Dove hands down its ‘Verdict’

GOOD MORNING: “The Verdict: Justice in America” goes before the cameras today with co-directors Deborah Raffin and Nina Foch reining seven ex-jurors of the O.J. Simpson case, plus other news “celebrities” filling out the jury, determining Simpson’s guilt or innocence for Dove Intl. Film’s 95-minute-long version of the outcome of the case. Networks and syndicators are the sale targets. The ex-jurors have signed an exclusivity clause with Michael Viner’s Dove, prohibiting their appearance on any other shows during the time the actual jury is deliberating. Meanwhile, Dove author Faye Resnick (“Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted”) has signed with “Extra — The Entertainment Magazine” as commentator during the deliberations. And Resnick’s also completing her second book for Dove, “Shattered,” about the aftermath of her experiences on the murder-trial, etc. … Microsoft’s Bill Gates signed Sheila Benson, former movie reviewer for the L.A. Times (she quit in ’91) as full-time, day-and-date movie critic adding to Gates’ Windows 95’s “Cinemania Connection,” an encyclopedic movie collection of facts, music, sound, etc. Jim Emerson, former film critic of the Orange County Register, is Benson’s editor. It’s now estimated there will be 30 million buyers of the system by the end of the year … Interplay’s Brian Fargo met with Burt Reynolds to talk interactive game plans for his system starring the thesp. Meanwhile, Reynolds seventh-birthday-gifted son Quintin with a batch of CD-ROM games, then spent the day playing ’em opposite his sprig. This week, Reynolds heads to Florida to play the U.S. Senator infatuated with Demi Moore in “Striptease.”Reynolds gets a new look (makeup, etc.) for the role … The William Morris Agency is hot — with the mercury hovering around the 100-degree mark Monday, the A/C went out in the W.M. building.

“JUST BECAUSE IT ISN’T ON TV doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining,” reminds Bill Allen, who chairs the Sept. 9 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on the eve of the aired (major) awards. And to bolster the first show, major series have taped comedic intros for Saturday’s categories. Shows participating include “ER,” “Seinfeld,” “Dream On,” etc. “We in the industry care,” reminded Allen. “This is a very well-attended event.” All nominees will be video’d — on stage, that is — before each winner is announced. Further, past Emmy winner Steve Allen will present categories in which two other TV Academy Hall of Famers are nominees — they are Sid Caesar and Milton Berle. The trio will appear together to close the evening … Tony Bennett taped a guestint on Emmy-nominated “Cybill”– the first of many planned name guests for the show, airing Sundays this season … Emmy nominee Shari Lewis and Lamb-Chop sing the National Anthem tonight at Dodger Stadium. They’ll be joined by Frankie J. Galasso of the new Tony Danza “Hudson Street” series … Services for Gary Crosby will be held at 10 ayem today at St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Burbank with interment to follow at Forest Lawn. The sadness of his death reminds me of the insecurity of Bing’s sons, whom I had affectionately called “the Crosboys.” Even when they got an ovation for a number they did in their nitery act, they thought the applause was because — their father had walked into the room. He hadn’t … Natasha Henstridge, the gorgeous Sil in “Species,” married thesp Damian Chana Aug. 26 in her hometown of Fort McMurray, Canada — six hours north of Edmonton and near the Arctic Circle. The newlyweds head to Europe where she’s the pic, the model’s first acting job. Next for her is “Adrenalin,” the movie, that is.

THE DAVID BEGELMAN Beverly Hills house went up for sale Monday with his friend, realtor Asher Dann, who spent many a happy hour there, now showing it … The Henry Mancinis’ home was sold to Dennis Hightower, president of Walt Disney TV & Telecommunications. The Hightowers have two children. Ginny Mancini tells me she’ll move into a hotel while pondering her future … Togetherness: The Marvin Davis family again brightened the local scene with one of their celebrations — this time the occasion was the bar mitzvah of grandson Alexander Jackson D. His mom, Nancy Davis, and husband Kenny Rickel followed the service at Temple Emanuel with a reggae Jamaica-themed party for the youngsters — and older Davis family pals — in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel — which Marvin had sold to the Sultan of Brunei, you recall. A home movie included the entire family — Marvin on drums, Barbara on tambourine — playing in a reggae band along with Alexander’s brothers Brandon (15) and Jason (11), the latter a cinch to be in showbiz — he already has a “Biodome” bit … Mel Torme, who will be 70 Sept. 13, guested on ABC’s “The Monroes,” singing “Young at Heart.” He’ll bow his 10th consecutive season at Michael’s Pub Sept. 26, winding Oct. 13, returning here next day for the wedding of son Tracy (“Sliders” exec producer) to Jennifer Bitting, who’s in music post at U.

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