Fox ayem talker looks to lure guests

GOOD MORNING: “The booking wars are a bunch of rubbish and we don’t care if a celebrity appears on our show first, second or last,” says Peter Faiman about “Fox After Breakfast.” “Our belief is great talent has no expiration date,” says Faiman, the 20th TV president of programming and production who is also the new series’ exec producer. “We are confident they will get their best showcase on ‘FAB.’ ” To emphasize the point, Fox is feeding fourth estaters, flacks, agents and managers with splashy soirees; the first was Tuesday night in N.Y. on the show’s permanent apartment set, where Tom Bergeron and Laurie Hibbard held forth. In L.A. Thursday, gladhanding goes on at the Gate. The show debuts Aug. 12 on all primary Fox affiliates, 9-10 ayem … Clint Eastwood arranged for Scott Glenn to have the same ex-Secret Service agent who trained Clint for his effective role in “In the Line of Fire” on their current “Absolute Power.” Eastwood directs, produces and stars, with Gene Hackman as the president and Glenn as the Secret Serviceman. Glenn tells me he did research on his own, as usual (he cruised with an atomic sub captain for a week before “Hunt for Red October”) “and I learned the ultimate job is to take the bullet (intended for the President).” Hackman, Glenn reveals, “turned me onto my first acting teacher. We were both ex-Marines. And this is the first opportunity I’ve had to work with him — or Clint!” As for director Eastwood, Glenn says, “He’s smooth, quiet, graceful — knows exactly what he’s doing at all times.” Glenn will be honored at the opening of an AMC 14 plex in Phoenix Aug. 1 when a different Glenn movie will be shown in each theater — with Glenn welcoming each audience as the pix are staggered 10 minutes apart. His Nicaragua-filmed-under-fire “Carla’s Song” by Ken Loach gets the Venice Film Fest treatment.

A RECORD WAS SET at the 1996 Vision Awards benefiting Retinitis Pigmentosa Intl. led by Helen Harris at the BevHilton Monday. Par’s Barry London chaired the event, which raised over $450,000 from the dinner, ad book and auction (which included big bids for a walkon on “Seinfeld” and an autographed letter from Charlie Chaplin). While the event was going on, Angie Dickinson was narrating “Mission: Impossible,” to join the list of movies made available to the sight deprived through the magic of TheatreVision. Also upcoming on TheatreVision are “Twister” and “Flipper.” The latter will be narrated by yours truly … At the Vision awards, WB’s Barry Reardon told me the studio is readying the classic George Stevens “Giant” (1956) for a preem in Dallas, Sept. 20, followed by Sept. 27 in N.Y. and L.A. (at the Cinerama Dome). The color and sound have been revitalized by today’s technologies … Among those at the “Star Wars Trilogy” marketing meet at Skywalker Ranch was Fox senior veepee Tom Sherak, who came to the studio in 1983 as “Return of the Jedi” opened to gigantic numbers. For years, Sherak’s been telling pals of a dream in which Darth Vader said “Tom, take credit for the opening.” But Luke Skywalker walked into the dream and said, “Tom, this would be wrong.” Well, George Lucas got wind of the story and presented a birthdaying Sherak with a poster from “Jedi,” on which Lucas inscribed, “To Tom Sherak, thanks for the great ‘Jedi’ opening”… Col. Tom Parker celebrates his 87th birthday today at a luncheon given him by the executive staff of the Vegas Hilton, where the Cuhnel reminded me he’s still a consultant. Parker says he’s working on the plans for the “Star Trek” attraction to open in the Hilton next year … The Jerry Goldsmith score of “Star Trek: First Contact” will be out on GNP/Crescendo CD in time for the Thanksgiving movie bow. It’s the 18th “Star Trek” record project (from singles to box sets) by the Gene Norman label with son Neil Norman as exec producer. Neil N. will also conduct a live concert of music from “Star Trek,” “Lost in Space” and “Independence Day” at the World Sci-Fi Convention in Anaheim over Labor Day weekend, when the Hugo Awards are handed out. He’ll ditto at the “X-Files” convention Aug. 24 at the Burbank Hilton. Norman and Kevin Burns have also completed “The Fantastic World of Irwin Allen” movie music of Allen’s, continuing this year’s fascination with sci-fi.

ELLA FITZGERALD WILL receive a Carnegie Hall musical tribute from Jack Jones, backed by Lionel Hampton’s band July 9. “I feel privileged to have been asked to perform,” Jones says. “She was no doubt the greatest jazz singer of all time”… Melissa Manchester stars in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Music of the Night,” bowing July 9 in Dallas. Manchester’s also composing the score for Disney’s animated “Lady and the Tramp II.” And she’s adapted the novel “I Sent a Letter to My Love” into a musical to preem next year … Today Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, three time Oscar winners, will concert a catalog of their hits ( including “Mona Lisa,” “Buttons and Bows,” “Que Sera,” etc.) as they are saluted by the Hollywood Press Club at the Sportsmen’s Lodge.

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