Cole spec shifts from Israel to Vienna

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: Sad showbiz fallout from the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin: Concerts and a TV special starring Natalie Cole, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, skedded for Dec. 18-23, has been shifted from Israel to Vienna. Cole, who sang Sunday at Frank Sinatra’s 80th, filed Monday for divorce from her husband of six years, Andre Fischer. This latest chapter of Cole’s life will be in her autobiog, “Angel on My Shoulder.” She is also readying her autobiopic and probably will play herself … It’s a race to Sunday’s airing of the first of three Family Channel “Hart to Hart” movies, says producer Bob Wagner, who was still in post Tuesday. The show is dedicated to the late Lionel Stander, who played Max, the Harts’ faithful major domo. “We loved him so much,” R.J. says. His banner has set up offices in Sydney for the second “Hart” and the third will be filmed in Germany … While Sidney Poitier’s in Chi filming the dramatic high school-set sequel “To Sir With Love: Part 2” for TriStar TV-CBS, Sony is busy filming its “High School High” spoof of an idealistic, Mr. Magoo-like teacher, played by Jon Lovitz, with Louise Fletcher as the high school principal. The company filmed graduation at UCLA, party at Chasen’s. This pic’s going so well, it could be a franchise, says David Zucker, who produces with Gil Netter and Robert N. LoCash, the latter also scripting with Zucker. And between takes, LoCash also is working on the fifth draft of “Davy Crockett” for Jerry Zucker — who is working on “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Hart Bochner is directing five members of the Zucker family acting in “High School”… Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” is being readied for a $50 million feature by Craig Anderson and John Agliloro, with this hoped-for dream team: Harrison Ford, Demi Moore and Andy Garcia. Anderson has also optioned stage rights to Bill C. Davis’ (“Mass Appeal”) new play “Avow”– about society’s attitudes toward a same-sex couple’s desire to wed. Anderson held a reading in N.Y. for a hoped-for Spring Broadway bow.

“THE POLITICAL CLIMATE IS NOW RIGHT” for the Nov. 30 bow of “White Man’s Burden,” Rysher/Savoy’s John Travolta-Harry Belafonte co-starrer of black-white role reversals. Producer Lawrence Bender cites Gen. Colin Powell, Louis Farrakhan, O.J. Simpson, South Africa and their respective news prominence for added interest in his pic. He screened it in D.C. at the MPAA Monday p.m. for politicos and says their reaction was enthusiastic for the theme of the low-budget pic. “It was very tough to make. Hollywood should support this kind of movie,” Bender says. (French francs financed it.) It cost $7 million. And Travolta gets triple that fee as salary alone today! Bender, you recall, got Travolta back on the winning track with “Pulp Fiction,” for which he was paid $150,000. Travolta made “White Man’s Burden” before “Get Shorty”– but Rysher/Savoy wisely waited to release “Burden” until “Get” got the big bucks. Any more pics with Travolta for Bender? None skedded … NBC-4 weatherman Fritz Coleman has been spreading lots of sunshine with his charitable hostints this (and every) season — whatta guy. He hosted ERAS Center’s ninth annual comedy night at the Improv with comics Pat McCormick and Jack Riley, Pablo Francisco, Kevin Nealon, Dom Irrera, Sue Kolinsky, Adam Ferrera, Ken “Moon” Jones … Coleman also acted as auctioneer at the Associates for Breast Cancer Studies’ “Salute to Hollywood” at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Marlee Matlin, who expects her baby in January, received the Humanitarian Award from “Picket Fences” co-star Kathy Baker, and Sandra Krause received the Spirit of Hope award from Alex Trebek. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house following Krause’s dignified and dramatic acceptance. Performers who rounded out the full evening, which raised $ 250,000, included Shelley Berman, Suzanne Somers, Robert Guillaume and Peter Marshall.

FOX LAUNCHES “SIEGFRIED & ROY: Masters of the Impossible’s” first four animated shows Feb. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the hot “Power Rangers” slot. There are 65 half-hour segs planned for S&R’s young fans, who will learn about conservation and ecology from the show. The magic duo have added three white lions to their conservatory in Las Vegas, where Steve Wynn will build a $14 million “secret garden” adjacent to the Siegfried & Roy Theater. Only one-third of the “garden” will be open to the public — the rest is for the threatened pussycats … The Laugh Factory hosts its 17th free Thanksgiving dinner for struggling and/or lonely comic actors and the rest of showbiz. The club’s Jamie Masada, a comic-turned-club owner, says, “This is my way of saying thanks.” Thanks, Jamie … Daily Variety‘s Brian Lowry will be at the “X-Files” convention in Minneapolis Dec. 3 to sign copies of his book, “The Truth Is Out There: The Official Guide to ‘The X-Files’ ” (HarperCollins). Creator and exec producer Chris Carter will be at a N.Y. convention Friday and a local convention will be held in January in Burbank … See you Tuesday.

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