irma Kalish converted a bank in Palm Springs into their Desert Rose theater and bowed with “A Hatful of Snow” written by Matthew Breindel and directed by Rocky. They follow with “Driving Miss Daisy.”

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