Classy Emmys will plug TV’s pluses

GOOD MORNING: Emmy fever is heating up for the 47th awards, Sept. 10, with the demand for tix unprecedented, producer Don Mischer told me Monday during a brief rundown of the show. “Fox wants it to be classy as we start rotating the wheel among all the networks. The wheel has changed the industry perception of the show — from the days of the network boycott. ABC gets it next year, CBS and NBC follow. They (Fox) want a ‘prime show’ for the primetime awards.” Among TV pluses to be illustrated: the importance of the issues the small screen has tackled — which bigscreen features have not — and the performances, particularly by an exceptional list of women in TV movies and specials. Fox also will have a half-hour pre-show going out to its full web.” Although Mischer has a commitment to produce a fourth Emmy show in ’96, he will not be able to return , as he’s producing the opening and closing spectaculars for the centennial celebration of the Olympics in Atlanta next August when a record global TV audience is anticipated. Meanwhile, 90 countries will receive the Emmy telcast with an audience of 500 million. And among the countries with reps on hand here, Russia and China … The Emmys also go on the Internet with Cybercast representation in the press room. When anyone’s on the Fox telecast, subscribers can request any info about the subject. The TV Acad has had staff working on filling in the site for months … As for the 2 million-$ show itself, of course there will be humor — as evident by choice of hosts, Cybill Shepherd and Jason Alexander. And other comedians appearing include Garry Shandling, Paul Reiser, Ellen DeGeneres as well as the announced Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. “Comics keep things moving,” Mischer reminded. “ER’s” George Clooney and Anthony Edwards also will make a dual presentation. And talking earlier of class, 15-time Emmy nominee Angela Lansbury also will make a presentation … Will Barbra Streisand be on hand? Probably. She has four nominations … It hasn’t been decided whether there’ll be (comedy) monologue about the recent upheavals in the biz — y’know the cast: Ovitz, Eisner, Bronfman, Meyer, etc. It’s tough to balance a show aimed at both the industry and the folks out thar. The show will have its serious and musical moments — such as a scene from August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winner and Emmy nominee “The Piano Lesson.” Harold Wheeler will create a “contemporary” score for the awards show and Bruce Ryan’s designed a powerful, abstract set in earth, gold and silver tones with Bobby Dickinson lighting it.

ADD TV SPECIALS: “Frank Sinatra: 80 Years My Way,” a two-hour ABC special, will be taped Nov. 19 at the Shrine, to air in Dec. — his birthday’s the 12th, you remember. APLA and the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center will benefit from funds raised at the black-tie gala, which George Schlatter produces. Louis J. Horvitz, who directs the Emmy telecast (he’s also nominated for the “Kennedy Center Honors”), also reins the Sinatra special. Horvitz first directs a CBS Tony Bennett special skedded for Oct. 16, and adds to his musical directorial baton the Lou Rawls telethon the following week. And then, Horvitz again directs the Kennedy Center Honors, followed by producing-directing “The People’s Choice Awards” in ’96 … PBS gives Julie Andrews a tribute and retro, which is set to air Oct. 25, the night Andrews bows on B’way in Blake Edwards’ “Victor, Victoria.” Also planned is a “live” finale of the TV special from the stage of B’way’s Marquis theater as Julie is taking her final bow — and follows her to the party — a first for PBS … When the new Geffen Playhouse (formerly the Westwood Playhouse) reopens Oct. 19, John Patrick Shanley’s “Four Dogs and a Bone,” directed by Lawrence Kasdan, will star Martin Short, Elizabeth Perkins, Parker Posey and Brendan Fraser. The coup — casting by Sharon Bialy.

JESSICA LANGE’S NIXED 14-16 weeks in the Russian winter filming “Anna Karenina” set to start in January … Jon Katzman joined Creation Entertainment as vice president of development. He’s the son of Jerry, grandson of Sam K. … ICM agent Ben Press (J. Press’ grandson) and the agency’s trainee Paula Besikof were married Aug. 12, headed to a honeymoon in Greece … Eighty-seven years young, jazz legend Lionel Hampton wrote “MoJAZZ” for the session of his first album, “For the Love of Music,” for the MoJAZZ label. Stevie Wonder, on the album, dedicates to Lionel “Gates Groove”– Hampton’s nickname is “Gates,” a moniker pinned on him by Louis Armstrong … Patti Andrews was toasted at the Moonlight Tango Cafe by co-hosts Margaret O’Brien, and Ernie Criezis, and 40 of Andrews’ peers, including Ann Miller, Virginia Mayo, Jane Withers, Gloria Jean, etc. … Jerry Goldsmith, with 150 motion picture scores to his record, five in the past few months, gets a night off — Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl during the Centennial Celebration of the Motion Picture, when John Mauceri batons a nine-minute rendition of excerpts from Jerry’s “First Knight” score.

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